The most important factor in commissioning a portrait is that you recognize we are truly collaborating, and your participation has as much to do with the end result as mine! Clear, honest and open communication are key and the more information or ideas you share with me, the more likely the portrait will feel like you or your loved one.
If you don't know what you want, and you want more guidance or help that's fine! Just let me know and we can brainstorm together. If you know exactly what you want, and are really nervous it won't match up-please let me know and I can be extra careful. A photo might show me what you look like, but the portrait won't feel nearly as personal if you hold back what you really want.
How long will my portrait take? What if I want it on a certain day?
Your portrait will usually be finished within three weeks but timelines depend on my workload. I will give you an estimate of when it will be finished along with your quote. If you have a certain day you need it by, or if its a gift for a certain date- let me know! Often I can make due dates work especially if they are more than three weeks out. If you are in a hurry, ask about a rush fee.
How big will it be? Can I choose the size?
Your portrait will be either 9x12 inches or 11x14 inches based on whichever will fit your requests best. If you have a custom size in mind, let me know! As long as it is over 9 x 12 inches I'm happy to make it work.
What do you need from me to get started?
The first thing I need to get a really great portrait is your vision! The more you can tell me about what you imagine it to be like the better. I love doing portraits where people choose to highlight their favorite traits, skills and interests. Some things to think about:
-Do you want a portrait that is accurate to you in real life, or would you like to be in a more fantastical state?
-What is your aesthetic? What is the vibe you want to convey in the portrait?
-Tell me what inspires you-art, music, movies, places-ANY of that can give me a feel for what energy to bring to the portrait. The more you can tell me the better.
-Reality is flexible in art! Do you want long green hair? Angels wings? A baby dragon? Want me to omit that tattoo of your ex's name? Just ask.
-Are you looking for a portrait that is sexy and flirty or something more modest and chill?
-Body feelings! Some of the dearest portraits to my heart are those in which people celebrate their bodies, despite having a complex or painful relationship with them. I'm honored to be part of a self-care and celebration process. I want to be able to accommodate whatever you may need to have your portrait done in a way that will not be triggering, and will feel right and comfortable. If you feel like any part of this process could be triggering or cause dysphoria please let me know and we can discuss work-arounds.
-Any inspirational internet photos you like, clothes, scenery whatever-
-Your quirks, if you have any habits or quirks about your appearance let me know ( “I only wear gold jewelry”/ “I liked my hair in this photo” etc) Things I wouldn't know unless you told me.
1 Reference Photos
I cannot exaggerate how important good and plentiful reference photos are. The quantity and quality of your references will be directly proportional to how much the portrait looks like you.
So what makes a good reference photo? Clear lighting and a straight forward angle. The camera should be level at about eye/nose level.Ideally the photos will have a variety of lighting. If you are taking reference photos take one in a few different rooms and one outside. Selfies are great, but at least a handful of your references should be candid. The front camera on our phones can really distort features. Avoid sending photos where you are making a strong expression, using a filter or generally don't look like you usually do. If you are comfortable with me following your private Instagram account for references, let me know! Avoid sending photos that are blurry, dark or cropped closely. It is much more important that the photos show your features clearly than that it is a “good” photo of you.
Body references require less- 3-5 photos where your general proportions and posture can be seen is usually enough. If you want a nude or suggestive portrait you are welcome to send me those kinds of references but also I'm happy to guess- your comfort and security come first on that. If you have tattoos you'd like visible, let me know!
The best portraits come as a result of direct, kind and collaborative conversation. I may check in throughout with clarifying questions and you are welcome to do the same. I love making portraits, it is challenging and emotionally fulfilling in equal measures- it brings me a lot of joy to make them. I feel lucky to get to know folks through the work and capture some of what they love most of themselves or their friends and loves.
To get started, get in touch with me through my Contact Page or Instagram Direct Message.