Follow Your Daydream

My personal motto of the past few months has been “follow your daydream”.

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I have been a daydreamer since I was in elementary school. I would draw action-packed little worlds of elves working in Christmasland, DOGzilla destroying a metropolis, rabbits quitting drugs after learning about DARE (I was a weird and controversial child). I would put a lot of detail in the characters and environments in these silly drawings.

I was reminiscing about that childlike, imaginative spirit I had, and it inspired me to let myself be silly and create something I have been daydreaming about this past year: my own workspace.


Before I start ranting let me say I realize I am experiencing a undeniably first world problem. That being said I feel compelled to share the experiences I have gone through to hopefully let someone going through the same situation know that they are not alone.

I will have moved 4 times since graduating high school in 2016; this fact makes me feel that I don’t know where “home” is and makes it very hard to get used to any workspace I am in. It’s really taxing to move so often, but it’s just how it goes as a college student sometimes! I daydream every day about what my permanent studio will look like one day. I decided to draw what I am picturing for my DREAM studio as right now:

Mockup of my dream workspace

Mockup of my dream workspace

Creating this drawing was so cathartic for me. After drawing this vision I have for myself, even if it is totally made up and just a daydream and the proportions are arbitrary - I feel peace with where I’m at right now. I truly believe our environments are super important, but I feel like the environment I’m currently in is very reflective of where I am at in life.

Being 20 years old means you are an adult who really knows crap about adulthood. I gravitate towards people who are doing cool things with their lives and creative businesses so it’s easy to compare myself to people who are in different seasons of life than I am, who have worked their asses off for their businesses and where they are today. Stepping back from instagram culture where everything is “now, now, now” is extreeeeemmmeeelllyyyy important for little ol’ me.

My eyes are on the prize, the prize is to eventually feel settled and have an environment that cultivates creativity for me. I am EXCITED for the day I have the means to make a place for myself. For now, I’m gonna finish college and do my freelance work in coffeeshops and on kitchen tables with my frickin head HELD HIGH!

How to Choose a Reference Photo for Pet Paintings

It’s quite a task to choose a select few pictures you’ve taken of your pet when ordering a pet painting. If you’re anything like me, you probably have hundreds! Do you want to choose the one where your pup is wearing a bandana or the one where he is posing with his tongue out?

Here’s the secret - You can choose BOTH!

Yes I can combine photos to make a cohesive composition, in fact I prefer having a nice selection of photos to reference from!

What makes things difficult is when there is only one photo to reference, and if the reference photo isn’t the best… it makes the process a little tricky.

Here’s what NOT to send for a pet commission:

These are a few photos of my pal Winston, he’s a handsome boy but unusual angles and close cropping don’t help showcase that.

Of course it would be possible to make these photos into a painting, but they’re not ideal. The painting will be a lot like the photo it’s referenced from though. Here’s why:

  1. If the angles are not straight on, the pet’s proportions are off and may look like a different size than in reality

  2. Blurriness makes the details like fur and facial features harder to paint accurately

  3. Filters that are unnatural looking can be tricky in getting the colors exactly right. Also if you want only your pet in the painting, don’t send a selfie with your dog unless they are in the majority of the photo.

  4. If the photo is too zoomed in or cropped, I can’t see what the rest of the pet’s body looks like

Now here’s some examples that are just right:

It is so helpful to have photos of the whole pet from nose to tail! No harsh filters, strange angles or zoomed in cropping!

Again, it’s always possible to paint portraits with lower quality photos. However it’s good to set ourselves up for the best results!

I hope this blog helps inspire you to choose a variety of photos to send to your pet portrait artist, I can say with confidence they’ll do a little happy dance when they see your adorable reference pics!