CHICAGO — When a couple of Logan Square artists decided to launch a new project, they didn't have to look very far for inspiration.
The women share two loves — tattoos and pets.
"We wanted to do something like artistic with our friends, but we want to do something that means something for us besides tattoos and all that," said Jeanna Vent, a 31-year-old health care worker who majored in art. "So we decided it has to be about the animals."
Vent and her friend Alexz Sandoval, 26, got together one night in January and came up with an idea — create a calendar showcasing tattooed ladies with their furry friends.
They came up with a snappy name, "Dames a Dozen" and put out the call for models.
They didn't have to look too far for the models. They both knew plenty of tattooed ladies who love animals — starting with themselves.
"She has pets, and I have pets. We all have pets, they're like our kids. That's our thing," Vent said.
Help poured in after the idea was hatched — a photographer friend volunteered to take pictures, another volunteered to do makeup, another hair, and three days of photo shoots later, the calendar was born.
"It just worked out," she said. "A lot of girls volunteered their time and their homes.
We had makeup and hair stylists. Everyone just came and volunteered their time."
So now the two have launched a Kickstarter page to cover the last leg of the project — printing.
They need about $3,000 to print up the calendars, which will be sold to benefit the Trio Animal Foundation.
And time is of the essence — the Cobra Lounge already has offered to host a calendar release party Oct. 12, so Vent is hoping to get enough money by Sept. 19, when the Kickstarter funding period ends.
"The printing is the most important thing, otherwise none of this will happen," Vent said.
In typical Kickstarter fashion, they're offering plenty of "Dames a Dozen swag" for various donation levels, including posters, handmade collars for cats and dogs, and yes, a custom oil painting of your pet for a $500 donation.
If it all works out, Vent said this is something they hope to do again next year.
"We're hoping, fingers crossed," she said.