In 2011 I turned 40. As has been documented on this blog, there were 40 Days of Celebration of the Birth of Laura and it was alternately fun and nerve-wracking. (Not knowing what is coming each day can indeed be scary.) This year my buddy The Chick was turning 40 and she politely requested that we did not shower her with craziness for 40 days. (I can’t imagine why…) This left many months of pondering what sort of epic birthday gift could be given for her 40th birthday.
Because she is known as the World’s Greatest Green Bay Packers Fan, we her friends did consider buying stock in the Packers, but they closed the ability to purchase by the time we thought of it. Also? Packer stock is EXPENSIVE, y’all. And so we continued to try to come up with something clever.
As I was browsing through FB one day I saw the Lovely Twila’s photo-shoot of her recreated version of the Historical Snow White that Shoomlah over at Deviant Art had drawn and had an Epiphany. We would have a drawing done of The Chick in her Green Bay outfits! Shoomlah does not take commissions, and so I spent several hours slogging through Deviant Art till I found Brittany: http://terrizae.deviantart.com/gallery/
Her artwork was fun, she seemed to really understand costume and her drawing skills were excellent. Even better, she was accepting commissions. And thus began a several months long email conversation between the two of us in which we worked out exactly what should be done. Brittany was very professional and helpful and wonderful to work with. My favorite comment of hers was along the lines of “Do you really want ALL those Green Bay Packers logos drawn out individually?” This made her work harder, but it made the end product SO AMAZING.
I received the pen and ink drawing to approve and those of us plotting her birthday collectively lost our squee:
It was so very hard to keep it a secret, and when the final image arrived it was REALLY hard to keep it a secret. We agreed that it should be poster sized and we all signed the wrapping.
We all agreed that we have never seen a reaction to a gift like The Chick opening her present. She proclaimed it the best present she had ever received, and was beyond excited.
However, I also decided I wanted to be a cartoon, so as part of my gift to The Chick and to myself, I had Brittany do this:
So now I have a cartoon of me as Rosemary Clooney, as well as a lovely watercolor done by Maggie’s amazing mother.
The great thing is that she never exactly replicates the photos, but instead puts her own spin on the outfits and design, while still keeping the attitude and character of the person in the photos. I don’t know how she does it, but it is very cool.
There MAY be more cartoons in the works, and this could be an addictive (and ultimately pricey) hobby of collecting artwork of my favorite costumes.
I would HIGHLY recommend Brittany and her work. Just don’t get too greedy with her time because I have a bunch of other stuff to send to her… heh. I can’t WAIT to see what she does with that Steampunk Clown when it gets done!