When my wife was pregnant with our little boy, I made a narrative illustration of us standing in the snow, waiting at the mailbox for a "delivery" as our Christmas card/baby announcement. I had my paintbrushes in hand. She had her pregnant belly. And our bouncy black dog was excited to see what was in the mail.

When I posted it I received a massive outpouring of love toward it, along with requests from people to illustrate their family. So a few paintings later I had a huge portfolio full of family illustrations. Now I work with people around the world constructing personalized quirky artworks for their families as keepsakes/snapshots of a particular moment in their lives.

As for my work process, I email clients a chiseled questionnaire designed to extract the most important details about their bond with each other. Their answers provide the content for the illustration. I love combining my passion for painting with getting to know each family and their unique story. And finally, I use a pencil and watercolor on Arches watercolor paper for all my illustrations.

More info: jrutlandcustoms.com

#1

I Created A Watercolor Illustration For My Family's Baby Announcement, And Years Later Custom Illustrations Are My Business

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Laura Zaini
Community Member
3 years ago

so serene

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#2

I Created A Watercolor Illustration For My Family's Baby Announcement, And Years Later Custom Illustrations Are My Business

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Tolga ÜSTÜN
Community Member
3 years ago

Little dog looks like, "step away, me first!"

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#3

I Created A Watercolor Illustration For My Family's Baby Announcement, And Years Later Custom Illustrations Are My Business

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#4

I Created A Watercolor Illustration For My Family's Baby Announcement, And Years Later Custom Illustrations Are My Business

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Night Owl
Community Member
3 years ago

Looks fun; but, being more of an introvert, that would definitely be too crowded for me.

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#5

I Created A Watercolor Illustration For My Family's Baby Announcement, And Years Later Custom Illustrations Are My Business

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Lola Run
Community Member
3 years ago

Wow ! Beautiful !

#6

I Created A Watercolor Illustration For My Family's Baby Announcement, And Years Later Custom Illustrations Are My Business

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Night Owl
Community Member
3 years ago

I like this one. They caught each other and made a beautiful heart.

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#7

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Tolga ÜSTÜN
Community Member
3 years ago

Cheating with mechanical leg when you drink alcohol... "guess I forgot how to dog..."

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#8

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Tigers
Community Member
3 years ago

What is she pointing to

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#9

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Enea
Community Member
3 years ago

Aww, and look at that cute family moose!

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#10

I Created A Watercolor Illustration For My Family's Baby Announcement, And Years Later Custom Illustrations Are My Business

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Evelyn L
Community Member
3 years ago

What a jump!

#11

I Created A Watercolor Illustration For My Family's Baby Announcement, And Years Later Custom Illustrations Are My Business

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Night Owl
Community Member
3 years ago

Beautiful little family

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#12

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Agnes Jekyll
Community Member
3 years ago

Aww. This might be the sweetest--just because a family can be a man and his dog.

#13

I Created A Watercolor Illustration For My Family's Baby Announcement, And Years Later Custom Illustrations Are My Business

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SunflowersAreGold
Community Member
3 years ago

Love all the different hobbies.

#14

I Created A Watercolor Illustration For My Family's Baby Announcement, And Years Later Custom Illustrations Are My Business

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Tolga ÜSTÜN
Community Member
3 years ago

I guess this one is the dopest...

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#15

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Whitney Speight-Carlin
Community Member
3 years ago

Joy.

#16

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Susann Campbell
Community Member
3 years ago

This family went to a lot of places in the world and probably helped a village get their very own elephant.

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#17

I Created A Watercolor Illustration For My Family's Baby Announcement, And Years Later Custom Illustrations Are My Business

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Community Member
3 years ago

Hey MammaG Sunshine is back!

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#18

I Created A Watercolor Illustration For My Family's Baby Announcement, And Years Later Custom Illustrations Are My Business

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Susann Campbell
Community Member
3 years ago

D and A = Baby

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#19

I Created A Watercolor Illustration For My Family's Baby Announcement, And Years Later Custom Illustrations Are My Business

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Whitney Speight-Carlin
Community Member
3 years ago

Love.

#20

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BusLady
Community Member
3 years ago

Little boy brought his dinosaur. How cute.

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#21

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sh
Community Member
3 years ago

Love the lineman! Under represented demographic.

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#22

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hot.doggeria
Community Member
3 years ago

freshwater peanut

#23

I Created A Watercolor Illustration For My Family's Baby Announcement, And Years Later Custom Illustrations Are My Business

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Agnes Jekyll
Community Member
3 years ago

Lovely!!!

#24

I Created A Watercolor Illustration For My Family's Baby Announcement, And Years Later Custom Illustrations Are My Business

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Shirley Coale
Community Member
3 years ago

A summer's day at the home pond.

#25

I Created A Watercolor Illustration For My Family's Baby Announcement, And Years Later Custom Illustrations Are My Business

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Night Owl
Community Member
3 years ago (edited)

The dog looks still shocked he's been replaced

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#26

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BusLady
Community Member
3 years ago

I thought the Tardis was bigger. Oh, wait, that's on the inside.....

#27

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Kiss Army
Community Member
3 years ago

Seet angel kitty... gone but never forgotten!

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#28

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Agnes Jekyll
Community Member
3 years ago

Whoa, the style of this one is so different from the others--less cartoon and more portrait--is this an early one?

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#29

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Night Owl
Community Member
3 years ago

So not all their dogs are angels.

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#30

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#31

I Created A Watercolor Illustration For My Family's Baby Announcement, And Years Later Custom Illustrations Are My Business

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Shirley Coale
Community Member
3 years ago

On Mulberry St.

#32

I Created A Watercolor Illustration For My Family's Baby Announcement, And Years Later Custom Illustrations Are My Business

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Tigers
Community Member
3 years ago

Different parts of a family

#33

I Created A Watercolor Illustration For My Family's Baby Announcement, And Years Later Custom Illustrations Are My Business

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Whitney Speight-Carlin
Community Member
3 years ago

Adventure!

#34

I Created A Watercolor Illustration For My Family's Baby Announcement, And Years Later Custom Illustrations Are My Business

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Lola Run
Community Member
3 years ago

Really nice drawing. Love the cherry trees

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#35

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Whitney Speight-Carlin
Community Member
3 years ago

Family day.

#36

I Created A Watercolor Illustration For My Family's Baby Announcement, And Years Later Custom Illustrations Are My Business

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Shirley Coale
Community Member
3 years ago

Ready for the Voice!

#37

I Created A Watercolor Illustration For My Family's Baby Announcement, And Years Later Custom Illustrations Are My Business

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SunflowersAreGold
Community Member
3 years ago

Are those winged dogs dead dogs.....?

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#38

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#39

I Created A Watercolor Illustration For My Family's Baby Announcement, And Years Later Custom Illustrations Are My Business

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Shirley Coale
Community Member
3 years ago

Turtle looks contented.

#40

I Created A Watercolor Illustration For My Family's Baby Announcement, And Years Later Custom Illustrations Are My Business

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#41

I Created A Watercolor Illustration For My Family's Baby Announcement, And Years Later Custom Illustrations Are My Business

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Shirley Coale
Community Member
3 years ago

family cruise pix?

#42

I Created A Watercolor Illustration For My Family's Baby Announcement, And Years Later Custom Illustrations Are My Business

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Whitney Speight-Carlin
Community Member
3 years ago

Balancing Act.

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#43

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Whitney Speight-Carlin
Community Member
3 years ago

Playtime!

#44

I Created A Watercolor Illustration For My Family's Baby Announcement, And Years Later Custom Illustrations Are My Business

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Shirley Coale
Community Member
3 years ago

Taking a day off work.

#45

I Created A Watercolor Illustration For My Family's Baby Announcement, And Years Later Custom Illustrations Are My Business

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#46

I Created A Watercolor Illustration For My Family's Baby Announcement, And Years Later Custom Illustrations Are My Business

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#47

I Created A Watercolor Illustration For My Family's Baby Announcement, And Years Later Custom Illustrations Are My Business

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Milena Matic
Community Member
3 years ago

I love the Crock & Hippo dance detail on top of the tent, from Disney's "Fantasia"! <3

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#48

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#49

I Created A Watercolor Illustration For My Family's Baby Announcement, And Years Later Custom Illustrations Are My Business

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Shirley Coale
Community Member
3 years ago

To the beach.

#50

I Created A Watercolor Illustration For My Family's Baby Announcement, And Years Later Custom Illustrations Are My Business

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Shirley Coale
Community Member
3 years ago

Family fun time

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#51

I Created A Watercolor Illustration For My Family's Baby Announcement, And Years Later Custom Illustrations Are My Business

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#52

I Created A Watercolor Illustration For My Family's Baby Announcement, And Years Later Custom Illustrations Are My Business

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Whitney Speight-Carlin
Community Member
3 years ago

And the dog sleeps on.....

#53

I Created A Watercolor Illustration For My Family's Baby Announcement, And Years Later Custom Illustrations Are My Business

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Agnes Jekyll
Community Member
3 years ago

So sweet--whose are those tiny little hands? (it doesn't matter, but it does beg for a backstory!)

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#54

I Created A Watercolor Illustration For My Family's Baby Announcement, And Years Later Custom Illustrations Are My Business

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Shirley Coale
Community Member
3 years ago

Next step: Landscaping.

#55

I Created A Watercolor Illustration For My Family's Baby Announcement, And Years Later Custom Illustrations Are My Business

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Deena Salzman
Community Member
3 years ago

I'm surprised the sorting hat didn't put Darth Vader in Slytherin!

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#56

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Night Owl
Community Member
3 years ago

If sport is the biggest thing they're arguing about, it's all good

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#57

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Shirley Coale
Community Member
3 years ago

Cultivate imagination

#58

I Created A Watercolor Illustration For My Family's Baby Announcement, And Years Later Custom Illustrations Are My Business

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Shirley Coale
Community Member
3 years ago

Camp counselor's day off.

#59

I Created A Watercolor Illustration For My Family's Baby Announcement, And Years Later Custom Illustrations Are My Business

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Shirley Coale
Community Member
3 years ago

Leaving the nest in stages.

#60

I Created A Watercolor Illustration For My Family's Baby Announcement, And Years Later Custom Illustrations Are My Business

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#61

I Created A Watercolor Illustration For My Family's Baby Announcement, And Years Later Custom Illustrations Are My Business

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#62

I Created A Watercolor Illustration For My Family's Baby Announcement, And Years Later Custom Illustrations Are My Business

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#63

I Created A Watercolor Illustration For My Family's Baby Announcement, And Years Later Custom Illustrations Are My Business

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#64

I Created A Watercolor Illustration For My Family's Baby Announcement, And Years Later Custom Illustrations Are My Business

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BusLady
Community Member
3 years ago

How nice to include pets that have passed on.

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#66

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#67

I Created A Watercolor Illustration For My Family's Baby Announcement, And Years Later Custom Illustrations Are My Business

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#68

I Created A Watercolor Illustration For My Family's Baby Announcement, And Years Later Custom Illustrations Are My Business

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#69

I Created A Watercolor Illustration For My Family's Baby Announcement, And Years Later Custom Illustrations Are My Business