Hi! My name is Erika, but for my art, I go by The Sandwich Cats. Last year, I started decorating my daughter’s sandwich bags with cat drawings. At first, they were just doodles with a permanent marker. They quickly became more and more complex and detailed, until, by mid-year, they were full portraits.

Around that time, I started talking to Adopt a Cat Foundation, a local rescue group and started painting their beautiful cats in the hopes of helping them find homes. I also got to know Carmen from Animal Friends Project, founder of a rescue/TNR group in my area, and painted some of her adorable cats as well.

At that time, I sold prints of my art, but not the originals. All of the cat paintings on ziplock bags belong to my daughter, and I compiled them into a book for her.

Over the summer though, I didn’t have to pack lunches. That changed everything! I found a substitute – a plastic sheet designed for art called Duralar – and kept painting cat portraits. Kiddo wasn’t interested in keeping these because they weren’t “for her,” so now I can sell my original paintings. I set aside a portion of proceeds from my art sales for donations to the two groups I mentioned above because I feel like the more love you put into your creative ideas (or really anything you do) the better it turns out.

You can find my (almost) daily posts on Instagram, or on the wall at a local pub/gallery (more in IG about that!). Each one of these colorful paintings is made with layer upon layer of translucent acrylic paint on Duralar and takes about four hours to complete. I paint rescues, purebreds, special needs cats, kittens, senior cats – all types because all cats are beautiful, fascinating creatures.

So that’s the story of how in a year’s time I went from doodling on sandwich bags to having worked in a gallery while helping feline rescue/TNR efforts for cats in my community. Thanks for reading!

More info: Instagram | redbubble.com

Gollum, a lil munchkin girl

Philo, a rescue floof

Daiquiri from California

Samy, a Siamese from Germany

Gabanna, a rescue from Florida