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When you're ready for your perfect pet portrait
I've got you covered

Closeup of man cuddling pet cat

you’re a pet lover, companion, caregiver...

In love with an amazing life. And, you want to remember all the wild, wacky and wonderful experiences you share, but moments slip away, memories fade, feelings pass quickly.


How do you keep those moments, memories and feelings alive?

That's where I come in!​

Hi there, I'm James Meleney a professional artist, animal advocate and pet companion and just like you in love with an amazing life too.

That’s why I specialize in new, soft-style pet portraits for people who want something more in their pet portrait. If that’s sound like you, you’ve come to the right place. 

Since 2017 I have created over 280 distinctive portraits for others, and I can't wait to work with you. 


We have a lot in common, you and I

It's a beautiful thing

the love we share

I know what it’s like to bring a pet into your life. My most precious experience is a barn-born cat called Madeline, a ball of fur and fleas no bigger than the palm of my hand when she came into my life. I remember the first time I saw her, how it felt when I looked into her eyes. I was hooked heart and soul.

Maddie as we call her is a “tortie”, a tortoiseshell cat. Fiercely independent, feisty and unpredictable she’s a big talker, making her needs known with a meow to a yowl, especially at 4:30 in the morning when she's hungry.

Follow Maddie in the BLOG - Tortitude: My Life with Maddie

Closeup of  Maddie's eyes, my little studio kitty

For me, recalling my moments and memories with her is priceless. And, while I have hundreds of photos on my phone I, like you, wanted something more. I wanted a portrait that would hold a special place in my heart and home that I could connect with every day. 

Now, your story with your precious pet might be similar or quite different from mine, but no matter how unique your experience I know we have this in common: we want the absolute best portrait for our precious pets.

I can help with that.

What Clients Say

What Clients Say

Client dog Raven with pet portrait in background

Raven and Jennifer

"The portrait brought tears to my eyes. I absolutely love it. The more I look at it the more I fall in love with it. Thank you, Jim for bringing Raven back into my home. Thank you, Thank you."
Jennifer L., Cleveland OH

Your portrait should capture the essence of your life and love together, preserving the look and feel of every fleeting moment and precious memory you hold for years to come. If this sounds like what you're looking for, 


you are so in the right place.

​With over 30 years’ experience producing award-winning art, illustration and photography for top advertising agencies and corporations; and over six years crafting precious portraits  for pet lovers like you, I can assure you I have the expertise, experience, talent, techniques and tools to produce your perfect pet portrait.


But how do you know for sure?

Client with portrait of dogs Stella and Bella

Connect With Me

It’s important to me that you find the right artist for you.

That’s why I invite you to connect with me here, to learn more about my story, style and service so you can be sure I am the right artist for you.

Client with portrait of his dog Bruno
Artist James Meleney at the drawing board in his studio

My Story

Let me tell you about…


That’s how it starts.


Let me tell you about Sam or Jake, Raven, Mookie or Maddie.


My story is really a story of a thousand lifetimes, of pets and the people that love them.


I never planned to be a pet portrait artist, it happened quite by accident. I always had pets along life’s path and sketched them on an off for years. Then it happened.


A good friend was over one day and happened to step into the studio. Several sketches of Sam, my big red tabby, lay on the drawing board.


“These are great!” she cried, “Let me tell you about Raven”.


We sat for 20 minutes as she related her story of the life and love she had grown up with - Raven her dog. When we reached the end, she sat quietly. A tear crossed her check.


“Will you draw Raven for me?” she asked in a whisper, tears flowing freely now.


I did.


When I presented the portrait, I was  touched deeply and I knew then that telling stories, your stories, was what I was destined to do. Since then I have listened to a thousand stories and presented over 280 portraits to tears of joy, laughter and love.


I would consider it a privilege to listen to your amazing story. And, if you decide on a portrait, I would be honored to craft your story in a personal portrait of your beloved companion.  

Classic portrait of Windy a gray and white cat

My Style

My style is not about the traditional photo-realistic or minimalist approach in pet portraits you see today.


It’s more about creating an original, personal image that is imaginative, expressive, compelling and emotional; with a strong emphasis on telling the story of your relationship with and connection to your pet.    

“Soft Style” is perhaps the best way to describe my style. It involves blending edges to create a softer, more dramatic, more emotional image.

It developed out of a desire to reach beyond the norm to create images that speak to you in a pure, simple natural way.


It emerged quite by accident.


I was experimenting with a new type of blender for paints and glazes. It wasn’t intended for pastel work, but it proved to be a game changer.


Patrons, clients and pet lovers who saw the early works felt  the portrait’s soft, simple style was more romantic, more nostalgic, offering a greater sense of story, character and connection with their pet. 


Many felt  a more moving, meaningful, memorable experience unlike any they experienced before.

I invite you to explore the site, ask questions and decide if a “soft look” style is right for you.


I do hope so. 

I would consider it a privilege to craft the love  of your life in this unique style you will be proud to own, display and pass on to future generations.

Belle the artist rescue cat, a mixed breed white cat with black cap and tail

My Service

My family taught me early on what it means to give back. It is who I am, and what I believe in.  

What started as a hobby quickly became an avenue for so much more.


When I moved from hobbyist to professional, I decided to donate my time and money to help animals in need. Little did I know the heartache and ecstasy it would bring.

I had always adopted our beautiful pets from shelters (Belle above) and rescue organizations, but little did I know the extent of the need for adoption. Over 7.6 million animals enter shelters each year, about 4.1 million find forever homes through adoption.

It became my mission to bring hope to the homeless by connecting people with potential pets.

I actively seek opportunities to advocate for the needs and welfare of animals through my art, advocacy and personal involvement with organizations and individuals that focus on the well-being of animals.


Some of the organizations I support include: The Cleveland Animal Protective League (APL), Cuyahoga County Animal Shelter, Geauga County Humane Society, Lake Humane Society and Adoption Center, and Erie Shores Humane Society.


I am also a member of HeARTs Speak, a global organization that pairs artists with local animal shelters to help raise adoption awareness and success.  

I invite you to do what you can too. Please adopt, foster or donate, it doesn’t take much to make a difference. 

Domino and Clarence


"Domino, my cat, wandered off the street and into my life before I knew what happened. I'm so glad Jim was able to give me something to remember him now that he is gone"

Black and white wide angel shot of artist's studio

The Studio

It's been ten years in the making and now I am so excited to share my new studio with you. Come on in.

Frank and Theresa

"I asked Jim to create something for my son to take to school with him. He not only took it to school but has taken it to each new apartment with job changes. Thanks so much Jim." 

Ragdoll cat in profile looking up

Time is passing quickly

don't let your moments, memories and feelings slip away.

A little less than a year ago I asked a client why they decided to commission a portrait. I was intrigued by his answer.

​"Just imagine. What if we couldn’t recall the moments, the memories, the beautiful experiences we share with our pets? The hundreds of images and thousands of memories we have are fading in photographs buried deep in a drawer, on our phone or tucked away in the back of our minds. I didn’t want them to slip away. Now, with a beautiful portrait on my wall to connect with every I'll never have to worry that will happen."

​If you are looking for, longing for a softer image and deeper emotional connection with your pet through a portrait as beautiful, unique and timeless as the love you share

let's work together.


If there is one thing you should know about working with me it’s this – I am incredibly dedicated to crafting the absolute best portrait for your precious pet.

I also want to make things as simple as possible for you, so everything is online starting with your booking to progress reviews to final approval. 

Front view of artist James Meleney working on portrait at the drawing board

But that doesn’t mean you’ll lose the personal touch; we’ll chat and talk throughout the process too.

I invite you to work with me.

Together we can create a timeless portrait that truly captures the beautiful, fleeting milestones in your pet’s life.

Are you ready?

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