It’s not long now until the Great North Snowdog’s trail begins in the North East. In the lead up to the event, some you of eagle eyed Snowdog spotters may have noticed that some of the dogs have been placed in different locations across the North East already.

Everyone connected with the event is starting to get excited, and our Snowdog – Dog on the Tyne (nicknamed DonTy) is nearly finished! With that in mind, we thought we’d give you some insight into our artist – Jane Headford – and how she came up with the final design.

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Jane’s inspiration from the project started with her son’s fascination with the original Snowman film, so when the opportunity came along to design a Snowdog to raise much needed funds for a charity like St Oswald’s Hospice, she didn’t think twice.

Talking about the design, Jane said: “My two sons were huge fans of Raymond Briggs’ original Snowman when they were growing up, so my inspiration for DonTy starts way back at the beginning with the original story, with its beautiful illustrations and memorable haunting music which captured children’s imagination world-wide.

“Before sitting down to create my Snowdog design submission, I watched the Snowman and the Snowdog animation for inspiration and was struck by the poignancy and the spirit of hope and fun that imagination can deliver for children going through tough times.”

Although heavily influenced by the original Snowman film, the challenge for Jane was to incorporate elements of the North East into the design.

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“I wanted to try and bring that feeling of James’s flight to the North Pole with the Snowdog in my design, with a journey flying high across the North passing all the iconic landmarks, including the Angel of the North, which he proudly wears on his chest.

“The snowdog is the winner of the sledge race with James – just as all the runners who compete in the Great North Run are winners, which DonTy’s design also pays tribute to.

“As an artist I wanted to pay homage to Raymond Briggs and his outstanding talent, he was an inspirational tutor at Brighton Art School and taught my husband, Jerry co-director at our design studio, Dartura.”

DonTy is almost finished, and we will be sharing images on Twitter (@DogOnTheTyne) and Instagram (dogonthetyne), along with vital information, like where he will be located, so make sure you stay tuned!