Finding a photo for Letterfest to draw from wasn't quite as easy as I'd imagined. I knew that my husband would want a portrait of her looking like a proper grown-up dog, so any of the younger, puppyish photos were out of the question, but when you begin imagining how a photo might look once its drawn in pencil, you begin to agonise over whether a photo will be just right once rendered in a different format.
After three weeks of trying to take a nice photo of her (and worrying over lolling tongues - would it look cute or gormless in a picture? Smiling, wolfish teeth - would they look cheerful or just weirdly vicious? Would the angle of her body look odd and disembodied once she'd been removed from her surroundings and placed on a plain background?), I finally took this photo and decided that I was almost happy with it. The one thing that I didn't love was that the photo cropped the top of Nell's head off but, without my asking, the artist at Letterfest drafted in a perfect head for her. I was so pleased by this!