Stephanie Conrad is a self-taught artist who has combined her love of animals and artistic talent to help Austin-area animal rescue organizations. Love-A-Bull leaders have named Conrad’s The Pet Studio as the exclusive provider of pet portraits for the organization’s third annual National Pit Bull Awareness Day.
Conrad donates 10 percent of every commission to the anmial rescue of her client’s choice. In November, when a client mentions Love-A-Bull, Conrad promises to donate 25 percent of commissions to the group that founded the nation’s first all-pit bull therapy dog group, The Pit Crew.
Love-A-Bull is inviting all pit bull lovers to join the effort to set a new record for the world’s largest gathering of pit bull type dogs during PBAD on Sunday Nov. 6 in downtown Austin.
A pit bull parade will start at 11:30 a.m. in front of the Austin American Statesman building at Barton Springs and Congress. The parade will lead to a festival 1 – 5 p.m. at Republic Square Park, 422 Guadalupe St. Both events are free and open to the public.
For the latest details, including special guests, vendor booth information and ways to volunteer, visit the Love-A-Bull homepage.
Q&A with Stephanie Conrad:
Tell me about the animals in your life.
I currently share my home with 4 pets. Holly Madison, my pit mix , who absolutely adores my cats, Jazz and Izze Belle. Cody O is a Shih Tzu, Dachshund, Scotty mix.
How did you get involved with animal rescue?
Rescue has been a huge part of my life for so long, it just seems natural to have different rescue organizations on my radar, like Love-A-Bull. I started as a rescue volunteer in Houston 10 years ago when I was 16. I have since been really involved in rescue, both with fostering, as well as education, and I am a huge no-kill advocate.
Describe what it means to be able to paint pet portraits.
It’s incredible! Not many people get to live their dream, especially at 26 years old. I started this business with a painting I did for a friend after his lab passed away. So many people loved it, that I was asked to do more and more. Now only a year and a half later, I have over 10,000 fans on facebook and am able to do something that I truly love for a living. It’s been such a fast-paced year but I am so honored when someon orders a painting from me. I have done more than 200 individual paintings, and I am still so overjoyed when someone orders a piece. It feels unreal sometimes.
What was the best part about PBAD last year?
My favorite memory from the actual day was seeing the parade approaching the park. It was so calm and quiet, and then suddenly this wall of people and pit bulls flooded Republic Square Park.
In general, it was such a lighthearted and happy day. It was wonderful to see so many other pit bull lovers socializing and showing support for these amazing dogs.
What will you be doing different for PBAD this year?
Since last year, we have started a second business doing T-shirt design. We are bringing that business with us to this year’s PBAD, as well as The Pet Studio’s portraits. I will be donating a couple of custom portraits for the silent auction.