How to transform precious memories into a work of art
I got my hands on some gorgeous vintage photos of my grandma as a young woman last week.
My aunt had sent them to me after seeing a photo on my Instagram of my current hair, which is short and curly. She said that my grandma, her mom, used to style her hair like that, and she dug up some old pictures for me to see.
I was kind of surprised to see how much we looked alike.
I always thought I looked more like my dad's side of the family. I then came across a photo a fellow art student, Cotey Pope, took of me at OCAD, and I was struck by the resemblance between us. Here they are side by side:
Do you see the resemblance?
I started thinking about ways that I could make art out of these photos, because I felt such a strong connection to them. I thought about recreating them with a photoshoot, but in the meantime, I decided to illustrate one of my favourites.
I went about this one a bit differently than my usual style - where I generally build my portrait illustrations using lines, the shadows in this photo were too good, so I decided to focus on light and shadow, using shapes to build form rather than lines filled with colour. It made me realize how difficult it can be to create something that looks 3-dimensional using shadows instead of lines, and it reminded me of how when we illustrate we have to make choices along the way of what details to include and what to scrap, and sometimes we even have to invent details that aren’t in the reference image in order to better serve the work as a whole.
I have to say, I still think the original photo is more beautiful because my grandma is just so beautiful, but I also really love my version, especially all of the detail in her dress. I have a few more photos of my grams from around this time that I can’t wait to dive into 🏊
Custom illustrations are the perfect way to breathe new life into special photos and memories, and create a completely unique work of art that you can decorate your home or workspace with. My portrait illustrations start at $50, so reply to this email to discuss how we can transform your photos into original works of art! ✨