While planning our wedding I came across an artist who painted beautiful interpretations of wedding bouquets. Instead of the bride’s arms, she painted the bouquets in beautiful planters and vases creating lasting still lifes to be forever cherished. I knew I had to have one of her creations immediately, so I added a gift certificate to our wedding registry.
Cut to post-wedding. With the wedding photographer’s pictures in hand and what I thought was the e-gift certificate so generously given by a family member, I emailed the artist with my request. To my dismay, she was unable to locate any indication of a purchased gift certificate. It was only until I presented a receipt from the person who purchased the gift (which was a very awkward conversation to have –i.e. Did you really purchase this item off our registry?) that the artist apologized when I presented her with the proper documentation. I finally submitted my photos and, over three months later, I was sent the final product.
I nearly broke down in tears….
….of regret and disappointment.
It was not what I had envisioned or even close to anything represented on the artist’s website. I fully believe in creative liberty and artistic interpretations, but this? She must have had an apprentice slap something together. I’m going to go out on a limb here, but this was not a body of work that took over 90 days to complete. It wasn’t the robust and colorful creations I drooled over for months on her website. This was slapstick, and I was pissed.
After a few exchanged emails, I received a refund and left without a portrait of my beloved bouquet.
Then it hit me… I know an acclaimed artist,graduate of prestigious Art Institute of Chicago and someone who I call a friend! I always envisioned myself commissioning her to do a portrait when I had kiddos but I wasn’t certain she’d have the time for such a project or, more importantly, that I was able to afford an original by THE Jamie Kim.
But, it couldn’t hurt to ask! I wrote Jamie and gave her my saga of a sob story, knowing full well a portrait of flowers wasn’t in her typical portfolio. It would also mean so much more knowing I owned something by not only such a talented artist, but also a friend. Jamie agreed and explained the desire to preserve her sense of style and creative direction. She works in the style of realism, as seen in her portraits. As explained to me during this process, “I am tight with my marks and colors and try to go for as realistic a look as possible. I use photo sources heavily to draw what the photo usually looks like. My artistic approach is that people, light and objects are beautiful in themselves; there’s no need to invent or abstract.”
I gave Jamie a few photographs of the bouquet from different angles and discussed the importance of the velvet chair and ribbons holding the bouquet together. I had more confidence in this process than before and eagerly anticipated the result.
A month later, I received the picture perfect piece of artwork. I was speechless (for once in my life).
I’ll let the piece speak for itself.
If you’re interested in Jamie’s work or having a piece commissioned for yourself – you can visit her website, send her an email at jamie [@] jamiekim.org.
PS: Be sure to check out Jamie’s portraits (Barack & Michelle included) that are best done at age five or six, because according to Jamie “this is at the age at which many researchers claim that an individual’s personality traits solidify and become apparent.”
The final product by Jamie Kim:
“For J+P,” Pastel and Colored Pencil on Canson Paper, 12×18″, 2015.”