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    NavigationHOME  About Telia   About Telia About Telia
    About Telia



    Since early childhood, Telia Fleming Hanks showed a very obvious interest in two things ... animals and drawing animals. Throughout her entire education, when given an artistic project, she would choose an animal (usually a dog) as her subject whenever possible.

    An Atlanta native, Telia (pronounced Tee-la) attended the Art Institute of Atlanta, graduating with honors at the top of her Visual Communications class and earning an Associate in Arts degree. Then it was on to the nine-to-five world of small ad agencies as a graphics designer, where after a while, she yearned for more 'artistic freedom'. (Translation: She wanted to illustrate animals!)

    Telia's love for dogs eventually extended into the world of dog shows and competition in the obedience ring with her Dobermans. Seeing the competition as a fun challenge, she earned high scores and titles with three of her dogs, one being a formerly abused rescue case.

    Word got out among her fellow trainers that she could 'really draw dogs', so she began offering custom portraits, at first on a local basis. In no time at all, she had more portraits than she could do, especially prior to the holiday season. Her customers seemed to appreciate the extreme detail of each piece, particularly the attention paid to capturing the realistic expression in their pet's eyes.

    Her custom portraits inspired her to further pursue other artistic avenues in the canine world. With much help and encouragement from her family, and the technical assistance of her father's printing company, Telia's doggy images soon were being reproduced on greeting cards, notepads and anything made of paper. Fascinated by seeing her own illustrations mass produced and marketed, her canine business was born!

    Beginning first with the German Shepherd Dog as her main artistic focus, soon there were limited edition china collector plates, limited edition prints and greeting cards. Her German Shepherds appeared so realistic, she was hired by a well known dog food company to illustrate one for an ad campaign.

    More breeds soon became part of her growing collection including the Doberman Pinscher, Rottweiler, and English and Irish Setters, each with it's own line of merchandise.

    In recent years Telia has added many more breeds to her ever increasing list of canine giftware. As she adds to her reference files, she insists on photographing all of her doggy subjects herself, giving better understanding of each breed. The photography alone has become another of her passions, opening , yet another creative door! She never passes up an opportunity to capture a new subject. The approach is all hands-on from reference photos, creation of artwork, to final product piece, while husband Mark, a printer, manages much of the production process.

    Her colorful collection of canine holiday greeting card designs have proven to be a very popular line. Each holiday season since 1998, they have graced the covers of Puttin' on The Dog catalog, well known for their high-quality dog merchandise.

    Telia and Mark reside in Loganville, Georgia with their three dogs - Hope, a Doberman; Austin, a retired racing Greyhound; and Petey, a Whippet along with two Pygmy goats, Fiddle and Cheeze. (Her goats even inspired her to do a small collection of Pygmy Goat items).

    Says Telia, "This is my calling. I can't imagine doing anything else for a living!"

     







    Telia Fleming Hanks 2004 Webmaster