Digital ArtArtSwap | Helen

ArtSwap | Helen

The ArtSwap club

Helen | 2015

When Helen and I first started planning our ArtSwap, she offered up a few things for her submission, a photo from her portfolio, a portrait, or BBQ pork tacos. Artistically, I wanted the photo or the portrait, but my stomach ended up choosing the tacos! I’m glad it did, because we had such a great time preparing and eating them. They tasted so good, I think I ate at least 8 of them!

A photo posted by Nolan Lemos (@nolanmakesart) on

After our taco feast, I started on Helen’s artwork. Up until then, the artwork that I made for my ArtSwap friends were portraits of those particular people. With Helen, I wanted to do something different. On her Instagram profile, there was this picture of her parents that I fell in love with instantly. The caption for that particular photo, explained how her parent’s recently sold their business and are easing into retirement. I had a feeling that a portrait of Helen’s parents might mean more to her than a portrait of herself. I went to work, first with a rough sketch, then brought that sketch into photoshop to paint it. It was a little challenging trying to capture her parent’s likeness, just from the one photo, but I think I did a pretty good job. Helen must have thought that the tacos were not enough for an ArtSwap, because I found out that she was making a portrait for me as well. I couldn’t believe it! When we finished our respective pieces, we had our swap. I’m pretty sure we were equally impressed with what the other had made. I know I was a little choked up when she showed me my portrait! I don’t know if anyone has ever drawn me before. All-n-all this was such a great ArtSwap. Helen definitely raised the bar in terms of participation and, in the future, I hope to meet more people that are this enthusiastic about my project. Good job Helen, you’re awesome! I also want to let everyone know about this really cool walking tour that Helen organizes called KTown Is My Town. I took the tour last month and met so many cool people and learned so much about the awesomeness of Koreatown. I’m not sure if Helen knows this, but she’s a very good tour guide. I encourage everyone to at least check out the KTown Is My Town Website

My contribution to Helen’s, @theotherhelenkim, ArtSwap was an illustration of her parents. This was the first ArtSwap piece were I didn’t draw the specific person that I was swapping with. Somewhere down the line, I had a revelation that there might be people that would think it’s a little weird to hang a portrait of themselves on their own wall. However, I don’t think this was the case with Helen, I think she would’ve been totally happy if I drew her, but there was this one picture of her parents, that I found to be so charming. Something about how they’re both smiling, and how her dad has his arm wrapped around her mom, pulling her close. Right away, I knew that this is what I was going to make for Helen. I drew up some sketches then brought that into photoshop to paint them. Since I’ve never met her parents, it was a little challenging getting their likeness down from this photo I just found off of her instragram, but I think I did a pretty good job. After I finished, I matted and framed it, then presented it to Helen. I might, or might not have, seen a tear roll down her cheek, but I think she liked it nonetheless. Now that both of our pieces have been swapped, I think it’s time to finally assemble our final ArtSwap display. I’m planning on having it up by the end of this weekend. I’ll keep you posted. #artswapclub A photo posted by Nolan Lemos (@nolanmakesart) on


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