Ladybug Delightz is a Pittsburgh based creator that offers custom pet portraits and animal inspired art. They specialize in prints, canvases, and slates with options for a realistic pet image or a pop art pet image. They have a range of ornaments with both pet themes and a terrific Pittsburgh print that pays homage to the quilting roots of the founder, April Minech. She also has a few unique custom painted items. You can read April’s Q&A with us here.
When we sat down to discuss her business, I wasn’t the least bit surprised to learn that April has a background in both art and animal welfare/rescue work. Her art is infused with an aura of hopefulness for each critter as well as respect for their unique beauties.
I also discovered that we have a lot of friends and animal welfare groups in common. That’s Pittsburgh.
To show me her work, April offered to create a custom slate for me using photos of one of my pets. I chose our deceased little homeless kitty, Emberly. My partner and I agree that she really captured his essence from the 4 or 5 photos I sent to her. We will proudly display this on our mantel.
Each slate is hand cut to about 4×4 inches and the price is $40 for a custom portrait. You need to allow 2 weeks, but rush jobs are available. This is a great gift to honor a beloved pet with a unique twist.
She also offers custom prints on canvas measuring 12″x 12″ for $90 to $100 – you can choose a realistic portrayal or a pop-art abstract version.
She brought me several of her prefab canvas prints that include a French Bulldog and another that is the Pittsburgh skyline ranging starting at $20 for the 8×8 prints and $65 for the 12×12 canvases. They are very cute and I can immediately think of a dozen friends who would love these. If you want a certain design that’s not necessarily a custom job (say, like a duck or a parrot or a specific breed of dog, but not a specific dog) you can ask her.
April told me that the general items in her store are based on real animals she worked with in animal rescue. It is her tribute to their spirit of survival that they live on in her art.
The store has more than pets. April designed a lovely scape of Pittsburgh’s iconic skyline in a style that belies her mother’s influence as a quilter. It is a lovely image that celebrates the beauty of our City with whimsy, but not over sentimentality. The image is available as a canvas, print, and ornament so there’s an option for all budgets. These would make terrific holiday gifts for your Pittsburgh diaspora friends. You might want to tuck the canvas into the luggage of someone who is heading out-of-state for college or simply misses their hometown.
I’m also fond of the screen printed ornaments for $12 – a great gift item or a way to update your own holiday decorations. She has an array of breeds and the Pittsburgh image. There’s also the Red Cardinal which comes with a little card referencing the legend that cardinals represent visits from angels or a sign from heaven. This is a unique way to support someone who has lost a beloved pet – an ornament with the card. Ornaments come with a sturdy hanger that you can attach to a traditional ornament hanger, a ribbon, or simply a hook on the wall if you like to keep it up all year round.
April’s designs are crisp, vibrant, and striking. The ornaments, prints and canvases are reasonably sturdy and well constructed. In each animal themed design I received for review, I was struck by the eyes. Even amidst the busy colors of the pop-art versions, the animal’s eyes convey so much just like in real life.
I’m not a believer that custom portraits should be exacting in their minute details; I prefer to see how the artist interprets the realness of my critters. I have photos that are exact and realistic. But it is the art created for us that really hits me with the love I had for my pets. I have a custom painting of my partner holding one of our cats in an abstract style that I love, not because it looks like them but because it reminds me of their special bond. The slate she created of our Emberly – Laura and I have different opinions on how much it looks like him. I see him in the eyes and upper part of the image, but not quite the muzzle. Laura thinks the muzzle is perfect. So it really is perspective. Either way, I see my sweet boy and I’m thrilled with it.
April also has some custom items including hand-painted tote bags and a ceramic bank.
April donates 50% of her proceeds to assorted rescue groups. She is currently working with a French Bulldog Rescue and it a member of educational rescue network, CARMAA. She’s open to working with other rescue or animal welfare group so feel free to reach out to her.
Overall, I think her products are very well-made with lots of vibrant colors that reflects the vitality of our pets and the strong bonds we forge, whether with a foster or an adopted pet. The prices are reasonable and she has options for lots of budgets to gift the animal lover in you or your life.
Disclaimer: I received multiple items from Ladybug Delightz stock along with one custom item for my review. All opinions are my own. I will be using the excess items for raffle baskets to support my own charitable projects. The ornaments will go our tree.
Business Name: Ladybug Delightz
Price Range: Starts at $5 for magnets and goes up
Where to find them: They table with I Made It! Market
Q&A with Ladybug Delightz: here