The Rapidian

Funamals: Your guide to custom pet portraits

This dispatch was added by one of our Nonprofit Neighbors. It does not represent the editorial voice of The Rapidian or Community Media Center.

Amy Hofacker of Funamals, LLC is an illustrator who specializes in custom pet portraits. Hofacker specializes in watercolor and works in textiles, incorporating found materials into her pet portraits.
Underwriting support from:

The Market presented by The Avenue for the Arts

The Market presented by The Avenue for the Arts will be held on June 9 for one day only. It will be from 12:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. and be filled with local art, local food, local shops and a diverse entertainment lineup.

We are still activly looking for artists, entertainers and volunteers. If you are interested please visit our website or e-mail us!

/by Amy Carroll Photography

Busy working on a custom pet portrait

Busy working on a custom pet portrait /by Amy Carroll Photography

a variety of pet magnets that Amy will have at The Market

a variety of pet magnets that Amy will have at The Market /by Amy Carroll Photography

This summer, The Market presented by The Avenue for the Arts will feature photography, jewelry, face painting, pottery, sculpture and many more handmade items. It will also spotlight the whimsical and light-hearted personalized pet portraits created by Amy Hofacker of Funamals, LLC. Hofacker is a native of Grand Rapids and graduated from Grand Valley State University, where she received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art & Design with an emphasis in illustration and a minor in business. Even though she specializes in watercolor pet portraits, she works in textiles as well, incorporating found materials into other works of art. Hofacker says that comedy takes front and center within her work. Hofacker says, “What I think is most special about it is it is free from anxiety. It is one of the few things in life that I can do and feel completely calm and free.

Hofacker is a kid at heart and loves to laugh. While working in her studio, she will listen to comedians to put her in the fancy-free and footloose mood that she so desires to paint her fun and almost abstract stylistic animals. She also uses inspiration from her favorite childhood authors and illustrators like Shel Silverstein, Dr. Seuss, Peggy Parish (author of Amelia Bedelia) and Stan & Jan Berenstain. Animals are Hofacker’s inspiration, yet she would not have her playful abstract style without the help of her college professor, Ed Wong-Ligda. He helped her develop and refine her technique.

Lately, Hofacker has been motivated by local Grand Rapids artists. “You gain so much appreciation for a piece when you know the artist personally. I have been motivated by collage artist Joey Salamon and I am totally inspired by Rebecca Green and her amazing illustrations. I also love visiting Rick and Brenda Beerhorst and their family. They are wonderful people and very talented,” she says. Hofacker is engaged to another local artist, oil painter Cam DeCaussin. When making her wedding registry list, she put local artists and boutiques on it, in hopes of filling her new house with local art.

The word handmade is most regularly used to describe objects that are not manufactured in a factory or made by a machine. Hofacker uses the word handmade as a form of communication. She sees value in it because she knows that someone put a lot of care into what they made. “I come from a family of hand makers," she says. "Making something as a gift is the way we show our love in my family. My mom sewed a lot of my clothes for me growing up. She made everything from basic t-shirts to dance costumes to dresses for homecoming dances. My Grandma is known for her homemade chocolate chip cookies and pies. There is also no better pair of mittens than ones knitted by my Grandma.”

Handmade can have a multitude of definitions. Yet, in all of those definitions, one part remains constant; it is from the heart and made out of love. Artists and crafters do not simply make for the sake of making. They create because it is what is in their soul and because sometimes, art does everything for everyone.

Customers wanting to maximize your Funamals experience might consider placing a custom order. This is can be done by bringing a picture of the pet to the Funamals booth or emailing the photo to place an order. Hofacker can ship the paintings to her customers or arrange a pick up time at her studio. Pre-ordering portraits can be done on her etsy site or by contacting her through her email address. Fans stay up-to-date and informed about her work through her websiteblogFacebookTwitterPinterest and Picasa. Her websites highlight special appearances of Amy’s pets: Rain, a beta fish; Candiman, a fifteen year old Bichon mix and Mikey, a Maltese rescue.

Hofacker says it is really important that she support the local art scene and Grand Rapids in general. An entrepreneur through and through, her work reflects a combination of fun and humor. It is family friendly and easily accessible to a wide audience.



Article written by Alaina G. Clarke - Artist Contact for The Avenue for the Arts

The Rapidian, a program of the 501(c)3 nonprofit Community Media Center, relies on the community’s support to help cover the cost of training reporters and publishing content.

We need your help.

If each of our readers and content creators who values this community platform help support its creation and maintenance, The Rapidian can continue to educate and facilitate a conversation around issues for years to come.

Please support The Rapidian and make a contribution today.

Comments, like all content, are held to The Rapidian standards of civility and open identity as outlined in our Terms of Use and Values Statement. We reserve the right to remove any content that does not hold to these standards.