Pet Portrait Artist

The artist in 2002, feeding King Penguins at Milwaukee County Zoo.

My name is Scott Schiller and I am a professional pet portrait artist. I have been drawing animals for as long as I can remember, which seemed perfectly natural growing up in southern Wisconsin with pets and surrounded by farm livestock and local wildlife. I was always sketching things, it didn’t really matter what. In high school I earned extra money invaluable experience working at the kennel of a local animal hospital. It was here that I decided I would go to college to become a veterinarian. But as I became more interested in ecology and animal behavior I became more excited about wildlife. After graduating with a biology degree, I became a professional zookeeper, working with everything from penguins and hummingbirds to alligators and dolphins. Working with such exotic animals kept me energized and inspired, and I drew them every chance I had. I eventually created enough work for two solo exhibitions of my colored pencil artwork, one at my alma mater and the other at the Kenosha Public Museum. Most of my drawings sold, and consequently many of my original pieces now hang in private homes around the country. Though I loved animals, I tended to love art even more. So in 2004 I made the decision to change my career to graphic design. Since then I have been making a living designing books, magazines, calendars and the like. But I try to fill my off-hours with as much drawing and painting as I can.

I launched The Pet Sketcher in 2010 because it is a perfect combination of two of my lifelong passions: animals and art. Animals have brought me great joy and comfort over the years, and I find being a pet portrait artist is a great way to celebrate their lives and memories . So now, I draw poodles instead of penguins, and German shepherds instead of giraffes. I work primarily in graphite and color pencil but I am always looking to experiment with different media, particularly ink, watercolor and pastel.