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We Are Family celebrates the individualism of pets and their contribution to family life

We approach pet portraiture with the playfulness of a French bulldog and capture the unique personality of each pet, just like a Tabby cat captures a mouse in its house. 

Joel Morrison and Marika Fengler with their dogs Boggle and DD

How it all started

For his wife’s Christmas present in 2013, Melbourne artist and live music venue owner Joel Morrison painted portraits of their much-loved dachshund D.D. and Aussie bulldog Boggle. 


However he took an unusual approach to portraiture – depicting the dogs as anthropomorphic, a human body with the dog’s head.


When Joel posted photos of the paintings on his Facebook page, he generated a wave of interest from friends, and friends of friends, asking him to paint their pets. He started taking commissions and a business in pet portraits began.  


To date, Joel has painted many dogs and cats, the occasional rabbit, and has started painted humans with their pets. He is hoping one day to be commissioned to paint a pet lizard.


In between booking gigs at the Old Bar and helping run The Carringbush Hotel, Joel paints all sorts of things in his Footscray home studio. 


His wife Marika has helped establish We Are Family.

About Joel

Joel has his Bachelor of Fine Arts (RMIT), Diploma of Fine Arts (Chisholm TAFE), Certificate IV Visual Arts (FNQIT) and has also studied art at Deakin University and NMIT. 


He has many solo and group exhibitions, from Mornington all the way up to Cairns, under his belt and still exhibits frequently in Melbourne.


As well as pet portraits, Joel's art practice incorporates collages (which he creates at a prodigious rate), oil paintings, video art and photography which he often collaborates on with Georgina Matherson. You can see some of this other work at


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