Nomi Wagner Portrait Artist

Perseverance: The Discipline of Being a Portrait Artist

by Nomi Wagner

If there is one word that defines me, relative to my work, it is perseverance. Doing commissioned portraits is, for me, an excellent discipline. I can’t give up on a project…. I have a client waiting for it and I want to do my very best for them, giving them even more than they expect.

Most artists will tell you that there is often a point of self-doubt while creating a piece of art, when the work doesn’t look exactly as they had envisioned or when it starts to take on a life of its own. That is the point when many artists give up, and that is exactly the point when they need to persevere and see the work through to its completion. It’s a matter of trusting oneself, trusting the art, and letting go of doubt.

Admittedly, drawing and painting with a computer has its benefits. I can erase, make changes, and also save versions of the work as I proceed. Every time I say to myself, “Wow, that looks good!”, I save the version. Likewise, every time I worry that the art may be going in the wrong direction, I save the version. By the completion of my commissions, they are huge file folders, often 6-7 gigs in size. Being able to save files like this gives me the confidence to take risks with my work. I rarely go back to a previous version, but just knowing that I can gives me confidence to go forward fearlessly. For a perfectionist like me, it’s a PERFECT solution!

Here is a cartoon by my famous cousin, Benita Epstein. It describes me to a T, but I would wear a lovely gown, of course!