kids these days

Lately my Instagram feed has been chock full of pictures of my friend’s kids commemorating their first days of school. Some of the pictures are posed and some are rather candid shots of meltdowns or the prevailing attitude at the moment the photo was taken. Either way, they are entertaining to look at. It reminds me of photos of me at various ages. Some photos make me roll my eyes or cringe at what I was wearing or what my hair and glasses looked like. Some make me laugh because I remember the moments leading up to when the photo was taken and maybe even what happened afterward. Either way, shudder or giggle, it’s neat to look back on those moments and have these photos to help spark memories and remind us of our past selves and our shenanigans.

But I think what is cooler than capturing these moments on our phones or cameras is drawing them! This is a smattering of illustrations I’ve made over the past few months of my friend’s little kids being themselves and doing their thing unabashedly. My hope is that when they are older they will take these drawings with them and hang them in the places where they live and it will make them smile and jog their memories about those days when they were shorter and not weighted down with the concerns and image-consciousness we become bogged down with as we journey into adulthood. Here’s to these kids not caring about what others think and plugging away at being their best, most adventurous little selves! Wacky outfits and all!

I really love working from photos that are very candid, and with kids that is usually the case. It makes for a more interesting drawing (in my opinion). Special thanks to my friends who take great photos of their kids, let me draw them and then let me share the finished product here and on social media.

portrait of ollie and his parents,  mixed media on cold pressed paper, 8” x 8”,  2019

portrait of ollie and his parents, mixed media on cold pressed paper, 8” x 8”, 2019

the day morley picked her outfit and ran with it,  mixed media on hot pressed paper, 8” x 8”,  2019

the day morley picked her outfit and ran with it, mixed media on hot pressed paper, 8” x 8”, 2019

dorian and the really great socks,  mixed media on hot pressed paper, 8” x 8”,  2019

dorian and the really great socks, mixed media on hot pressed paper, 8” x 8”, 2019

unicorns really DO exist!,  mixed media on hot pressed paper, 8” x 8”,  2019

unicorns really DO exist!, mixed media on hot pressed paper, 8” x 8”, 2019

morley and elwood,  mixed media on hot pressed paper, 8” x 8”,  2019

morley and elwood, mixed media on hot pressed paper, 8” x 8”, 2019

toby learns his vowels,  mixed media on cold pressed paper, 8” x 8”,  2019

toby learns his vowels, mixed media on cold pressed paper, 8” x 8”, 2019

ellie masters the high bar,  mixed media on cold pressed paper, 8” x 8”,  2019

ellie masters the high bar, mixed media on cold pressed paper, 8” x 8”, 2019

what’s the catch of the day?,  mixed media on cold pressed paper, 8” x 8”,  2019

what’s the catch of the day?, mixed media on cold pressed paper, 8” x 8”, 2019

Portraiture is not something I do very often, but I really do enjoy it. If these drawings or this post inspire you to get one of your candid shots of your kids or some important kids in your life illustrated by me, send me an email and I will send you a price list. How neat would it be to be a kid and get a drawing of yourself doing one of your favorite activities?! Also a great way to make parents cry if that is your jam. Just saying! You’ll be the favorite friend/ relative/ fake or real aunt or uncle.

You can email me at info@justinasmith.com and put ‘illustrated portrait price list’ in the subject line.