Today's #MarchMeettheMaker prompt is your branding. What makes your style unique, your image, and what you're known for. Some suggestions were bold color schemes, a pretty palette tone, a specific font that keeps everything cohesive...I've actually struggled with this recently in the era of "Instagram aesthetics" and trying to build my online following, in that I don't have one continuous style or theme. I LOVE sharing all different types of work and having them available for sale, as well. I like sharing my 35mm film adventures, artsy finds, creative processing, multimedia projects...any type of creation at all.
Now with that said, I may not have a cohesive style or color palette, but I do believe that my portrait illustrations are my strongest feature and the image of my brand. Those are what make up most of my commissions, but more importantly than that, I so genuinely love illustrating portraits - in general, but especially for other people. I feel so connected to the person or animal I'm illustrating, and although it is a relief when they are finally finished and ready to go to their new home, there is also a sense of loss.
This thing that you've created, that you're so proud of, that you've spent so much time on, is leaving. For any kind of artist/creator/maker out there, you know the roller coaster relationship that comes with each and every piece: it might start off strong and beautiful, but then the middle part of the process ALWAYS gets muddy - that's just part of it. You might start to hate it, but you have to just push through, knowing that it will come together in the end. It is really a love/hate, give and take relationship that you have with a piece. It's not simply a piece of art that you're giving to someone, it's this relationship and time you've spent with this piece - and also, with yourself.
Back to the prompt: portraits are my strongest suit, and I love creating them. In addition to this crazy wave of emotions that comes with creating a piece, I love bringing someone to life through a portrait.
Getting the shadows right in their clothes or the texture of their fur to make them feel alive. Perfectly creating the crook in their smile, their snagged tooth, or the overall way they carry themselves, what makes them unique. Their hands that have built their life. The paws that trotted their way into your heart. The joy in their face so you can hear their laugh. And finally, their eyes - that is the part that always makes me the most nervous, the windows to their soul. All of these details and more come together to encapsulate this person you love so dearly and allow them to come to life on paper.
These are what I love putting into my portraits, to give you the best recreation of this person, this occasion, or this memory. It is one of the best feelings to give that to someone else, and I get to keep the memory of bringing that to life.