This summer, a sweet lady all the way over in Scandinavia emailed me about illustrating a family portrait for her mother and soon to be stepfather. There would be twelve people, a cat, and a dog... oh, and it would be on 8x10" paper instead of my normal tiny 5x7". I said yes because I have a terribly difficult time saying no, but mostly because this lady was super friendly and I've been pretty adventurous this year. It's good to push the limits and see what you're capable of as an artist. One year ago this month, I decided to open my Etsy shop. If you told me I'd end up creating family portraits I would have laughed at you. (When my friend asked me to draw one for her own family, I almost said no because I was so darn intimidated!)
Anywho... I really loved the process of creating this portrait. Most of the work was done on hot summer Saturday mornings... zinnias in a jar, butterflies fluttering about the bee balm, the sweet scent of honey dripping off the comb... But of course, as soon as I sat down to paint it my whole world came crashing down around me and I refused to let that negative energy become tangled up in the creative process. I felt terrible because deadlines mean a lot to me. I hate letting people down, and worry far too much about whether or not someone will become mad as a result or feel uncomfortable if I tell them the truth.
Amalie was incredibly understanding. I am so thankful to be able to form relationships with my customers. I have to remind myself all the time that people buy from me because I'm another human being and not just a box on the shelf of a department store. What a privilege and an honor, and how funny it is that I have to re-wire my thought process to comprehend such a concept! Now, to begin another family portrait for another special lady with a special family... If you're reading this, you know who you are and I thank you too for your patience!