Thursday, August 19, 2010

customised confidence

i was looking for a picture frame last week and stumbled across this painting. now, if i didn't know that i had physically put those oil paints onto that piece of paper when i was 19 years old, i would not believe i'd be able to produce a painting like that. not that it's anything amazing, it just seems way beyond my ability right now.
i marvelled at my confidence with the paint and the colours and the brush and wistfully wondered where my confidence has gone. and then i thought more about myself at 19. i didn't have confidence...i just had time. (what did i do with all that time??). and now i only have 5 minute opportunities at any given time, i know for absolutely certain i'd never be able to paint like that at the moment.

it was with this exact crisis of confidence, that i cautiously listed a "customisable portrait paintingette" on Felt (it was one of those take-a-deep-breath, close-your-eyes and hit-"OK"-quickly-before-you-change-your-mind moments)

and then someone responded. gulp.
they wanted a double portrait. gulpgulp.
for an engagement gift. piggybackgulps.
as they say, 'fake it til ya make it' i did. with faux confidence (and loads of excitement i must admit!) i set out on my First Ever Paid Portrait Commission.

about an hour into it, i realised who cares about confidence when you get to have this much fun? :)

the couple i was to portray had gotten engaged on the peter pan ride at Disney world in Tokyo (the boat flying in the sky) and the girl loves minnie mouse (the ears and polka dots) and the bloke is a Korean (the banner says 'I love you' in Korean)
I really enjoyed painting it because of all the fun details, but then there's that horrifying thought, as you put it in the mailbox, of what if they absolutely hate it??

turns out, the sister who commissioned it LOVES it and sent me the sweetest email to say so. piggybackphews!
(still doesn't mean i'm ready to dust off the oil paints and do a real portrait though).


  1. I can't BELIEVE you are not confident!!!! These are absolutely the cutest darned things in the world, I looooove this!!!! Having said that, I totally know how you feel... I love doing the drawings themselves, but I get a little sick feeling every time I send them away, in case they totally don't love it and notice all the little imperfections... I have to do a lot of self-assuring!

    But you shouldn't! These are wonderful!!!

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  3. How very beautiful! Nan geu gal sarang, even (goodness knows how you spell that without the hangul (or the korean dude will) know what I mean though, . ;) ).

  4. Jeez, that was a lot of brackets!

  5. Dee dearest, you are talented beyond belief, and I think this is the cutest pie paintingette ever - and you shouldn't sell yourself short, we ALL beleive in your talent, so there! the soapbox now - truly this is super cute xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  6. Both of those paintings are absolutely gorgeous! You're a very talented lady and I hope you find the confidence to continue to list your services- I'm sure there are lots of people who will jump at the chance xx

  7. wow. congratulations. I think I would have had my heart in my mouth the whole time I was painting it and probably would have required someone else to post it in the mail. yeah for you!

  8. guess what dee, they arrived and your mums postcard is more amazing in real life!! and your postcard is stunning too. framing them both and then I will post a pic. I love presents in the mail, especially international ones! your art is crazy good and so are you!

  9. Oh Dee, what beautiful paintings, I loved this post, they are so blessed to have a painting by you xx


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