Based in Kent, Holly creates unique pieces on paper and wood with a strong focus on abstract and geometric designs.
We chatted to Holly about life with Monty, and how this chilled-out character and studio buddy has had such an incredible impact on her wellbeing.
Tell us about your Monty and how he came into your life.
Monty is my 7-year-old border terrier. I have no idea where the time has gone, because I still think of him as a puppy. I have suffered with really bad anxiety since I was a teenager, and one of the main reasons I wanted a dog was to hopefully help with that. Of all the terrier breeds, borders are supposed to be the calmest (I don’t know if that’s true), but Monty is incredibly chilled out – he doesn't care about squirrels in the park and he loves cuddles! He is very stubborn and has a naughty streak, but he has had an incredible, positive impact on my life and my mental health.
How does your Monty fit into your general day working?
I mostly work from home and set my own schedule, so it’s easy to fit him in. Recently, I ran a popup shop and he was really good. He just made himself comfy in the doorway and watched the world go by. I think he makes me more productive. With Monty around, the day starts with a walk, so I get fresh air and exercise before I sit down to work, and then in the afternoon he knows exactly when he’s ready for a walk and will definitely let me know. It normally coincides with when I've been sitting down for too long and my focus is slipping and I'm making daft mistakes. He is the ideal reminder to take a break, get out of the house, and have a little recharge.
He is also best friends with my dad, so when I'm not around, I know he’s just fine.
When you’re not working, where do you and Monty like to hang out?
We are so lucky to live on the coast and have amazing beaches all around. The beach is definitely Monty’s favourite place and I never appreciated them properly until I got him. Monty also always seems to try and head into pubs when we walk past, which probably says quite a lot.
What essentials do you always have on you when heading out for a dog walk and what do you carry them in?
Poo bags, obviously. Monty has a collection of squeaky rubber balls which are his absolute favourite, and he is very displeased if I forget to take one of them out with us. He carries them around the streets with him on the way to the park.
Water in the warmer months, but I’m terrible at remembering treats and lucky his recall is very good (normally!).
What adventures do you and your dog have planned for the rest of the year?
I’d love to get a few days away and take Monty to the countryside, but until then, we have very good mini-adventures with Monty’s best dog pal Loxley and my friend Kirstie every week, where we head off along the coast exploring.