Winter is coming. Not in the form of Jon Snow, and not in the form of Michael Buble's Christmas album. But in the form, for the first time, of the FIFA World Cup. An alien concept to say the least. Us Brits, especially, are sticklers for tradition... just look at how we took to VAR being introduced to ruin our Saturday afternoons. The fact it's in Qatar as well (hardly the home of football) only adds further reason for complaint - something we definitely would win the World Cup of. That being said, there's still a chance football could finally come home, and here at PUNDIT we wanted to allow everyone the chance to follow the tournament properly.
We teamed up with Ben Duggan (@bendys.art) to create Dogs Playing PUNDIT - our World Cup Wall Chart. Ben, a Scouser living in Leeds (two cities with real footballing pedigree, pardon the pun), is as football-mad as the rest of us, with a healthy obsession with retro shirts. We spoke with Ben about the project we've collaborated on and his hopes for the World Cup...
Tell us a little bit about yourself, when did you start designing?
I'm now in my 3rd year of illustration at Leeds Arts University, although I’ve been drawing for most of my life. I don’t feel like I’ve never had a set style but very recently with my university work I decided to try to combine my work with one of my big passions in life - which is football.
Dogs Playing PUNDIT, seems a bit of a play on an iconic piece. How did you keep it original?
This piece is very much an homage to the famous American painting 'Dogs Playing Poker' by Cassius Marcellus Coolidge. We wanted to make something fun and unique that captures the essence of international footballing culture at the centre of the piece. PUNDIT as a game is a great vehicle for this because it breaks down the boundaries of team rivalries and allows people to come together in sharing their passion for football.
Which one is your favourite dog and why?
I’d say my favourite dog in the piece is The Great Dane, he is very chilled and sort of 'not bothering' to get into the conflict that appears to be arising with the English Bulldog and the German Dachshund.
What did you enjoy must about working with PUNDIT?
Working with PUNDIT has been great, I’ve been allowed so much creative freedom and enjoyed every minute of working with Aodhan and the team. I look forward to seeing the success of the game and the potential for more collaborations with any future projects we can come up with.
What are your predictions for the World Cup?
Even though I'm a typical England fan at heart - full of pessimism and unsure on Gareth, this team does seem to be able to pull itself together and blag it’s way through tournament football. So I’m not writing them off completely but I do think we’ve run out of luck and this will be Southgate’s last tournament. My money is on one of the big guns to reclaim the cup, I'm thinking probably Spain.
Thanks Ben! If you would like one of our World Cup Wall Charts, you can order one on our site. If you post it on your socials with #DogsPlayingPUNDIT you could win an exclusive PUNDIT prize!