Last week i received a lovely email from a man who had seen a past art exhibit of mine and bought some of the pieces for his daughters. He mentioned that seeing one of my art pieces on the wall as he was tucking his daughter in one night gave him an inspired idea for a birthday gift for his wife, Sadie. He wondered if i could create a portrait of her so she’d have a piece of her own. i sent my usual reply quoting my pencil portrait and painted portrait prices, but also mentioned that maybe we could do something more whimsical if she was a fan of my style. i was over-the-moon excited when he quickly wrote back that he was absolutely interested in that! From that moment on, i was working with a collaborator and dream client. He encouraged me to take artistic license, he listed all his wife’s favorite things and the names of their precious 3 children, then mentioned a few of my pieces, namely, Miss Lookilou, whose style he admired. That was enough to get my creativity revved up, so i got to work!
i whipped up a quick pencil sketch and emailed it along with the Miss Lookilou inspiration piece and another illustration i’d done last year exclusively for indie fixx’s Feed Your Soul project. i explained that i’d like to sort of combine the 2 concepts and come up with something just for this project. i also mentioned that i’d love to do a custom collage mat if he was game….and find a frame all with a bit of Anthropologie flavor since he’d mentioned she loved that style. The comp was a hit and i was on my way.
The final drawing took about 3-4 hours all in all and incorporated the kids’ names, a map of Ireland (the couple’s native country) the Sydney Opera House, a glass of red wine (my kinda lady!), books, some red crosses as a nod to Sadie’s career, her birthdate, the Milkboy Coffee Logo (b/c that’s where they first saw my art and where Sadie goes to get her caffeine fix regularly), then the words, “Sexy Sadie”(her college nickname) and “i love you.” The final touch was a cut paper yellow rose which i placed above her ear. Yellow roses are her favorite and i thought the collage element would add dimension and tie the drawing in with the patchwork mat i’d made.
Finally, i scanned the art and manipulated it digitally to create 4 possible colorways for the client to choose from. They’re shown below.
We couldn’t decide! It was tough, so i’m giving the couple a few prints as options and letting Sadie be the final say. But for framing, i chose the drawing done in reds since that is her favorite color. Here are some shots of the finished piece.
i truly hope this is only the first of many projects like this that will come my way. The client, John, was simply the best to work with. His enthusiasm for the project and willingness to give me creative freedom was so refreshing! His excitement to give the gift and his overall generous demeanor were icing on the cake. When i work with husbands for gifts for their wives, i am always touched by the thoughtfulness and obvious care and affection they have for these women. i sure do hope Sadie likes the art! It is filled with devotion and love.
Happy Birthday Sadie!
….and if anyone else wants to collaborate on a piece like this, shoot me a message! i am primed and ready and thirsty for more!