Rachel Travis, Metro Pulse Triage featured artist beginning Nov. 12

What's the "box" part of Boxie Pets?

They are painted on four-by-four inch square boxes—one could put it on a desk, mantle, or on the wall. It's a pet portrait that does not demand to be the center of attention.

Of the ones Metro Pulse will run, which is your favorite?

Oh boy. I will have to say Elvis and Priscilla. It was one of the first—for my sister. She had a Cadillac of a German Shepherd and decided to get a kitten for her dog. The painting pretty much describes the dynamics of their relationship.

How'd you get into this particular avenue of fine art?

I have been a freelance illustrator for years; I majored in painting at UT back in the day. Art as my livelihood has been a dream for some time, but was never stable enough to quit my day job. Since having a baby—she's five months old—this lets me set my own hours, sometimes at 5 a.m., or throughout nap times, and not have to take her into day-care.

Do the pets pose?

I work with photos that people e-mail me and take in details, like a dog that loves to ride in the back of a red pick-up truck, or a color scheme. If people send me multiple critter photos, I can composite them into a single painting.

What's the most unusual pet you've done a portrait of?

A pair of goats, Claire and Maude. Their eyes are rectangular.

What's your favorite medium?

I love pen and ink on white paper. I also like these paintings because they are created by hand in the world of reproductions.

Do a lot of the pets look like their owners?

Yes! For example, the newly groomed puffball poodle and grandmother that I am working on right now.

For more information: boxiepets.com