Adlaya’s Art: Origins

Looking through the blog posts I’ve done on this page, I realized I’ve said very little about how I got started with art. So I thought I’d share a little bit of how I’ve developed as an artist, as well as how my business came to be. 

I’ve always loved to draw, and I have sketchbooks full of my drawings from when I was in high school. It was something I kept up, though not nearly as frequently, once I went to university. I certainly didn’t take any formal classes, just dabbled here and there with drawing things that I liked (animals and anime characters, mostly). Almost everything I did was in watercolour or graphite. Looking back at many of my early drawings, I also had a fascination with patterns and colour. 

My very first pet portrait. Of course, I’ve improved a ton since I first did this five years ago, but it wasn’t bad for a first effort!

When I started drawing more realism, I focused primarily on animals. It was actually at a job interview where I was first given the idea of doing commissions. I mentioned as one of my hobbies that I loved to draw, and the interviewer asked me whether I did commissioned pet portraits. Until that point, I had never considered that someone might pay me to draw. 

Shortly after that interview I talked to a friend who wanted a portrait of her two cats. I didn’t charge her, as it was the first commission I’d ever done and I had no idea how it would turn out. But she did offer to buy me lunch, and told me the restaurant we went to would reflect how good she thought the portrait was. 

Though I’ve improved a ton since then, the portrait turned out quite well, and from there I’ve developed and grown my business. Originally I worked in ink and watercolour, but in the last few years I’ve learned how to use coloured pencil and pastels, and now the majority of my work is done with these media. It’s been a ton of fun learning and growing, both as an artist and as a business owner, and I’m looking forward to what the future brings!

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