Vancouver designer transforms digital photos into custom portraits

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Capturing a very special moment. (LuvFirstSite)

A Vancouver artist is gaining fans worldwide for transforming digital pictures into custom portraits.

With a background in graphic design and branding, Yurie Hoyoyon started drawing photos of her friends’ dogs and cats several years ago.  The pet owners loved them so much she started her own Etsy shop.

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She’s now created close to 200 custom portraits for people in Canada, U.S., U.K., Spain, Italy, France, Australia, Japan, Singapore and the Philippines.

While she still draws family pets, Yurie also captures pet owners, loving couples, best friends and families.

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Best friends portrait (LuvFirstSite).

Best friends portrait (LuvFirstSite).

She draws using a WACOM tablet, but her creative process is much more than sketching on top of an image.

In addition to the image she’s transforming, Yurie collects up to a dozen additional photos from her subject – to get a sense of their true personality. She encourages them to tell her personal stories about why that person – or pet – is so important in their life.

“I always want to become the eyes of the person who cherishes the subject. I want to hear the background stories, so I can share the joy and love which my client experiences,” she tells Vancity Buzz.

Below is a look at the picture I gave to Yurie to make custom portrait of my two mutts, Murphy (yawning) and Seymour, and the very cool results. Don’t ask how long it took to try to get them to sit together on the stairs like this.

Murphy and Seymour.

Murphy and Seymour.

Murphy and Seymour after. (LuvFirstSite)

Murphy and Seymour after. (LuvFirstSite)

Despite the outpouring of praise for her LuvFirstSight project, Yurie is humble – and happy.

“It’s a fun and satisfying job as I always get a happy message back from my clients. It makes me a happy person too,” she said.

“I believe happiness brings more happiness, and I hope my humble work will add a bit more happiness to the world.”

Custom prints start at about $75.

The happy couple (LuvFirstSite).

The happy couple (LuvFirstSite).

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About the author

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Darcy Matheson is the founder of PetFundr, a crowdfunding site for animal welfare projects. Her first book, "Greening Your Pet Care," is available on Amazon and in major book and pet stores.
@darcynews

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