custom art for singer-songwriter Christina Perri!

I met one of my all-time favorite singer-songwriters (and human beings) on Saturday, Christina Perri! What does this have to do with art? Keep reading!  :)

Christina is someone who has inspired me deeply as an artist and a person, to keep creating, to keep living, to keep loving, and to be beautifully human. She’s such a light & I love her so much. It meant so much to me to finally meet her.

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I wanted to make her something special as a gift & a thank you for all the music she’s created that I love so much. So I made her a custom 8×10 watercolor piece of her 4 favorite places (I’ve learned from her many tweets about them!). I chose two of my favorite lyrics about home from her song “Miles,”  and then I made the division a compass, since she’s always on the road, touring and working on music. The “LOVE” sculpture is from her hometown of Philadelphia, the “Imagine” circle is from her favorite place in New York City (the memorial for John Lennon), the “101 Coffee Shop” is her favorite place in LA (her current home), and the map of Italy pays homage to her Italian roots & her favorite place she’s ever been.

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She’s the one who initiated this picture pose because she was so excited!

 

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her tour manager took this photo of us. So nice of him!

Here are two of my favorite photos I took during the concert:

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I really love to make custom art pieces like this for people. I get so giddy while I’m making them, and when I finish I get so excited thinking about how they will react when they see it! Christina’s reaction was my favorite ever. Her jaw dropped open and stayed that way, and she didn’t even say anything until finally she said “I’m trying not to cry…” She told me (like 3 times) that she was going to frame it & she loved it.

That is the reason I make art. To make people feel happy and full of love and like it’s a piece of home, because art that connects with someone can bring such powerful emotions to the surface, and when it’s displayed somewhere, it can serve as a source of happiness each day. That’s what it does for me.

xo, Michelle

If you’d like me to do a custom piece of artwork like this for you, please don’t hesitate to email me! We can brainstorm and come up with something special :)

Happy 1st Birthday, Mary & Luna!

One year… WOAH. 

It’s hard to say what I’ve learned because it’s been just one-foot-in-front-of-the-other kind of work. It’s been a bit of a blur. It has been an incredibly steep learning curve from the time I started dreaming this up to when I started to plan out specifics to when I launched it all. That was all during the year building the business. Since last May, I’ve spent as much time as my brain can handle reading business information and doing all of the list pictured below and trying to create new work so I stay motivated in WHY I’m doing this. It’s all for the art, and if I don’t let myself have time to create, I forget why I’m doing all the business details.

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Creative business is so much more intense than I ever imagined (seriously, don’t you feel exhausted & overwhelmed just reading that?). It’s its own little world. Some days I’m so hard on myself and I feel like it’s so much work that’s not paying off, but the more I do it, the more I realize I’m actually really suited for it. It just takes practice in many unfamiliar areas & tasks and some time to adjust to it and find my rhythm. I’m still working on that. I know I can do it, because some of it has gotten easier. And I see a lot of similarities between how I’ve developed past things in my life (my babysitting business, my personal blog, my internet friendships, etc.) and the things I need in order to successfully run this business. I have to remind myself that I’m capable of doing it, because I often forget. But I just keep working.

I’ve made good, albeit slow, progress so far in one year. At one point several months ago, I realized that no part of me wanted to give up (and I have a lifelong tendency to lose interest and not finish things I start). That surprised me, but then I realized it’s because I know this is what I’m supposed to be doing. It’s just a process, and I’m still learning.  This business has become an extension of my heart and my soul. I’ve lost track of the hours I’ve put into it. These are my ideas and my emotions and my ART. It’s a very vulnerable thing. That’s why I’m being so hard on myself to do it right. This is who I am, and I want to be good at what I do. It’s scary. But I know I feel so good when I create a piece I love, and when someone likes what I do and buys a piece. I know I’m proud of how much I’ve done so far. I can’t wait to see where I am in a year from now. The possibilities are endless, and “adventure is out there!”

xo, Michelle

P.S. To you reading this, thank you for supporting me & following my work. I’m very grateful for you.

fairytale photoshoot: 3 month old baby Juliette!

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I’m SO excited to share these photos from a shoot I did with an adorable little 3-month-old baby girl named Juliette. I approached her mom at pre-school (for one of my babysitting jobs), and asked if I could use her baby in a shoot to help build my portfolio! Luckily she agreed :)

I learn so much from each shoot. But this one was a major point of growth for me.

First of all, the weather. Oh my gosh. We had the most unusual 60mph hot winds, and I was so nervous the shoot wouldn’t work. Somehow we managed to shoot for 45 minutes in the crazy wind, despite tree branches actually falling on me & Juliette’s mom. We were blocking the baby! And somehow the little rockstar baby fell asleep! I would have loved to shoot longer, but I did what I could. Somehow despite cutting the session in half due to the wind, I still ended up with a handful of photos I love. That was majorly confidence-boosting for me.

Second, this is the first shoot I’ve done with 100% my own styling, the right lens, the exact lighting I wanted, and Adobe Lightroom for editing. I location-scouted for a very specific setting. (I wanted it to look like a forest. Not easy in a beach town!) I could go on and on about how much of a difference this combination made. Finally my work looks like me. I could not be happier, and I can’t wait to shoot more and more and continue to build my portfolio and take on clients! I really love doing this. It’s another creative outlet for me, and I love capturing sweet babies and making parents happy.

So here are my favorites!

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xo, Michelle

If you’re in the Orange County, CA area, and would like to do a baby or child photoshoot at a low-portfolio building rate, please email me!