I have painted cats and dogs of so many breeds, such a variety of parrots, songbirds, pigeons, lizards, rats, cows, pigs, donkeys, emus...to name just a few. I love painting the special animals in a client's life. My favorite humorous element of pet commissions: the source images. Now with animals with unique fur patterns, eye color, etc. it is beyond practical to send photos. It is the pets that don't have any distinguishing features from its species community that I find so sweet. Why do we provide photos of our pet when it physically looks identical to thousands? Why don't people tell me "I have a red Electus parrot. Google image search and pick one to paint, please."
I speak very personally on this post. I am the proud owner of a Timneh African Grey named Nemi. I know if I put Nemi in a room of a hundred Timnehs it would take some time to find her. It would be her personality and familiarity with me that would give her away. And THAT is why people send photos with their commission requests, even when the pet is indistinguishable from another of its breed; the photo is capturing their personality. The one defining feature. Isn't that beautiful? The glimmer in the eye, the tilt of the head, it is all important to the owner that loves that animal. That is why I refer to my Instagram handle as "Bird Lady Paints." Aside from the fact that people struggle spelling my last name, I found the handle spoke to my joy of painting the personality of animals that are written off as "a dime a dozen."
And so today I work on another pet commission, and I look forward to the unique personalities I will meet in 2023, feathered, furry and who knows what else ;)
Happy New Year!