Holiday Portraits: Revealed!

27 12 2011

Here are a select few portraits that I did this year for the holidays! Enjoy!

Open Studios in Hartford!

24 10 2011

November 12-13th, 11-5
555 Asylum Ave, Hartford, CT 
(I’m on the second floor in apt 212)

Come see my artwork along with a TON of other artists, right at Artspace! Artists in residence will open the doors of thier studios so you can see where they live and work. The hallways will also be lined with other artists from the area. Artspace isn’t the only place you can find artists, be sure to visit the eleven other studios around Hartford as well. Go to for more info.

There is an opening reception at the gallery at Artspace onNovember 3rd, from 6-8. There will be one piece of artwork from each participating artist. Come enjoy the artwork with a drink in your hand and some apps in your belly. 🙂

Find your Zen with Jen... by Sarah Paolucci
Illustration created for Jen Calvo, Find Your Zen with Jen, colored pencils.

For more info email me at or call 860.604.9823. Visit my website for more samples of my work.

Portrait of a little girl

8 09 2011

Here is the latest portrait. Her name is Emma, she is turning two soon. This was a portrait commissioned for her father’s birthday.

Portrait of a young girl

8×10 – colored pencil

Logos for less… You get what you pay for.

25 08 2011

I got turned down the other day.

Everybody gets turned down every now and then, but this one really burned me. I was working on a new logo. First round wasn’t quite there, but in the second round there were a few logos I really liked and I thought we were going to nail it. The client comes back to me and says that they like the logos but they want to change the name of the business as well as a few of the things that they do. They have decided to expand a bit, and the focus has changed. Okay. No problem. Before I could even say it, the client mentions that it’s okay if there is an extra cost, since we are going in a new direction. Great! This new direction sounds like a great plan for them. So I tell them the extra cost.

The client comes back to me and tells me that it’s too much money and they are going with a bidding website for a cheaper option.


But, you just said… You understood it would be more money… Did you think it would be, like, $10 more? I didn’t double the cost, I added about 50%. Not much considering we are starting all over again. What did they expect?

I encourage my clients to think everything out before I even begin. I have a questionnaire that everyone fills out prior to me even looking at the project. This forces each client to sit down and really think about what they need and how they want to be conveyed. This helps to weed out the people that aren’t serious, and make the ones that are, think about things before rushing into a design direction. It’s supposed to prevent this kind of thing from happening.

How do you tell a client they are wrong? They are wrong for using a bidding site for their logo. They are wrong for saying yes to quantity and no to quality. They are wrong for assuming that just because they want a simple design means that they shouldn’t have to pay a professional designer to do it.

The best logos are the simplest. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t take time and skill to come up with it. It takes more skill and discipline to come up with a simple, well thought out design, than a busy design that has one of everything, and says nothing.

I’m not a fan of crowd sourcing, or spec work. I don’t do work with the hope that I am going to win and get paid. And neither should any other designer. Unfortunately, there will always be people that will ask you to do things for free, and for less than your worth. Maybe it’s friends and family, and you feel comfortable doing work for them for free, that’s fine. Maybe it’s an acquaintance that you haven’t seen in years and suddenly they ask you to make something for them. Because art is fun, and you just enjoy doing it, right? I do my own art for free because I enjoy it. I do other people’s art for money because it’s my job and I’m good at it. I love my job, but if I was an architect or an engineer would you ask me to work for free? No, that’s preposterous! As a designer, doing work on spec (with the hope of getting paid) is not good for our industry. It encourages others to think that what we do is a hobby, not to be taken seriously.

As a client, you never know what you are going to get. If you ask 20 people to throw together a design for you, you are going to get 20 half thought out designs. If you ask me to do a logo for you I will create 3-4 logos that are well designed and each with a different description and explanation as to why I did the things I did. We then move on and expand to grow your logo into a piece of art that will work small and large and in all different formats. You don’t get that from a bidding site. You get lots of people submitting whatever comes to mind, even if it’s not good.

This is my job. I do this for a living. I have a website and a blog where you can see current and past work that I’ve done. This is the style and type of work that I do. This is why you hire me. I require a deposit before I begin. Then I work really hard to make sure you are happy and we get the logo exactly the way you want it. That’s how I work. I work until you are happy.

If you think I charge too much, please read this article.

First Birthday Present

6 08 2011

My niece has turned one year old. She’s the cutest little thing ever, and getting cuter. I decided awhile ago that I needed to make her a growth chart. Originally I was going to make it pink and Sophia-like, but then I thought… what if they have another? and another? I think it would be nice to have all their heights recorded on the same growth chart. So I made one that is gender-neutral, just in case there is another and it’s a boy. You never know! 🙂
So I made it more graphic, as opposed to using imagery. I designed it on the computer and used a classic Helvetica Bold font. Then transferred the image to the board and painted away! It starts at two feet, and goes to 6. I think it’s safe to say she won’t exceed six feet since both parents are under 5’7″… So this will last for ever.
Each number is a foot tall, and the inches are listed and it’s marked down to a quarter inch. Here is a photo I have from when I just finished the painting of it. I don’t have one of the finished piece because, well, it’s already wrapped, and I don’t have enough wrapping paper to re-wrap… So this will have to do for now. I will add an official pic of Sophia next to it when she opens it.

I also decided to make a card/poem for Sophia. Here’s a pic of the card. It’s made from one sheet of paper, cut once and folded to make a booklet.

Here’s a pic that gives a clue as to how it’s created. I just cut a slit into the middle of the paper and folded it in half.

Happy First Birthday to my little Sophia!