Categories / Inspiration

How to Create an Illustrated Portrait of Your Family

Kelley Johnson April 17, 2024 · 6 min read

If you’re not yet familiar with Lisa Glanz, you’re in for a treat today! Lisa is a fantastic Creative Market shop owner and an amazing illustrator. Thanks to her Personalised Portrait Creator, you can put together a professional-level portrait illustration for you, your family, your team, and more in a matter of minutes!

Today, we’re going to introduce you to Lisa, who has put together some step by step tutorials to help you get the most out of her Personalised Portrait Creator.

Meet Lisa

Hey Lisa! Can you start by telling us a little bit about where you’re from?

“I was born in Pretoria, an inland city in the northern part of South Africa. Currently I live in a small seaside suburb called Melkbosstrand, in Cape Town, South Africa. It’s beautiful! I get to walk my dog on the beach, and spend sunny afternoons braaiing (our version of a BBQ) with friends and family.” That sounds amazing! How did you became an illustrator? “I started out as a junior graphic designer for a magazine company, eventually moved my way up, and landed an art directors job a few years later. Although I loved it, I just really had the urge to work for myself. So I took the plunge!” “Over the next ten years, I was fortunate enough to build a fairly successful freelance business. But during that time, I barely did any illustration work. Although I’ve always had this dream of becoming an illustrator, I just never saw myself as one, and I didn’t think I was good enough to consider that as a career choice.” “Nevertheless, I still had this feeling I couldn’t ignore, so I started dabbling in illustration on the side and ended up creating my first graphic resource pack. It was terrible, but it was the start of a new journey.” “I spent the next year in my spare time improving my skills and learning all I could about selling graphic resources. To my amazement, and utter excitement, my products became successful enough for me to quit graphic design completely. Now I illustrate full time and get to create graphic resources for a living. I feel like I’ve won the lottery!” It sounds like you’re living your dream! Why did you decide to make your Personalised Portrait Creator? “I’m always on the lookout for products that I think my target audience will love and find useful. I often look at Pinterest and Etsy for ideas on what my customers might want to sell or are currently selling, and then I try to find ways to either make it easier, or make it more fun!” “I noticed that personalised portraits were quite a popular product that artists were selling, and immediately I had this insane idea, ‘what if I can create a product that somehow helps my customers make these custom portraits, without them needing to draw the portraits themselves?!’ It was an ‘insane idea’ because I had no clue how I was going to pull it off. But you know that feeling you get when you think you’re onto something? I had that in bucket loads, and I was super excited about the idea and the potential of the product.” Well, you were clearly onto something good! You’ve created an amazing tool that’s helping so many people. How long did it take to put the product together? “In short, a very long time! The first version of the product took about 8 months of working on and off. It took a while to figure out ways to make the product easy to use, while still offering as much customization as possible. And I was determined to make it so easy that someone with no Illustrator or Photoshop knowledge could use it.” “Since then, I’ve updated it 6 times, and each update takes months of dedicated work. It requires huge chunks of my time and a lot of hard work with each update, but hearing all the positive feedback from my customers makes it all worth it!” Wow, it has clearly been no small feat to create and continually update the Personalised Portrait Creator. But it sounds like you’ve been enjoying it. Would you say it’s one of your favorite products in your shop? “Yes definitely! I get to help people create special gifts for their friends and personalised products for their clients, plus they seem to have fun doing it! It’s like playing dress-up.” “Based on requests, I recently added angel wings which means people can now include loved ones who have passed on. To be able to somehow be part of such a special thing is truly humbling. The heartwarming messages I receive from customers makes me love my job, and this product even more!”

Getting Started with the Personalised Portrait Creator

Along with making the Portrait Creator itself, Lisa has put together some wonderful tutorials to help her customers use the product. The video below is a step by step overview of how to get going with the product. It starts at the very beginning for both the Photoshop and Illustrator versions of the product–opening the correct files, going through all of the layers, changing colors, personalizing, and more!

How to create your first custom portrait! from Lisa Glanz on Vimeo.

If you want to go into even more detail, you can check out Lisa’s tutorials on adding patterns to clothing and changing hair color.

Creating Group Portraits

Once you’ve personalized all of the individual people in your family, team, or group, you’re going to want to put everyone together into one group portrait. Lucky for you, Lisa has a tutorial for this as well!

How to combine your portraits into one document from Lisa Glanz on Vimeo.

Share Your Portraits

Once you’ve made your portrait, we’d love to see it, and we know Lisa would too! Make sure you share your portraits out on social media with the hashtag #madewithcreativemarket so we can see your beautiful creations!

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About the Author
Kelley Johnson

I’m an ex-schoolmarm who is excited about all things creative. Photography makes me smile and when I find a new-to-me dress that fits just right, it makes my day.

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