My Creative Process Behind a Custom Artwork

Late last year, my college blockmate messaged me about painting a custom artwork for her. She recently moved to the US for work and she wanted to spruce up her apartment walls with art. I am happy that she thought of me to do this for her! She is a repeat client for my artwork. She ordered watercolor artworks with motivational quotes from me before which she gave as gifts to her friends for Christmas. I really appreciate her for trusting me again with this task.

She wanted 6 or 9 pieces of A4-sized artworks that she can display side by side and everything would look like a continuous piece. I love her idea. It was quite clever. Shipping one large artwork would be expensive. Having small pieces is easier to pack and move should she need to transfer residence. She hoped I would be able to send the artwork to her family in Manila before they leave for the US to visit her.

I asked for pegs so I have an idea of what she wants. She gave me free rein over the art work so I just bounced off ideas to her. I told her I thought of painting something tropical to remind her of home. She said tend to like green and orange colors and she preferred the mountains over the beach. I remembered the photos on Facebook of all the climbs she did. She also sent me a poem that she loved. I told her I will find a way to incorporate the poem into the painting.

So I looked for photos of Philippine mountains. I picked Mt. Batulao for its lovely ridges. I thought about painting from a vantage point similar to Katy Perry’s Roar video where she looked over Taal Volcano.

Katy Perry’s Roar Video

For the artwork, I decided to make 6 pieces. Mt Batulao would be at the center.

It was framed by trees and tropical plants and flowers. So I picked the following flowers to paint:

Angel’s trumpet and Hibiscus (Gumamela)


Lobster claw (Heliconia) and Taro leaves (Gabi)

Wild orchid


Plumeria (Kalachuchi)

Birds of paradise and Tahitian Ginger

I filled the blank areas with palm leaves and green vegetation.
Individually, the artwork can be displayed on its own.

Collectively, it is one large artwork.

Oh, I did not forget the poem. The verses are hidden somewhere in the painting.

I am really happy with the result. The whole process took 25 days from the time she messaged me until she received the artwork. I had other work to do in between. I paint when I have enough time to enjoy the process. Painting is my happy pill. Every work of art from me comes from a happy place. I do not paint to express sadness.

I am glad the my friend loves the painting. She found acrylic frames being sold online so it appears like the artwork is floating on her wall. The paintings now hang in her bedroom wall. She posted this on Facebook.

Thank you, Hannisel!
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For custom artwork, just message me here or in any of my social media pages.
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/katrinacenteno/
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/katrinakarenart/
Youtube:    https://www.youtube.com/c/katrinacenteno

Oh, I also have paintings for sale through Artfinder. I also accept commission work through Artfinder.

Pursuing Art, Creativity and Happiness

Two of the books I read last year were “Steal Like an Artist” and “Show You Work” by Austin Kleon. The books gave me the push to pursue the artistic path- the path that seemed to be way off-tangent from what I studied in the university and the career paths I took for the past 19 years. Here I am in my late 30’s and I am still pursuing and figuring out my passion, whatever it is. If I compare myself to my parents in their 30’s, it seemed like they had everything figured out while I am still clueless of what I want to do and I am nearing 40! At this age, my parents had stable jobs, were raising a family (me) and were in control of their lives while I still feel like a child: wide-eyed and unsure of herself. Yet, after reading the books, I felt that I have a place in the artistic world I am trying to squeeze myself in.

I do not remember everything the two books have taught me but there were a few things that stayed in mind that seemed to speak to me. Austin wrote,”Do not wait until you know who you are to get started.” I am one of those people who would wait for the right moment-the right time- instead of making the moment be the right time. Life is short. We have a finite lifetime and if we live by waiting for opportunities to fall in our lap, we might be waiting forever. Instead, we can create the opportunities.

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It is the fear of failing that keeps me from doing the things I planned to do. I may write cliches about handling failure and believe them but in reality, I really do not want to fail. I would rather not do anything than do something and fail. But what good does that kind of mindset do to me? Nothing. The fear of failure puts my dreams at risk. Amy Poehler has some wise words about it.

“Great people do things before they’re ready. They do things before they know they can do it. Doing what you’re afraid of, getting out of your comfort zone, taking risks like that- that’s what life is. You might be really good. You might find out something about yourself that’s really special and if you’re not good, who cares? You tried something. Now you know something about yourself.”

And who else can talk to me about failure and success than one of my favorite authors, J.K. Rowling? Many of us who read her books know that she was broke when wrote Harry Potter in a cafe in Edinburgh and that the manuscript she submitted to publishers was rejected several times. Yet, she persevered.

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So what is the point of writing all these? This is actually a pep talk to myself. I am taking baby steps in pursuing a creative path. Right now, I am inclined to do a lot of art. I now have a Facebook page for those who are interested in getting me to do commission work for them. The Facebook page has samples of artwork that I have done in the past.

I have actually taken the steps quietly. Some friends asked me to do some artwork for them last year. This year, I am opening up the same service to anyone who is interested. You can like my facebook page to get updates on the projects that I am doing (or maybe you want me to do some projects for you. let’s talk!) and some snippets of my life. I will also share my blog posts there.

Here is the link to the eponymous Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/katrinakarenart

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Hope you have the time to interact with me in that page. See you there!

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