I MADE A PORTRAIT OUT OF PAPER AND IT LOOKS LIKE THIS
Some of my favorite pictures to make have been portraits–specifically portraits for couples and families. I love being able to create something meaningful for a specific person, or group of people. Knowing that my picture was created for and given to a single person for a special occasion makes the picture a very intimate experience and I love that.
I was recently commissioned by a friend to make a 16×20″ paper cut-out portrait of his family (him, wife, daughter, and baby-to-come). He shared a bunch of photos with me so that I could get familiar with what everybody looked like and what their interests were. It was easy to see right away that the family has a great sense of humor, loves to have a good time, and enjoys fantasy, gaming and spending time together. After coming up with several designs, I finally stuck with something that resembles a Frank Frazetta or Boris Vallejo painting. Anybody recognize the wife’s outfit?
Not the best photos, but here are a few detail shots. I love finding ways to tuck one paper under another, or run it through the opening of a shape. It’s always fun to draw on top of the paper, once it’s all put together just right.
THE HAPPY FAMILY
The icing on the cake is hearing back from the families about their portraits. I can’t help but wonder if the family liked their picture, or if they found a special spot for it in their home. In this case, a happy wife messaged me with a very kind email:
“I have got to tell you THANK YOU for the incredible anniversary present you created for us! I am absolutely in love with it and am excited to get it framed so we can display it in our home for everyone to see! I really enjoy your unique style and am proud to have had an original, hand-made family portrait done! I hope you go far in your art career, doing what you love and continuing to spread happiness to others through your talent! Again, thank you!!”
How thoughtful is that?! A large part of my purpose in drawing pictures comes from my love for the way that they affect people. It’s so exciting, the way a drawing or a painting can can speak to us. I count myself lucky to be able to work at what I love on a daily basis, and to share it with people who appreciate it.
If you’re interested in getting a paper cut-out portrait of you, your family, or a loved one, then get in touch with me at jess.smiley [at] gmail.com. We can talk about what you’d like to do and make it happen!