Artist Jacob Daley’s pointillist portraits of pets bring joy to pet owners throughout the city. Throughout 2020, he’ll be giving a portion of his proceeds to Richmond Animal League to help even more pets find a better tomorrow.
Local artist Jacob Daley is spending 2020 painting pet portraits for a good cause. Daley and his portrait business, Daley Dots, have partnered with the Richmond Animal League (RAL) to help raise funds for the non-profit shelter and its animals. From now until December 30, 2020, Daley will donate 15 percent of all proceeds from his pet portraits.
“I’m just trying to make it easier on them, so that way they can help more animals,” said Daley.
Founded in 1979, RAL is Richmond’s oldest non-profit “no-kill” animal shelter organization. Each year, RAL provides quality care like temporary housing, medical treatment, and sterilization to approximately 1,700 homeless animals.
In addition to sheltering and finding homes for animals in need, RAL has an on-site medical facility. Loving Spay & Neuter Clinic offers low-cost services to other area shelters, rescue groups, and private pet owners, making Richmond’s pets healthier overall. Although not a full-service veterinary office, Loving Spay & Neuter Clinic does offer vaccinations, heartworm testing, microchip implantation, and flea/tick prevention services to pet owners when spay or neuter surgery is performed. The clinic also offers free spay and neuter services for feral cats.
When looking to adopt his own pets, Daley researched and visited many area shelters. During the process, he’d leave shelters wondering about the fate of the animals that faced death if they were not adopted. Therefore, RAL’s no-kill policy stood out to him.
“That always made me so sad,” said Daley. “Just thinking, [the animals are] just sitting here waiting for someone to take [them] home and if nobody likes [them] enough [they] just get killed. That doesn’t seem fair. All [they] want is a home.”
After graduation from VCU, Daley began working full-time in marketing and branding. He’d accept the occasional commission, and began to notice that many of his friends wanted portraits of their pets. The portraits brought joy to all involved, so Daley further explored how he could create with purpose.
The stippling method that Daley uses to create portraits layers thousands of cyan, magenta, yellow, and black dots atop one another. They may look like a bunch of dots up close, but from a short distance, they show a full image. The whole process takes hours.
“I like to do this stippling, because when you do the dots, it [takes] a long time. It almost puts you in a meditative trance, and you can zone out,” said Daley. “So, while I’m doing [the stippling], I can work on my own issues and problems… in an almost controlled environment. I wanted to do pets because it was something that I could give back [to] help other people.”
Believing that art heals, he creates his pieces to process anxiety and depression in a healthy, mindful manner.
“In August, I [was] having severe anxiety and depression,” said Daley. [In therapy] they [asked], ‘What’s something you like to do?’ I said, ‘I like to do art.’”
Daley relaunched his art career that same month and, to his surprise, he’s received over thirty commissions since his return. For Daley, reconnecting with his personal passion has been transformative. He now encourages friends and others to lean into their passions as a way to discover life’s purpose, and how they can give back to the community.
“There’s this phrase I heard back at VCU: if you love what you do it’s not a job,” Daley said. “And I love doing this, it gets me up in the morning.”
Jacob Daley’s pet portraits start at $114. To learn more about Daley Dots, or to commission a portrait, visit daleydots.com. Daley can also be seen creating live via quarterly livestream events on the Richmond Animal League Facebook page.
Images by Jacob Daley, courtesy Daley Dots/Richmond Animal League