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Jameela Wahlgren
July 29, 2017

This is a series of portraits of people who love each other. Some of them are the same gender, some of them are gender, some of them are just best friends. No matter what they look like I set out to capture what made them special to each other.

I was contacted by a woman who wanted to commission a portrait of her and her girlfriend after seeing me listed on a directory of queer artists. One piece led to another and before I knew it I had a whole series of couples in love. I painted them in my typical graphic style, and had particular fun getting to draw and arrange all the outfits in the series!

I used photoshop from beginning to end! I spoke to the couples about how they wanted to be portrayed, what their relationship was like and how they usually interacted. With that in mind I did a digital sketch, blocked in the colors, deleted the sketch layer and drew details and textures on top of everything. Then I played with the colors using adjustment layers until I was happy with the palette!

This has been one of the most rewarding projects to work on, namely because of the response from both the clients and my audience. People have been so excited, supportive and grateful to see love depicted in many sizes, colors, genders and forms. It seems like it's a real breath of fresh air to see something other than thin, straight white heterosexual couples as the face of "love". And it feels good to people who don't fit into that descriptor to see themselves represented in this work.

You can find more of my work on and @whatagoodpup on twitter!

Jameela Wahlgren

I'm a freelance illustrator whose past clients include Urban Outfitters, National Geographic Kids, Hachette Book Group and more!
My goal as an illustrator is to create worlds that people want to spend time in. Worlds that seem so real and detailed that you wish you could just will yourself into the picture frame. I've been influenced by artists like Hayao Miyazaki and Trina Schart Hyman, whose art captivated me as a kid and made me want to leave my bedroom behind and travel in their magic worlds. I hope to do the same for a new generation of art-lovers!

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