Finding the perfect way to say “Happy Mother’s Day” is pretty easy (it’s just three words, right?), but finding the perfect card to write it in catches us every time. Cheesy, boring, kitschy, or ugly… it’s hard to find one that’s just right. Soosan Joon Silanee to the rescue! SJS avoids those gift card pitfalls by turning your photographs into an original painting on a personalized card that Mom will never throw out.
We love the classic creativity of her cards, which are much more personal than a digital photo in your gmail box. For mother’s day, we love old photos of you and mom like the one above, but SJS will transform any photo into an original painting or hand-painted note cards.
We got in touch with Soosan for more information about work, her take on art, and tips on taking good photos and turning them into keepsake original art:
How did you get started drawing? Wow, I began to draw as soon as I had a writing tool in my hands, either on paper or walls – I even remember defacing other people’s artwork as a child! But I specifically remember watching Pink Floyd’s The Wall at age 11 and seeing Gerald Scarfe’s animation, and thinking to myself, “I want to do that one day.”
Do you have a favorite portrait or drawing in your home?
I don’t have any large size works hanging in my home, but I do have a couple postcards of Egon Shiele’s work when I visited his museum in Český Krumlov. He is a master of line drawings and easily one of my biggest inspirations.
What types of photos are best to turn into drawings?
I find the images that work best are candid and dynamic ones. Posed pictures carry no personality. They tend to feel generic and almost insincere.
Do you have any tips for amateur photographers who want to take good family photos?
1. No flash! My family used to give me a hard time about this, but now they’re realizing that pics without flash are their favorites. The trick is to keep a steady hand or place the camera on a stable surface.
2. Candid photos are the best: Take photos of people when they aren’t paying attention (no flash, or they’ll realize you’re snapping photos!).
3. Take as many photos as possible! That’s the luxury of a digital cameras: You can take hundreds of photos, find that “it” picture, and delete the rest.
What’s the weirdest photo that you’ve been asked to turn into a portrait?
I can’t say I have ever had a weird commission, but one of my most emotional photos was one of a man and his deceased father at the Grand Canyon. I felt honored that he asked me to do such a commemorative piece.
Do you have any tricks for getting yourself in the mood to work?
Going to my work studio and listening to music. I recently moved my work and business out of my home and into a separate studio space. It subtracts the temptation of internet, TV and bed. Paying two rents is also a great motivation tactic!
What do you do when you need inspiration?
A few things – getting myself lost in the city, visiting museums, sitting in public spaces with a sketchbook and leaving New York.
To order your artwork from SJS and see samples and pricing, email Soosan directly at firstname.lastname@example.org, and follower her blog: www.soosanjoon.blogspot.com