Having someone around to share the little things in life with you can make every moment seem picturesque. Yaoyao Ma Van As is a professional illustrator and animator who has drawn landscapes and other backgrounds for popular cartoons including Rick and Morty, but her greatest passion, it seems, is illustrating those magical moments. Her subject? Our relationship with our pets and the simple comfort that comes from having them around. Her dog illustrations, most of which are based on her and her little dog named Parker, will make your heart soar with their saturated colors and cozy lighting.
Her gallery doesn’t really dwell on the messy side of pet ownership, but everyone with a four-legged best friend knows that their companionship makes everything worth it, and that’s the side that the artist chooses to emphasize.
Her strength in creating backgrounds really stands out in her beautiful depictions of every season and type of weather, with lush plants and golden sunlight, while her illustrations of evenings spent curled up below a string of fairy lights look more carefree than any photo on Instagram.
Even the more melancholy illustrations of messy rooms and dreary days show the quiet, non-judgmental comfort that dogs can offer when you’re feeling down. After all, dog ownership has been shown to alleviate feelings of loneliness, and the reasons are multi-faceted.
Not only does having a dog keep you from staring into the void for too long on your days off, since you have to go out and take them for a walk occasionally, but cuddling with them can actually give you a chemical boost by making you release oxytocin. This hormone has many roles, one of which is to induce feelings of bonding when you hug or socially interact with someone, reducing stress in the process. Some good news is that it works with not only other humans, but dogs and cats, too.
Keep scrolling for more warm and fuzzy moments that will make you want to give your dog a hug!
Note: this post originally had 41 images. It’s been shortened to the top 30 images based on user votes.