The motto of the Israeli design firm HooknLoop Design is “Something New For You to Love.” Since cats are something eternal we all love, HooknLoop’s Cat Picture Set ($67) deserves special mention.
Two wooden panels depict fabulous felines striking three typical poses: jumping, walking, and sitting regally at attention. Made of cream-painted wood and blue-and-white fabric, the charming panels measure eight inches square and arrive ready to hang. The animal shapes are cut into the wood, then artfully filled in with the fabrics; picture a cross between a stuffed animal, a quilt, and a storybook illustration.
“Growing up, I would bug my parents relentlessly to get a dog, but had to make do with my many stuffed animals due to allergies,” HooknLoop’s Elisheva Manekin recalls. “I spent hours imagining them into real pets. As a designer, I knew I wanted to give children that feeling of being watched over and loved by a pet, even if he wasn’t real.”
Animal art for kids tends to be super-cute, adds Manekin’s business partner Tamar Shor, “or it looks so much like the real thing it leaves no room for imagination. Our wall art is different — it’s about so much more than just animal shapes. We really tried to bring across the spirit of the different animals, while making sure not to lose their realness. Bringing textures into the art gives them depth, which, from our experience, have grownups and children smiling.”