Custom Portrait Illustration: Working with a Client From Start to Finish

My client Nia recently commissioned a portrait. I asked her if it was okay to share the process of making her custom portrait with you, and she was all for it! Thanks, Nia!


So here goes - Nia and I follow each other on Instagram. She is also a small business owner. This is her website: Flowers Walls of Bakersfield. A few weeks ago, she sent me a DM on Instagram with a dreamy photograph of her child that she wanted me to recreate in my style - digital collage.


After we agreed on the final size, frame, and price, I created a rough draft and vision board. I sent the rough draft and vision board to her via email.

Right: Allyssa Ashlee Photograph by Heidi Parra Left: Rough Draft and Vision Board by Raquel Busa
Right: Allyssa Ashlee Photograph by Heidi Parra Left: Rough Draft and Vision Board by Raquel Busa

She approved the palette, textures, and composition I created. And I started on the final draft. For this particular piece, I experimented with traditional and digital collage. In other words, I used images of actual tissue paper to create the tool skirt. I made all the other elements on my iPad with special brushes and techniques on an app called Procreate.



I finished the final draft and sent it to Nia for approval. She loved it. After that, I sent a file of the image to a third-party printing company.


When I received the final print in the mail, I was overjoyed at how well the colors and quality turned out. I framed the image and mailed it to Nia.


Just in case you're wondering, the entire process of making this custom portrait took a few days shy of one month to complete.



If you are interested in hiring me to make a custom portrait

or any other illustration service, email me at info@maquina37.com