painting: nasty gal

When I paint, I usually stick to self-portraits, as this is an area I feel most comfortable with. Painting myself is something I’ve always done, as it allows me to create something for my benefit only. If you are making art, no matter what subject – be it a painting, a lyric or even a recipe, it’s really important you create something for you. Always have yourself in mind, and follow your desires. The greatest success can be achieved when you follow your highest intentions.


One of my favourite quotes is by Oscar Wilde, “Every portrait that is painted with feeling is a portrait of the artist, not of the sitter.” Every time I paint I think of this quote. No matter what, any creator of art puts a part of themselves into their work. When I look at my own paintings, I can always see the emotions I felt at the time of creating it. It is usually the colours or composition that expresses these.


With this project, I decided to step out of my comfort zone and paint someone other than myself. Still involving emotions in my artwork, I decided to paint what inspires me. Most of my recent inspiration has been from books. It’s only recently that I began to enjoy reading, and this is partly thanks to the autobiography, ‘Girl Boss’ by the Nasty Gal founder, Sophia Amoruso.


I really resonated with the content of this book. It almost felt as though I was reading a book on my future self. Noticing many similarities between her and myself, reading about her achievements was something that really gave me a motivational boost. It is a book that instantly gives you the courage to go out and chase your dreams.


After reading this you instantly feel this emotion, like anything is possible. This is the feeling I love getting after reading a good, motivational book. So putting this feeling to good use, I decided to step out of my comfort zone and paint someone other than myself. Due to the book giving me this boost, it seemed only right to paint who created it, Sophia herself. Although I realised this could make me look like a complete stalker – I decided to do it anyway. Not only did it seem like the perfect way to thank her for the book, but painting this also gave me a way to venture into a new art project.


With the piece itself, I decided to paint in an abstract style. After intricately painting the facial details, I progressed to splash the canvas with explosions of different colours, layered and blended amongst each other. Giving the painting a vibrant, striking effect, I think the piece definitely shows the emotions and motivation I felt at the time – especially through the bright red hues. Asides from this, I think it also reflects Sophia’s determined character.


When completed, I contacted her office with the hopes of her seeing the piece. As much as I love the creative element of art, it’s the sharing of it with others that gives it a real sense of purpose. After then hearing how much she liked the painting, I was amazed to discover that she wanted it in her own office. When sending it off, I honestly couldn’t believe it, this is definitely an achievement I’m very proud of.


I hope you enjoy this piece, and that it inspires you to get creative, perhaps to even get painting yourself. Let me know your thoughts on it, as I would love to hear!



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