October 02, 2012

Handmade Marathon - Day #2 (Adriana Willsie)

Editor's Note:
It's DAY TWO of the Handmade Marathon. 

If you are a pet lover, or know a pet lover, Adriana's custom pet portraits make such a wonderful gift.  I recently purchased a mini-print for a friend and I was SO excited to gift it! Read all about Adriana, an "unapologetically upbeat artist" below!

About Adriana Willsie

I’m an independent artist who specializes in painting pet portraits that celebrate your furry friend’s one-of-a-kind soul. I love watching my artwork go out into the world as mother’s day packages, birthday presents, wedding gifts, and thinking-of-you treats. And working with someone to craft a painting for their own home? That’s pretty awesome too.

What began as painting a few as gifts for friends has become my business and my life. So, why pets? Well, because I want my artwork to make you smile. My pet portraits are peppy. They’re happy, and sweet, and (dare I say it) sometimes even cute. Depending on who I’m painting, my work can also be mischievous, soulful, inquisitive, lazy, regal, sensitive, sly, wishful, wishful, dignified, or ridiculous, but never dark or dreary. And I’m okay with that.

I intentionally offer a wide range of sizes and prices so that there’s something for everyone’s budget.  After all, I believe everybody deserves to surround themselves with original artwork.

Hello, my name is Adriana, I’m an unapologetically upbeat artist. I spend my days zipping around my studio making portraits for pet lovers and splattering my favorite jeans with paint. 

But I wasn’t always an artist.  In fact, I graduated from Princeton University in 2007 with a degree in cognitive psychology and Spanish language. Then I set off to make the world a better place through nonprofit work. After several years in the nonprofit sector, I began secretly craving a more creative life. So, I began to cook, write, and paint.  I spent an intense year getting my culinary degree at night, while working my day job, completing some food writing projects, and clocking in as a restaurant manager on weekends.  Then one day, through a strange turn of events, I found myself holding a paint brush and staring at a blank canvas for the very first time.

Let’s just say it took about 2 minutes until I was head-over-heels in love.  And I’ve been painting my tail off ever since.

Now I live in Madison, WI with my fiancé, Noah, and our clumsy-as-can-be puppy named Copernicus.

You can explore more Adriana Willsie here: 

p.s. like something?  don't forget to grab your free printable wish list, created by Geri of The Languid Lion to jot down all of your fave items from the Handmade Marathon. 


  1. Too cute! Another great artist today.

  2. How could you not be happy making all these adorable portraits of dogs? I love how they all look like they are smiling! Great work Adriana.

  3. As an artist of handmade wonderfulness, I love seeing the work of other handmade, creative, inspiring artists and artisans. Adriana is a great artist and I love reading about Copernicus and their adventures.

  4. Very original, Great work Adriana!

  5. You rock, Adriana! Looking through your portraits never fails to make me smile :)