We were lucky to catch up with Laura Lodge recently and have shared our conversation below.
Laura, looking forward to hearing all of your stories today. Let’s jump back to the first dollar you earned as a creative? What can you share with us about how it happened?
My first watercolor painting was in the year 2000. As I grew more interested in this art medium, I began to spend a lot of money on art supplies. I was like a kid in a candy store. I didn’t have any plans as far as what I would do with my paintings, and definitely had no plans to sell any of them.
When I painted my first pet portrait of my Rottweiler in watercolor, I was pretty proud. It may not have been anything magnificent, however, I felt that I captured my dog’s detail pretty well. I shared the image with my friend who immediately asked me to paint her Beagle who recently passed. I was clueless as to what to charge and told her to pay me whatever she felt comfortable with. She offered me an amount that I was unexpecting and definitely happy with. As I painted her “Buster”, it brought tears to my eyes. Losing a pet is always a very emotional experience, especially for animal lovers like myself.
I was nervous when I gave the finished Pet Portrait to my friend. She was very pleased, and we cried together.
Laura, before we move on to more of these sorts of questions, can you take some time to bring our readers up to speed on you and what you do?
I was raised by a very artistic mother who did everything artistically imaginable and encouraged me on my own creative journey. I enrolled in art camps, took every art class offered in high school, and enrolled in various art classes with my mother in later years. My favorite projects were macramé, basket weaving, and toll painting.
Fast forward to today, I have been painting in watercolor for the last 22 years. My initial paintings were nothing to write home about. However, I can say that I am more satisfied and confident with my paintings over the last 10 years. My motto – practice doesn’t make perfect – it just makes it better.
My studio is in my dining room . Since it’s within view and I walk by my paintings multiple times each day, I gain new prospective and ideas on what needs attention, adjustment or enhancement, i.e. bolder or softer colors, shading and background.
My painting style is photorealism. I paint primarily from a photograph, especially pet portraits. I spend a lot of time on intricate details. My main focus on painting animals is their eyes. The eyes are what make the painting valid and come to life. If I can get this part correct, the rest flows.
I offer a lot of different sizes and prices for my commissioned Pet Portraits. As I work with my clients, I send screenshots along the way, so they can see the progress of my work. This is a fun process. The end result is a Pet Memory they can hang on their wall and enjoy for years to come.
I also have many original watercolor pieces available for sale in my Etsy Shop. I enjoy selling my original art, but love to paint on commission, whether in the form of a pet portrait, seascape, landscape, etc.
For you, what’s the most rewarding aspect of being creative?
The most rewarding aspect of being an artist is pleasing my customers. I have been commissioned to paint a lot of pet portraits, and thankfully, all have been appreciated and loved.
We’d love to hear the story of how you built up your social media audience?
I’d love to paint for you…..Laura