Before & After: Barc Gets a Happy Makeover

Share It

Brooklyn-based illustrator Hyesu Lee set out to turn a bare wall into a happy place for her local animal shelter, Barc. “Actually, I live nearby Barc shelter and went there every weekend or weekday, after work, to volunteer to walk a dog because I’m a huge animal lover,” Hyesu shares. “However, I didn’t plan on adopting any dogs. And there was this dog, Dutch, that we took out for a walk a lot from Barc. One weekend Vinny, who runs Barc, told us to take him only for the weekend if we want. And ‘only for the weekend’ [became until] now — we ended up adopting him and now he is a beloved member of our family.”

Hyesu continues, “So I went back to Barc recently and volunteered to do [a] mural for them, hoping it helps all the dogs/cats find their ‘furever’ home.” Known for her really fun illustrations for such clients as Toyota, Boston Globe, Blue Moon Brewing Co., Dr. Jart+, Chobani and many more, I’d say Hyesu certainly accomplished her goal, bringing new life into the shelter. Click through the slide show to see her step-by-step process. —Erin 

Photography by Hyesu Lee

  1. Catherine says:

    Dutch <3 I love this! Thanks for sharing :)

    1. Catherine says:

      p.s. Carlisle looks like Hope!

  2. Sara says:

    I love Barc, I love this mural, and I love the illustration at the very end! Speaking of, the doggo formerly known as Drew has been adopted as well—by me! He is my favorite floofball.

  3. Bree says:

    why the poop?

  4. t says:

    I love seeing the artist’s process for creating this mural. And Dutch is such a doll.

  5. Kiki says:

    This is über-cute, lovely, beautiful, inspiring, wonderful – and all those pets waiting (on the wall and in the shelter) for their new forever home….. Thank you to this outstanding artist and her work. What a great way to pay forward!!!!

  6. Holland says:

    Wonderful seeing how such an ambitious project unfolds, and the result is just magnificent. Full of feeling and fun. And what a backdrop for adoption day photos!

    As to Bree’s query, “why the poop?” Because, it’s an inescapable part of pet love-and-care, plus it’s just plain humorous. I’m a pet sitter/dog walker and use the poop emoji in texts to clients all the time!

  7. Li says:

    I enjoyed reading this story and seeing this work. Very uplifting. Also happy to see such a cute shot of Dutch, that lucky dog.


Design*Sponge reserves the right to restrict comments that do not contribute constructively to the conversation at hand, contain profanity, personal attacks, hate speech or seek to promote a personal or unrelated business. Our goal is to create a safe space where everyone (commenters, subjects of posts and moderators) feels comfortable to speak. Please treat others the way you would like to be treated and be willing to take responsibility for the impact your words may have on others. Disagreement, differences of opinion and heated discussion are welcome, but comments that do not seek to have a mature and constructive dialogue will not be published. We moderate all comments with great care and do not delete any lightly. Please note that our team (writers, moderators and guests) deserve the same right to speak and respond as you do, and your comments may be responded to or disagreed with. These guidelines help us maintain a safe space and work toward our goal of connecting with and learning from each other.