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Are you looking for a way to memorialize or celebrate your pet in your home or office? Or maybe you are seeking a unique gift for a pet lover. A custom pet portrait painted by Kay Ham Art might be the perfect way to showcase your beautiful pet in your home as a new favorite work of art.
Learn the story behind her passion for painting and how you can get your paws on her work. The best part is she’s donating 10% of all sales from Canine Journal readers to Project Pearl, the rescue organization that saved our Chief Dog Officer Lily so she could find her forever home here. Just email KayHamArt@gmail.com and include the code BLUEDOG in your message to get 10% off your purchase and donate 10% to Project Pearl.
What motivated your decision to paint pets?
I am definitely a lover of animals (even my day job is all about animals! I work with Pet Treater, a monthly subscription for dogs and cats), but that really wasn’t what started this.
My sister, Megan, had mentioned that she wanted me to paint a portrait of Hog, her pup. She mentioned that she liked the fun, colorful style, but that was kind of where the conversation stopped.
So, I got the itch and ended up painting a portrait of Hoggy-Dog for her birthday. Will, my boyfriend, said “Wow, I think you have a knack!” I laughed, and then painted our dog, Blue.
From there, I have had orders every week since!
What inspired your unique art style?
As an artist, my style really comes from whatever I am feeling. I know that colors are fun and bring people, myself included, happiness and good feelings. Being able to take a pet and turn it into a colorful and unique piece of art is amazing. It honestly surprises me every time how much I fall in love with the animal and painting as I complete them.
What do you find most challenging about painting animals?
Because each one is hand painted, I would say the most challenging part is not having more time to paint more pets!
Do you always paint from photos or have you ever painted an animal live?
Yes, I do always paint from photos. Because the portraits take a number of hours, it would be difficult to do that in a live setting.
However, who knows what the future holds! I am always open to interesting opportunities.
What makes for a good image to paint?
Clarity, especially in the face and eyes.
Other than that, a picture that shows the personality of the fur or feathered family member is also key. I want to capture the pet you love, so the more personality in the picture, the better.
What’s the process like for the pet owner and for you?
Once a pet owner decides they want a portrait, they can email me (see details above in bold about the exclusive deal offered to CanineJournal.com readers!) .
Once they let me know they would like the portrait, they email me their favorite photos. I do ask if they have aversion to any particular color to make sure that it fits their needs and style. Most of the time, the pictures tell the story, and I can capture the relationship that way.
I often receive more info and stories from the owners along with the photos, and I have considered doing a short questionnaire to capture it even more clearly.
What is the most interesting portrait you’ve done and why?
That is a tough question. I would say the most unique is the one of a bird because it is the only bird portrait I have ever done.
I have also done portraits of the two family dogs together, which was fun and different.
Where can one purchase your work?
Portraits are $300 plus shipping, and the customer can choose paper or canvas. I recommend paper if they plan to frame it. Canvas, on the other hand, can be hung independently or framed.
Any advice for aspiring artists?
Do what you like! Create a space that you enjoy being in where you can let your creative spirit fly.
Also, know when to take breaks. I am always more effective when I take short breaks while I am working. This prevents mistakes as well.
Remember to email KayHamArt@gmail.com and include the code BLUEDOG in your message to get 10% off your purchase and to donate 10% to animal rescue organization Project Pearl in North Carolina.
Thanks Kaylee for sharing! And if you’re looking for more inspiration, check out her Instagram account @kayhamart. If you are looking for alternative custom pet portraits, check out PaintYourLife. Also be sure to check out these personalized dog totes and other gift ideas for dog lovers.