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Meet Kellin Esquivel

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kellin Esquivel.

Alright, so thank you so much for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about how you got started?
Born and raised in Lima, Peru, I have been painting since I was six years old. But I didn’t follow this path when I grew up. Instead, I studied Communications then moved to Los Angeles. In 2013, I adopted my chihuahua Lalita, and she changed my life. I was struggling with depression, and Lalita helped me to get out of the dark. She brought happiness to my life again, I became vegan for the animals because of Lalita. I understand that all animals, not only our pets, can feel pain, happiness and can suffer like us. It was then that I started to paint again. In 2018, I began to foster small dogs from animal rescues and decided to quit my job and start my business SketchPup! I do fun custom pet portraits for animal lovers like myself. My mission is to give back part of the profits to the rescue community, so when a client orders a pet portrait from me or purchases an item from my online store, animals benefit as well.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
It wasn’t a smooth road. To start a business is not easy. You need a commitment to work on it every day. I attended workshops. I learned how to do a business plan, what business licenses I needed, marketing, social media, etc. I taught myself how to paint digitally and I learned how to create a website. My friends and family helped me, I painted their fur kids and little by little more people started contacting me to do a portrait of their best friend. I had to find a gig on the side so I could continue investing in SketchPup! and pay my bills. I attended art fairs and farmer’s markets, but then Covid-19 hit and everything changed. I started to be more active in social media, as this was the only way people would know about my artwork. 2020 was a very tough year for me and for many small businesses and entrepreneurs. But I didn’t quit because I love what I do, I’m very passionate about my work and it feels good to give back, especially when you are helping animals get out of the shelters.

As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
My pet artwork is fun and different from others. I work with my digital pen, and I do everything from scratch. I add elements to the portrait if my client requests them. I do family portraits and pets impersonating celebrities or famous personalities like Frida Kahlo, RBG, Princess Leia, Marvel characters, Rosie the Riveter, etc. What sets me apart from others is that I’m always looking for partnerships. The most important thing for me is to help the rescue community. I raise awareness about adopting, rescuing and fostering animals through my clothing and home line for pet parents.

What are your plans for the future?
My plan for the future is to expand my business to the pet food industry. I want to make healthy and organic homemade dog treats. I’m working on all the details right now. I want to continue painting fur kids and start painting with color pencils, not only digitally.

Pricing:

  • Custom Pet Portrait Poster | Starting from $75
  • Custom Pet Portrait Canvas | Starting from $140
  • Custom Pet Portrait Pillow | Starting from $86
  • Custom Pet Portrait T-shirt | Starting from $84
  • Custom Pet Portrait Tote Bag | Starting from $85

Contact Info:

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