Custom Renaissance Pet Portraits Are Having a Moment

Custom Renaissance Pet Portraits Are Having a Moment

And we are here for it.

By Marni Eth

Hot off the tail of doing a custom portrait for Instagram celeb @Nala_cat who boasts 3.5 million followers, Moti Zemelman’s niche creation The Renaissance Pet is currently ruling the Internet. Despite not having any fur-babies of his own, Moti has made a living creating awesome portraits for people who love their pets.

Although the Renaissance pieces are his most popular designs, his range is quite vast and he can impose pets (or people upon special request) into almost any popular painting. His work can also blend owners with their pets, or multiple animals in a single piece.

We caught up with the man behind the movement to find out how he got his start, and what some of his most unique orders have been.

Unleashed: How did you come up with the idea?

Moti Zemelman: I have a background as a painter and, through that, I did a lot of [the] art history training you have to do to get those degrees, but I never would have thought I’d end up here. I also teach dance and got into photography. As you can see, I’m sort of a Renaissance man myself. Through photography, I was trying to find a business that would be profitable and that I would enjoy doing. I hit it fairly big with an iPhone case business and I kept getting these custom orders for pets. I offered to do a Renaissance one and then it translated into the spin-off business of doing them on big canvases. From there, it took off!

Unleashed: Where are majority of your orders from?

MZ: Most of my orders are from the United States and Canada. Occasionally I get the UK or Australia. I have also gotten orders from Singapore. 

Unleashed: What’s the strangest request you have ever received?

MZ: Sometimes I get very specific requests. Once I got Emperor Nero and his tiger and the person wanted themselves as the Emperor and their dog as the tiger. I have the popular ones on my site, but I also can do special requests. I’ve done Sherlock Homes, Willie Nelson and a Pharaoh Hound as an actual pharaoh. 

Unleashed: Do you only do cats and dogs, or have you received requests for other types of pets?

MZ: I did one painting of three ferrets, which was [based on] a very egocentric painting of King Charles the first, where he had himself painted from three different angles in one painting. I’ve also done a parrot. 

P.S., With the holiday season approaching, these can also make a great gift idea for a family member or friend who is obsessed with their pet. The orders can come as different types and size of canvases, digital files or iPhone cases. For discount codes & pet painting inspiration follow @TheRenaissancePet on Instagram! 

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