The Heartbreaking Art of Lost Pet Posters

Sunday August 18, 2019 Written by Ronan

The only good thing to come from people losing their beloved pets is this gallery of the heartbreaking posters they made to try and retrieve them.

Fifteen years ago, Canadian artist Ian Phillips began to notice the lost pet posters he around his neighbourhood. Posters are usually the domain of artists and graphic designers, who train for years before having their work shown.

Phillips was struck by the fact that these posters were probably the product of their creator's first time attempting to put pen and ink together in a visually meaningful way. He began collecting the specimens he saw, and eventually compiled them into a book of 'outsider art' titled Lost: Lost and Found Pet Posters from Around the World. It was recently reissued by Princeton Press.

The hand-drawn pictures and collages within might be artistically naive, but the overall effect is still striking. You get a direct line into the author's intentions, with their earnest please and cartoonishly cute illustrations. 

Whether the posters were successful or not, the gift of self-expression through art is perhaps a generous and poetic last act inspired by these disappeared companions. If nothing else, it may at least have kept their owners busy while they wiped away the tears.