About Dawn Critchley Designs

My life has taken me through some changes but one thing has stayed constant is my love of animals & art. This is my journey : )


The dog days... Working at the local kennels in the school holidays was my dream job, I loved taking care of the dogs & cats. Helping out with the litters of Chow Chow pups was my favourite task! They always wanted to play and the pups never took my job seriously!

I later trained as dog groomer & worked mobile for myself. Setting up my table in customers kitchens, garages, on one occasion out on the front lawn in the dark with a flood light! My customers were lovely and the owners were to : )

I always wanted to understand dogs more, so recently I delved into the depths doggy psychology. I thoroughly enjoyed this learning & sometimes found how dogs were spookily quite close to humans. I learned that dogs have been one of the most successful evolutionary creatures, they very cleverly found their way into our hearts & made it to human ‘best friend’ status.

My road to starving artist... Art was my best subject at school along side ‘Rural Science’ which is another story, but not for here. I have always been happiest when drawing & painting, I regularly dibbled & dabbled with artiness, with a big thank you to my kids, they provided the perfect excuse to be covered in paint along with colourful messes.

It was what most would call a midlife crises when I enrolled as a mature student onto an HND Fine Art Course, I like to call it an a wake up call, one life and all that ; ) I throughly enjoyed every painful minuet! A single mum of three lovely kids, a sense of humor and perseverance got me through. I knew that art was my new passion.

I was encouraged to enroll onto a surface pattern design course, my work lent its self to the decorative arts. This was a great challenge coming from the freedom of Fine Art to the structured direction and purpose of design... But I loved it! It just fitted my ideas perfectly. I had the most amazing chances & opportunities, we got to work on live design briefs with greeting card companies. I amazingly won a work placement with Tigerprint, they only supply greeting cards to Marks & Spencer! This is where my love for the sentiment of sending a greeting card was born.

Over the next few years I worked within the design industry, from home textiles to art licensing gaining experience as I go.

cavapoo greeting card

The future is now! ... So one led thing to another and here I am... My two greatest life passions dogs & art in massive collision. My life's journey has connected my love of painting & huge love of animals...

I hope my designs will provide a sense of delight when sending your greetings to all those other crazy animal lovers out there!!