One bad drawing and a small French Bulldog helped this artist overcome homelessness

Whether it’s a mural you catch a glimpse of while driving through the streets of Atlanta, or a subtle pin adhered to the backpack of the person in front of you at a local coffee shop, sQuishipuss, the adorable pink cartoon pup, is taking the Atlanta art scene by storm.

Ray Geier, creator of sQuishipuss, explained that he never envisioned this once poor doodle to manifest itself into his full-time career. 

“Art really started for me when I was nine years old. At a pretty young age, I knew that I had the ability to draw decently well, but I strayed away from drawing… people started requesting drawings and paintings that I didn’t care about. I didn’t like how it started to feel like a chore, so I stopped. I didn’t pick the pen back up for at least 20 years. It wasn’t until I truly needed a unique skill that I realized, art could really help me stand out against others in the workplace. I had been fired, let go, homeless — and I was about to be homeless again. I knew something had to change. “

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Geier took the passion he had to succeed, and his unique ability to paint and draw, and created a creature that’s truly out of this world. There is nothing quite like the half-dog, half-octopus creature. In fact, this Atlanta icon was actually created by mistake.

“I was sketching my dog, he’s a French Bulldog. I was just getting back into drawing, and I truly wasn’t very good. I had drawn my dog’s head, but when it came to drawing the body, it got a little tricky. I was connecting different lines, and two of the lines formed a tentacle looking object. I just kinda went with it. Soon enough, there was my squishy faced dog, attached to octopus tentacles. And right then and there,  sQuishiepuss was created.”

A lot has changed since that fateful day. Ever since the Atlanta community laid eyes on the lovable pink pup, sales have been almost constant for Geier. The outpouring support (and demand) for his pink creations have made it so he can work full-time in the studio.

“I feel so incredibly lucky that I get to do this full time. It’s incredible. I hope when people see my work, they see inspiration. I want them to see hope. I was once homeless, dumpster diving to make money. Now I get to wake up and be my own boss each morning. Anybody can do what I did; you just have to make people care about what you’re doing. And once people care about what you’re doing and what you’re saying, you’re on your way.”

Kaitlyn Winey About the author:
Kaitlyn Winey is an associate videographer/editor for Rare. Follow her on Twitter @TheWineyWrapUp.
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