Monday, May 03, 2010

A Modern Animal Totem for Joyce

Detail of Totem above

© rebecca collins /

Creating artwork for friends is always tricky and creating artwork for people with serious art collections can be pretty intimidating. Earlier this year one of my friends and classmates asked me to create an animal totem from pics of her pets, some of which are no longer here.  It has taken me awhile to complete this project because the concept of a totem was sort of brand new to me and I was not sure how to stack everyone up. I was also rather scared since my client is a talented artist herself and has a lovely house full of really incredible artwork by some pretty well known artists ...  I sort of psyched myself out a bit.  I try hard to come across in life as really confident and positive about my art work, but every once in awhile I can have major anxiety attacks about various projects. I usually get over the fear pretty quickly and move forward ... what else can you do?

About the art: I went a bit bolder than I had intended to with color on this project. The background was created from a few different layers. I had a layer with color squares in it and on top of that I did my watercolor looking shadow effect on the animals and then merged those layers, used the spherize filter on that to plump it and make the lines curve, then dry brush then I painted in spot color  here and there. I am very pleased with my modern animal totem and I am crossing fingers that Joyce likes it, if not I hope she asks for design tweaks  ... that is the tricky part ... friends being afraid to hurt your feelings. At least I know her to be a gal that usually speaks her mind.


AutumnLeaves said...

I cannot imagine her not loving this piece, Rebecca. I am guessing the totem concept was her's? It is truly fabulous and makes me want something similar! I think you did a magnificent job with this!

Rebecca Collins said...

Hi Sherry... thanks! I just spoke with her and she does love it (yay). Yes it was her idea to do a totem, stacking everyone up vertical. I was very excited and perplexed by this brand new compositional idea ... I always love doing something totally different and I usually learn a lot in the process.

Carol McIntyre said...

What a wonderful challenge your client presented to you AND you did a marvelous job. Congrats!

PS I found you via the Art Biz discussion on LinkedIn and I create Memory Portrait -- many are pet portraits.