This post is a part of Custom Pet Portrait series, where I share an in-depth look and answer questions. The rest of the posts are linked at the bottom of this page.
Getting custom artwork commissioned can be a mysterious thing. In this post in my Custom Pet Portrait series, I’ll answer common questions about the product and process.
“How does this whole process work?”
- You’ll start by placing your order in my shop, just like you would with any other product.
- After I receive the order and process payment, I’ll email you with a link to a form to fill out that covers details about your pet (these questions are listed below). This form has space for you to provide anything else you’d like to share that I didn’t already ask about. It also includes instructions for providing photos of your pet that I’ll use as a reference when creating the artwork.
- When you submit the information I’ve requested, I’ll follow up to let you know any questions I have or that I’m good to get started and what you can expect next.
- Using the information and photos you’ve provided, I make my sketches, and illustrate a digital portrait that captures your pet’s unique personality.
- You’ll receive a mockup of the portrait to take a look at. Hopefully you’ll love what you see, but if something isn’t sitting quite right you’ll have an opportunity to request minor changes such as fur color, markings, or expression.
- Once the artwork is finalized, I print it and sign it, and ship it to whatever continental U.S. mailing address you provide, whether that’s your own address or the address of someone who’s receiving it as a gift.
- Then you can frame it and enjoy!
“I see a lot of dogs in the examples. Can you make portraits of other animals, too?”
Yes! The portraits grew out of a customer appreciation project I worked on in 2016, and since the accessories I make are primarily for dogs it worked out that the illustrations were of dogs. But it’s certainly not limited to our canine kids — any pet you’d like an art print of will work.
“What do you need from me in order to create the portrait of my pet?”
You’ll need to supply photos of your pet and responses to the questionnaire that I’ll email you. After you place your order, I’ll email you with this questionnaire which includes instructions for submitting photos.
Good reference photos are key. When taking pictures, aim for these things:
- enough light to clearly show fur color and markings
- get down low and position yourself so you're face to face with your pet for head-on shots (rather than standing above your pet and aiming the camera down)
- include your pet in sitting positions and standing positions
- if there's a particular pose or expression you like, capture it so it communicates to me the correct positioning and features
- include clear images of any key elements such as a collar or other accessory if you'd like it included in the portrait
If you don’t have digital photos of your pet (say for example your ordering a gift for someone who's old school), but have access to printed photos and a smartphone, you can snap clear pictures of the printed photos and email them to me.
“How long does it take to get my art print?”
The timing depends in part on your availability, but here’s how it breaks down:
- When you place your order, I'll email you about your pet’s details and photos in 1 business day or less.
- When you provide the necessary details and photos, you’ll get a mockup of the portrait to review within a week.
- After I receive your feedback, you’ll receive the final art print in about 5-10 days.
So if you’re able to reply to my messages quickly, the process takes a couple of weeks. If you’re busy with life (or snuggling your pet!) it will spread the process out.
“What exactly do I get with my order?”
When you order the Custom Pet Portrait, you’ll receive a signed, unframed 8x10-inch art print. The paper is 100% cotton fiber, acid-free, and archival. There's enough white space around the portrait to look nice with a mat, or you can simply frame it without a mat.
The final artwork I’ll create for your print is a digital file, and you may purchase this digital file for an additional $35 per portrait*. The artwork is a scalable vector file, which means that you can enlarge it without compromising quality. With this file you can do a variety of things such as print stationery items like greeting cards, order a mug with your pet on it, create a t-shirt, and many other things.
*Intended for personal use only, not for resale.
“I have more than one pet. Can you make portraits of all of them?”
For some of us, it’s hard to stop at just one pet! I totally get it. If you have more than one pet you’d like a portrait of, that option is available on the product ordering page, and the price is determined by how many you’d like to include. They can be together in one print, or separate as their own prints.
After I receive your order, I’ll email you with a link to a form where I cover all of the details that help me to create the portrait. The questions covered in the form include:
- Does the pet belong to you?
- Is this a gift for someone else?
- What is the type and name for each pet?
- Breed information? (if available)
- Would you like the pets to be portrayed individually or together? (for multiple pets option)
- Would you like the portraits to be of their whole body, or head only?
- What are the pet's trademark personality traits or behaviors?
- Anything in particular you'd like to capture in their expressions or poses?
- Are there any accessories you'd like to include with or on them?
- Would you like to purchase the digital artwork files of your portraits?
- Shipping address for the art print?
- Anything else you'd like to share?
"I'm ready! How do I start?"
You can place an order for a portrait here and once I’ve received your order I’ll follow about the pet’s details and next steps.
- Custom portraits capture the unique personality of your pet (the original post with the story behind how I started making the portraits)
- How to put those pet photos filling up your smartphone to use (these dogs made the most adorable subjects!)
- you are here — FAQs about the portrait (how it works, what you’ll need to provide)
- A look at my creation process (how I turn your photos into a custom digital illustration and art print)
- What you can do with the digital file upgrade option (if you want to show your pet love in ways besides the 8x10 art print)