Today I started the mega March Madness contest that I am running all month long. I am so excited whenever I run contests because I get to see the most adorable photo's of my fans pets. I also love the stories they write with them. They are usually uplifting and funny, which I think is so important to spread that joy because we can all relate to that persons story somehow even though they might live across the world in Australia. And it is so amazing to me how Facebook has become this tool where we can connect and meet people that we would of never had the opportunity to meet, which is another reason why I love doing these contests! I posted some of the first entries for the March Madness contest, I cannot wait to see more! I'll also be working on the winners portrait from the Modern Dog Magazine's "Cutest Couple" contest. The winner was a super cute Dachshund, so I will post pictures of the progress shortly.
My Paw Portrait got Published!
So I have been advertising in Modern Dog magazine now for a little over a year and they just released an article on myself and my pet portrait company. I cannot even explain how this feels. I started painting pet portraits for fun- I painted my dog Ruccus, and then when I saw the reaction from my friends and family on Facebook, I couldn't help but to pass that feeling on to them. So, I did what any Facebook friend stalker would do, lol, I started to steal my friends Facebook photo's of their pets and surprised them online with photo's of their dogs. The reactions were priceless! I just wish I had a video of their reaction when they opened up that email saying "Dyanna Bruno tagged you in a photo"...lol. I knew from that point on that I was going to start this company because I loved the feeling of people loving my artwork and being emotionally attached with me through my pieces. That I was able to give them something that I knew would last a lifetime and would mean everything to them because it was their babies on canvas, and who doesn't want to snap shot that perfect moment with their pets. And even though I haven't met all the animals I've painted, I still become connected to them when I paint them, which makes it that much more special.
Well, I just knew that I had to not only try to make a living of this because you are suppose to do what you love, and I LOVE this, but I also knew, I had to give back. That's when I started to follow Ellen Degeneres and started planning contests around her game themes. I knew I wanted to start off with a BANG for my first contest. (Which, by the way, the winner of my first contest, The Yay! May! Pet Portrait Give Away! is actually featured in the Modern Dog 'Art Attack' Spring 2011 article, which makes this whole story come full circle). So back to that contest, I knew I had to find a way to connect to my newly added fan base, and what better way than to introduce Ruccus as my My Paw Portrait mascot! From the time I started the contest, I knew how the winner was going to be picked...not by the amount of "likes" on Facebook because that is just so boring and everyone knows, even on Facebook there's a popularity theme among pet profiles. No, I was either going to go big or go home, and go big it was. I had my dog pick the winner by playing with his favorite toy ever- those darn water bottles, lol. I placed a name of each of the contestants in the bottles and he ultimately chose the bottle with the name in it. It was perfect! Not only did he pick an amazing dog- Ducati, a Schnauzer from California- but everyone LOVED it! They immediately feel in love with Ruccus (how could you not?) and they loved the idea that everyone had a fair chance at winning. Well, after Ducati won, I had a stellar Schnauzer fan base, I mean Schnauzer profiles were hitting me left and right for custom portraits. Honestly, I never knew how tight nit the Schnauzer community was until I met Ducati. And I think the reason I have to many fans right now is because of him and his mom- thank you!
After that first contest, I was on fire, hosting more contests and donating free pet portraits for all kinds of pet causes, which really made the idea of 'paying it forward' truly pay it forward to me because shortly after that is when I started to actually bring in commission pieces! I know a lot of people who start businesses and end them after a year because it is too hard. I am so thankful that my husband, who has been so supportive of me and knowing that this is my passion in life to give back, that I can keep exploring these options and passing on the gift of art and love. And I am so thankful that Modern Dog Magazine gave me a chance to briefly say a little bit about myself and my artwork. I thank you all for following me, supporting me, and appreciating the art that I share with you. It is not easy to share something so intimate sometimes for fear of rejection, but everyone has been so amazingly supportive that it has made myself and my art just BLOSSOM! Thank You!
Just a girl with a dream to make it big one day!