Jamie Hamilton: Paper Thin Portraits

Paper Thin Portraits are personalized works of art that offer a tantalizing glimpse at the lives of those fortunate enough to own them. Jamie Hamilton, based in Vancouver, has turned her love of words, details, and what makes people unique, into beautiful works of art. As her web site states: “Through her paper thin portraits, Jamie hopes to remind people to slow down and to acknowledge the silly little things, the secret ugly things, and the beautiful sweet things, that make us all so perfectly flawed. Each of us unique in our own way…one simple sentence at a time.”

Having seen some of Jamie’s work in person, I was captivated and wanted to learn more…

What’s your background, creatively speaking?

I studied design and aside from several years in my twenties when I traveled throughout Asia, I’ve worked as an interior designer for most of my life.

How would you describe your work, and how did your style develop?

The painting has always been late at night, usually after the responsible, grown-up part of me has retired for the evening. After everything goes quiet in my head. I’ve always been in love with creating art. For me, art is spirituality in drag.

The portraits began several years ago during one of my late night painting benders. I wanted to do a painting as a birthday gift for my best friend Nancy. I started thinking about all of the reasons I love her and all the quirky little things started popping in to my head. I had this sweet little picture of her as a little girl that I thought it captured her perfectly. I put the photo and the words describing her on the painted canvas and that was it. People started seeing it hanging in her house and asking if they could have one done. Strangers began to commission them so I had to develop the “little things” questionnaire so that I would know what to write about them. I wanted to capture the good and the weird and the original things that most of us don’t show the world. The part of us that makes us unique.

How does it influence your working process, knowing who the painting will be going to, and knowing a little about that person?

The best part of doing these written portraits is that I get to peek inside people’s lives, see the things that make us all so lovable. The imperfections. I sort of fall in love with each person I do one for. It’s almost like I attach to the subject while I’m working on their portrait and get right inside them…look around, pick the best and the worst and the funniest and the weirdest things about them…and put in all together in one simple format.

What’s the most enjoyable part of the process for you?

I’ve always had a love affair with words and with people so these portraits just fit me. Really it’s born out of a lifetime of loving the little things.

Thanks, Jamie!

Be sure to visit Paper Thin Portraits for more beautiful images, and information on how to order.

All images courtesy of Jamie Hamilton.


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8 Responses to “Jamie Hamilton: Paper Thin Portraits”

  1. September 8, 2012 at 9:55 am #

    This is quite cool. And quite tempting. The questionnaire is brilliant- and I’m totally curious what kinda stuff is asked to get a handle on the different recipients…so I’m about to go check it out. And pester my husband into “checking it out,” too. (Happy Sharefest!)
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  2. September 8, 2012 at 11:24 am #

    I love these artworks. The border of questionnaire snippets is brilliant! Stopping by from SITS.

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  3. September 8, 2012 at 9:59 pm #

    This is really neat…I want one!
    Christine@TheAums recently posted..5 Reasons I Can No Longer Relate To The Little House On The PrairieMy Profile

  4. September 10, 2012 at 5:07 am #

    These are beautiful. Love her work!
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  5. September 10, 2012 at 5:09 am #

    Popped in from SITs. I absolutely love this. I love meeting other creative women and admiring their talents. I’d never have the patience to be this detailed with my work!
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  6. September 10, 2012 at 8:09 am #

    Also popped in from SITS, Jaime does gorgeous work!
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  7. September 18, 2012 at 7:21 am #

    I looked at the article when it was first written and I loved it, but stumbling along this morning I found it again and it made my day.
    This is so nice, the comments about my work. Thank you all so much for writing them.
    Warmest, nicest, bestest wishes,
    (artist at paperthin portraits)

    • September 18, 2012 at 8:24 am #

      I’ve received other feedback, Jamie – verbally or by email – that isn’t here in the comments but from people who also loved your work, and I’m happy to have introduced them to it! Thanks again for participating!

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