A couple of years ago I graduated from art school. After graduation I was unsure of what to do with my degree. I had majored in Illustration and loved it, but didn’t really feel interested in doing illustrations for any corporations. This left me with few options other than freelance and a nannying job that happened to land in my lap.

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I spent two years working as a nanny doing freelance illustration on the side. It just wasn’t quite enough to pay rent, but I loved it, so I worked well over 50 hours a week trying to keep up with both.

Just under a year ago I went to a friends wedding. I couldn’t think of a gift for them and really didn’t have a lot of money to spare so I used my talents to create a portrait for them. It wasn’t much, and I hoped it would be a good gift. When I handed the portrait to them and they unwrapped it the looks on their faces was something I did not expect. There were joyful tears in their eyes as they exclaimed, “That’s us! This is so beautiful!”

It’s funny because when I was in art school portraits were always my least favorite assignment. I hated drawing people and was always so much more interested in drawing little furry creatures. Once I saw the looks on my friends’ faces after giving them their portrait it was all over. I suddenly loved portraits and wanted to do more.

I now take portraits to every wedding I go to and have given them as gifts to the families I nannied for. Every time the reaction makes all of the hard work and time I put into them so worth it.

I’ve just started offering couple, family and pet portraits as an item on my etsy shop and am so excited to be able to give these gifts to people around the world. It’s been so exciting hearing back from customers about how much they love their portrait, or how much the person who received their portrait loved it.

More info: Etsy

Couples portrait I gave as a gift to my boyfriend for our anniversary

Pet portrait of my beautiful cats

Family portrait I gave as a gift to a family I nannied for

The first couples portrait I did to give as a gift when my friends got married.

You can see more works on Etsy