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If lockdown taught us anything, it’s that nothing is more important than the people and pets we spend our lives with. Never before have we spent quite so MUCH time with them! Without the distractions of restaurants, bars and normal life, we’ve gotten to know our housemates on a much deeper level. They’ve annoyed us, bored us, entertained us, driven us crazy, kept us sane and loved us through one of the weirdest times in our lives. My portraits celebrate these bonds, whether it’s family, fur-family or friend-family.
My portraits are a quirky, modern take on the tradition of portraiture—no need to get dressed up and sit still for hours. I work from photos, a few of each person or pet to give me a good idea of what everyone looks like. I also ask clients if they have any signature looks, it could be a favourite pair of earrings, a hat they like to wear or a sweater they practically live in. Recently I was asked to include a monkey plushie called Phoebe! The family also told me about the beautiful olive tree they were sad to leave behind at their previous home, so I created an olive branch pattern background for them. You can also choose your colour palette to suit your decor, reflect your family’s vibe or incorporate your favourite colours. The more information I have, the more I can tailor your personal piece of art.
Chris commissioned the below illustration, his girlfriend had to move away from their cute Italian hometown for work, and he wanted to give her something to remind her of all their favourite places and local haunts. In reality, all these places are far apart, but with the magic of illustration, I could bring them together, like a magical little town that exists just for them. I work digitally on an iPad with an Apple pencil in a drawing app called Procreate. Portraits can take up to 20 hours, and 17 000 pencil strokes and a lot of podcast episodes to create! Once done, specialised art printers print it on archival paper with archival inks, which means it won’t fade. Portraits can be shipped all over the world, or I can send you a print-ready pdf and help you find a good printer in your area. Portraits make great gifts, and if you’re unsure what colours and patterns your person would like, gift vouchers are available. If you would like to find out more, feel free to get in touch. You can email me on karen.vermeul@gmail.com.

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