Okay, let’s have a raw and honest moment here. We all want to be knights and princesses. ADMIT IT!!!
There is just something romantic and wistful and adventurous about have a family crest. A coat of arms. An ancient family motto emblazoned across archaic symbols passed on through the years from generation to generation. This stuff is freaking COOL.
Having grown up at Renaissance Faires, I am especially susceptible to the siren call of having a personalized family crest created. Then, of course, there was growing up at Disneyland, where that epic family crest shop was located in Fantasyland Square. I would flip through their crest history books and daydream about having my own family crest. I remember scanning the names, wondering wistfully what my future husbands last name would be… little knowing that my future husband lived LITERALLY a block away from Disneyland. (This world is so small!)
So you can imagine my excitement when I recently came into contact with watercolor artist Jamie Hansen. Jamie creates personalized watercolor art that combines parts of vintage coats of arms with historical research to create frame-able coats of arms with 24k gold and silver leaf. Drawn in India ink and painted with watercolor, these can include wedding dates, family mottos, and even personalized symbols!
I commissioned Jamie to recreate our Freeman family coat of arms, but was uncertain if our lines branched from the Irish Freeman crest or the English. So we picked out our favorite elements from each (colors, symbols, layout), and Jamie included the two smaller knight helms to represent our two children, Tessa and Thyme.
The end result is rooted in history, our personal preferences as a unique family unit, and thoughtful artistic interpretation. The result is a stunning masterpiece that we are hanging over our fireplace and will cherish forever, even passing it down to our children down the line. (I had hoped to include a shot of it framed over our fireplace, but I am not thrilled with the frame I bought for it.. going to grab a new one, but I couldn’t wait to share this art with you guys! So enjoy the images of the art in all it’s raw, unframed glory, hehe!)
Here is how it works:
1. After ordering from Jamie, she will present a computer generated sketch for approval.
2. Jamie can adjust fonts, mottos, colors, and parts of the art.
3. After approval of the computer sketch, Jamie begins to draw the piece. (She also likes to send frequent photo updates of the piece in progress, for those of you who are impatient like me!)
Turnaround Time: Roughly 3 weeks, including the collaboration phase.
Here are some of the update shots that Jamie sent me during the production phase. From concept sketch, to start, to finish!
What is great that is you start with work from an an existing image / family crest, but can add symbols of important things in your life, meaningful colors, flowers, animals, and places. These can be completely from scratch or based on an existing piece.
These pieces catch the light and are a bright and personalized way to celebrate your family. I took multiple images from different angles so you can better see the depth that the details have – the gold and silver elements just pop off the page, and I love how they reflect the light. I shared this artwork on my Gingi Freeman Photography blog, because this is an AMAZING idea for wedding gifts to the bride and groom on the wedding day, save the dates, or invitation artwork.
Prices range from $200 – $400 depending on size and complexity. Plan to start about a month in advance so the piece can be completed in time.
You can purchase your personalized art by visiting Jamie’s shop on Etsy at: https://www.etsy.com/shop/JamieHansen