When Erika Sanada was growing up in Japan, her parents gave her a dog to help her cope with her anxiety. The San Francisco-based artist now uses canines a metaphor for her soul-searching journey in her ceramic sculpture work. “I incorporate odd features into my dogs like extra teeth or ears to symbolize those lingering anxieties. Much like myself, my work is struggling to find a balance between joy and sorrow,” wrote Sanada in her artist statement. Erika Sanada worked as a commercial illustrator and make-up artist for years and is now pursuing an MFA in sculpture at the Academy of Art. Her solo show, “Odd Things” is on view at Modern Eden Gallery in San Francisco through September 7. Take a look at some of Samada’s work from the show below, images courtesy of Modern Eden Gallery and Erika Sanada.