Decor and Design / Wall Street

The birth of ‘Animal X’ | Jacqui Doran’s art melds bull terriers with Byron Bay

Chasing the sun with a sense of freedom, following a dream and swimming in its splendour is something we all think about from time to time but for Jacqui Doran this was part of her determination. It all started growing up on the outskirts of London:

“I would walk back and forth to school and there would be a group, of people hanging around on various street corners – skinheads (ska inspired) were big back then and they would often have an English bull terrier in tow. I felt scared on this walk – well that was until one day I was asked a question by one of the boys – have you got any matches I think it was. Then every day after that my walk became easier – I even got a smile or two at times. I was no longer afraid – by the way I didn’t have the matches – but the simple answer of no, seemed to be enough for both of us and I eventually got to know the boys and their dogs”.

Saatchi-orangeweb pic

One of Jacqui’s bull terriers

These experiences and many others have led to the paintings that Jacqui is known for today, especially her very popular bull terrier images. Jacqui’s determination and love of the arts started at a very young age. Days spent wandering from London gallery to gallery led her to finally study fine art at Sunderland University in the north of England. This was the beginning of her journey to Australia.

Jacqui Doran at work

Artist Jacqui Doran at work

The colourful landscapes and figurative works she was doing then led to where she finds herself today in beautiful Byron Bay. Emigrating over 20 years ago to northern NSW started a new story. A relationship with the countryside began and her paintings reflected this. Now after more than 20 solo exhibitions as well as being a partner at Byron Art Supplies, Jacqui’s latest body of work over the past few years has been primarily based around animals and children – the innocent ones of this world. Reflecting on her experiences as a child and inspired by the birth of her two sons.

“Australia allowed me to follow my dreams, sure it was hard at first but I have always been determined and was full of passion for the arts and creating new things and it was the space and energy of this country that allowed me to do just that”.

Animal X Golden Bird

Animal X Golden Bird

Early in 2014 Jacqui also started a brand name Animal X – she awoke with the idea of wanting to embrace a new sensibility by acknowledging the existence of animals, humans and nature as one, as well as having a particular interest in contemporary lifestyles.

“I love change, actually I thrive on it and I wanted to expand my art making to incorporate a diverse range and that was when Animal X was born”

Animal X loves life and embraces the glory and wonderment of the “BEAST” and it’s surrounds. So for Jacqui her journey is in full swing and she is always in the pursuit of beautification, passion and unity.

'Heartland' by Jacqui Doran

‘Heartland’ by Jacqui Doran

Jacqui Doran will be exhibiting at Decor + Design 2015, 16 – 19 July in Melbourne. See her unique works at stand WS6 as part of the WALL STREET exhibition.

Visit the website at


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