Wednesday, February 11, 2009


1) How do you choose which picture to paint as a portrait?
This is a very good question, but certainly not the easiest or most straight forward one to answer. Please take a look at the gallery and you will get a general idea of what I look for. As a rule, though, no cats, no dogs, no kids. Just the individual and maybe a prop - like a banana, or hat, or cigarette. Also, as this group grows larger and larger, I will probably only be going in depth to those profile pictures currently up that catch my eye and make me want to take a closer look.

2) Are these paintings for sale?
Of course! Baby needs diapers and we all need to eat, right? If you are seriously interested, contact me via email at and we can discuss details. I would just ask that you be open to loaning the piece for exhibition when the time comes.

3) If you paint my painting, can I use the image for the back of my self-published book?

This is the general Copyright disclaimer for all the pieces of the collection:
Copyright 2009 Matt Held and Held Studios. All rights reserved. Image recipients have been granted a non-exclusive, non-transferable license to use the copyrighted image for personal use only. Any other use of the image or derivations thereof, including any commercial use, without explicit written consent from the copyright owner is strictly prohibited.

Can you use it as your profile image for facebook, twitter, tumblr, flickr, myspace? Absolutely! If you want to use if for something else, we can talk, thanks!

4) I just joined your group, when will my portrait be done?
I can't make any guarantees as to when/if I will get your painting done. At this point, we have an intern to help with admin stuff. And, if I get to the point where I can hire an assistant, it will go faster. The more time I can spend in the studio, the better chances of me getting to yours. We’ve yet to make any money on the portraits and the only income coming in to this house is enough to pay the rent and put food in the cupboards for a family of four. That said, if you are just dying to have a family photo painted, I am happy to talk with you about arranging a commission outside the scope of this project.

5) You haven't added me as a friend yet. Why not?
My wife and I usually try to spend about an hour or so in the evening, getting caught up on admin stuff that I haven't been able to get to during the day, so my apologies if I haven't added you. She works full-time and I also have two kids to chase after when I am not in the studio. If I haven't gotten to you yet, please save me the time and add me after you join the group. That way I can just confirm you and that part is taken care of.

You can read about project announcements, thoughts, and general direction of the project on this blog.


  1. ok i do have a question just how is it that you choose the picture do you go to there picutes or is it there picture for fb

  2. Do you do feet? LOL
    Just kidding! What a wonderful find.
    Your work is amazing!

  3. You make me want to quit my job and go back to art school...

    Greeting from Mexico!!!

  4. A wonderful source of inspiration... makes me want to experiment with paint in my own way. :)

  5. we do the same thing: (

  6. my only question is that if i join your group on fb now and want to be painted later like say after march, since i'm not quite 18 yet, is it still possible that you would take a look at my photo and consider it? I'm an artist myself, and i think this is an absolutely awesome project!

  7. Dear Matt, your work, story and the access and inclusivity created through this project is truly superb. I am in Indian girl born in Australia now resident in Belgium typing from a hotel room in London on a rainy day and gratefully randomly stumbled upon your work. Am very keen to follow your progress and wish you and your family all good things. Thank you! Lena John

  8. So, Im a sophomore in highschool, and I'm taking an advancet placement art class. It's a 2-D class and for my portfolio due at the end of the year I plan to focus on portraits. It's something that really intrests me and I am fairly good at. (: or so they say. Your project is really interesting and an incredible source and inspiration for material to paint! I love your style of portraits, how the values are broad and the strokes sort of broad. Do you have any tips for me, to better my portraits?

  9. I would love to have you paint my portrait Matt ~ I love the concept that everyone "deserves" to have their portrait created ~
    Would love to participate ~
    Thank you kindly
    Sian Lindemann
    Sian Design

    Thank you !!