Last weekend, I had the pleasure of working with Sam Day on a beautiful wedding out at Reflection Bay, Lake Las Vegas.
Two weeks before the wedding, the bride ask me if I knew of an artist to paint the scene of her wedding. Her inspiration: personalized M&M candies with their faces on them. Somehow the purchase of these personalized M&M candies prompted her to think about having someone paint her wedding live.
Enjoy Sam’s interview:
Name: Sam Day
Company Name: The business license still says Sam Day – Illustrator
Number of Years in Business: Since ’92 as an illustrator, since ’04 as a wedding painter
How did you get started in wedding/event painting?
A groom called me a week before his wedding, saying he had a great idea for a gift for his bride. He actually made 75 phone calls looking for someone willing to do it. A professor at the University of Washington told him he would not be able to find anyone who could paint that fast. I took that as a dare.
What did you do prior to this?
I’ve done everything from storyboards for advertising to cartoons for Readers’ Digest.
If you didn’t do wedding/event painting for a living what would you be doing instead? I’ve got some grand manner paintings in progress in the studio.
What are some of your hobbies? Open water swimming, singing tenor in the church choir, trying to teach my golden retriever to fetch under water.
What is the craziest wedding experience you’ve ever had? That would be the time the groom got into a knock down fight with his mother in law.
What is the best wedding experience you’ve ever had? My own.
What is your inspiration? Lately, the Russian painter Ilya Repin. He could paint a whole crowd in real time, and every brush stroke was perfect.
Name an exotic location you’d like to visit soon. Thailand.
Why do your clients choose you over some of your competitors? In the amount of time allotted to paint a wedding, my competitors and I all struggle to get more detail than mere stick figures. My clients often express amazement that I can produce a likeness if not of every guest, at least of the bride and groom. (I owe this to 20 years of doing caricatures in under a minute apiece.) I also keep hearing them say the result reminds them of Renoir.
What is the best piece of advice you can offer a bride and groom on their wedding day?
Accept each others’ flaws, and express gratitude and praise for each other daily.
Anything else interesting you’d like to share? I intend to get a lot better at this over time.
Donya & Robert’s wedding paintings:
Thank you to Digs Studio for capturing these beautiful images: