Saturday, October 13, 2012

Diesel & Juice: Custom Pet Illustration Portraits- A MUST SEE Giveaway and Review~10/1


It's not hard to see I am absolutely smitten with our furry family members; they are the perfect kids, for the most part. And, much like any other parent, I am biased to think that mine are the cutest/most well behave (okay, I know they are terrors, but I love them anyway)/talented/intelligent/(insert gushing term here). Similar to children, however, not all looking in see them the same way I do. In fact, to outsiders, Truffles is known as the 'unfriendly' one, while Frankie is known as the 'nice' one, and Nora... well, she's just the baby. Because you do not know Truffles, your only glimpse of her is my motherly descriptions- of course, I like to think I am objective. Never have I portrayed her as a people loving cat, or the world's friendliest pet. She's attached to me, and is extremely hesitant of new people, furry or otherwise. Walk up to Truffles, stranger, and she'll likely turn her ears back and growl. She's relatively harmless, but not exactly warm.


Social quirks aside, Truffles has one of the best personalities I've ever come across. She's 100% cat, yes- touch her when she allows you to touch, feed her OR ELSE, and if it's on the floor it might as well be a cat toy. But how many cats do you know that are trained to use the (human) toilet, fetch beanie babies 1/4 their size, and have their own website? Okay, I helped a little with the latter, but Truffles likes the virtual attention, so long as it's spearheaded by me. And, as much as she prefers to maintain the illusion of solidarity, this kitty has to be by my side at all times- following me through rooms, and mewing at closed doors; especially the bathroom. She may not be the prettiest cat, though I think she holds her own in that department; she's quite 'generic' tuxedo, in fact- but to me, she is a star.


Because my pets are my kids, and it seems they are changing, and developing as individuals each day, I take hundreds of photos. I've even started this blog to document their mishaps, training and adventures. So, when I came across Diesel & Juice, it's clear why I was instantly enamored. On it's own, Michele Nicolette's portfolio is whimsically enchanting; beautiful illustrations of living and inanimate objects alike. Having done a brief stint at the Art Institutes of L.A. at 17 (way too young to know my direction, or have the solo drive to achieve my goals), I have a tremendous respect for the time and attention to detail Michele puts into each Illustrator based creation. Adobe Illustrator is a wonderful graphics tool, but the artist must do all of the work intelligently, and meticulously, to layer and create overlapping shapes that blend visually as one seamless image. Having slaved through hundreds of hours of Illustrator in 'art school', I can instantly appreciate the precision of Diesel & Juice's pet portraits. I can also see just how much Michele has grown as a digital artist.

While some of her earlier pet portrait commissions are bolder, more simplistic renderings, her more recent work has focused on minute details and intricate shading that truly brings to life the personality of each pet. Artist Michele creates each of these masterpieces by first digitally drawing a frame of the pet, directly in Illustrator. Next, she works to layer colors and shapes to build the animal, or object. When creating a pet portrait commission she is sure to learn about the animal as an individual so she can recreate mannerisms and personality in her pieces. Customers are asked to provide various photo examples of their pet, for reference, but Michele builds much of her concept from the entire customer interaction, which enables her to bring the portrait to life. While she is happy to pose your pet in any requested situation, she does not necessarily create a duplicate of any one photo, and is highly capable of creating a one-of-a-kind rendering of your pet.


Michele was kind enough to create a custom illustration of Ms. Truffles, for a feature here on Time Out For Truffles. Before we'd even begun the conception process I was tickled with this woman, whose emails were full of personality. However, I can assure you she is quite the professional artist, asking all the right questions to determine Truffles' character, and to brainstorm an appropriate piece of work. Shortly after I had first sent over some reference photos Michele same back with two thoughts; to post Truffles laying (as many of her photos showcased her), or to feature her 'fetching' one of her infamous Beanie Babies. I opted for the latter, and suggested we go with Goldie, the goldfish, for its juxtapose of the cat vs. fish conundrum. A few short days later Michele has a proof for me to preview- a relatively complete version, compared to the ending result.

While I was immediately tickled with the realistic likeness, and quality, of the illustration, I anted to test her skills just a little more. I asked Michele to add a few characteristics that were not visible in photos, including some stray (White) hairs by the base of her tail. A minor detail that, in no way defined the image as Truffles any more, to anyone but me- but a change Michele was happy to accommodate. This took a few emails back and forth (placement and size), but turned out perfect. I had also requested that the 'butt' and hang tags for Goldie be added. Last, but not least, I chose a background, from a selection of provided shades, Purple- Truffles' color. With the piece complete I was dumbfounded, turning from screen to cat, an back- the likeness was uncanny. Somehow Michele had managed to capture the sparkle of mischief in Truffles. I an not sing enough praise of the personality of this artist, or her skill. She has been a true pleasure to work with, and I have already been in talks to commission a paid piece for a Christmas gift.


While Diesel & Juice has a wide range of gallery portraits, prints, stickers, and more- it's hard not to highlight Michele's custom work. Her prices are modest for the time and detail put in, and sure to be the highlight of any recipient's year. Inspired by her own furry children, Diesel the Bulldog, and Juice the Cat, Michele brings to light the depth of our best friends and commemorates them far beyond any photos or words. Custom portraits offer many options for prints, and International shipping is available (pricing determined by rates)- there is no reason not to connect with Diesel & Juice today for your own work of art. I can't stop showing ours off!


One follower will win their very own Custom Pet Portrait from Diesel & Juice!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

50 comments:

  1. They are all so good! I really like the one done for Truffles, on the site I like Biff the English Bulldog

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  2. I like Jack and Stella. :)

    http://dieselandjuice.com/project/jack-and-stella-cats/

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  3. I am absolutely blown away at how flattering your review is. Thank you so much Jenna! I'm so thrilled you love your portrait and I definitely look forward to our future endeavors!

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  4. Even if I win I'd still buy a couple more...I love all my furbabies!

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  5. I like Roscoe the cat.... very cute!

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  6. I can't pick just one.
    Ginny
    Fred
    Humphrey
    Yellow Baby Chick
    AND OF COURSE - TRUFFLES!

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  7. Archie the Dancing Dog is really cute!

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  8. Archie the Dancing Dog is adorable!

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  9. my favorite pet portrait: http://shop.dieselandjuice.com/bailey-the-weimaraner-dog-illustration-print.html

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  10. Blogged it: http://thebannerplanner.blogspot.com/2012/01/of-course-i-have-pinterest-addiction.html

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  11. I like the Ginny the Super Jack Russell Terrier - Illustrated

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  12. Nick the Pomeranian puppy has GOT to be my favorite! So cute in his glasses I die!

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  13. The work is so pretty! I would love to get Mar done!

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  14. My favorite is the trio of Westies.

    Nancy
    allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

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  15. Blog post; http://myaddictiongiveaways.blogspot.com/
    carriedust@yahoo.com

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  16. Baconman aka Digby Van Winkle the Brussels Griffon has so much personality! I love it!

    em9499 at gmail dot com

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  17. I really like Crash the boxer pup

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  18. Ginny the Super Jack Russell Terrier - Illustrated Print
    2dogs5catscrew@att.net

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  19. I like Red Cardinal - Illustrated Print

    felecia@twinoaksfl.org

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  20. I like Rosco the cat. Rosco looks like my cat.

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  21. I love Digby Van Winkle and his scruffy little face. What a cutie! http://shop.dieselandjuice.com/digby-van-winkle-the-brussels-griffon-illustrated-print.html

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  22. I like the Pomeranian Puppy Wearing Glasses http://shop.dieselandjuice.com/pomeranian-puppy-wearing-glasses-illustrated-art-print.html

    Wanda McHenry

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  23. Jen Boehme
    I like the Max the Bichon Frise/Yorkie Mix current portrait. He is a cutie!

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  24. I love Ginny the Super Jack Russell Terrier. Who wouldn't love Super Dog???

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  25. The one of Truffles definitely has a ton of personality! I also like Biff the English Bulldog puppy.

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  26. I love Nick the Pomeranian puppy!

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  27. I messed up on the daily tweet for today. Here is the correct one:
    https://twitter.com/amyorvin/status/249543473563316226

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  28. I like Reginald, the Jack Russell....because we have 4 of these crazy little guys and I am crazy about them. All of her work is wonderful. That Crash, the boxer pup, is so cute and funny.

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  29. I *LOVE* SUPER GINNY THE JACK RUSSELL TERRIER!

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  30. I really like Super Ginny the Jack Russell Terrier!

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  31. I like the Heidi the Mini Dauschund - Illustrated Print

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  32. i love the golden retriever portrait

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  33. The Boston Terrier illustrated print - looks like my girl!

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  34. I like Jack and Stella - the two cats!

    http://dieselandjuice.com/project/jack-and-stella-cats/

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  35. I like the CHUNK THE ENGLISH BULLDOG WITH A BOW TIE

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  36. I love Truffles the Tiny Kitty!

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