Real life is a collection of moments that feed the storyteller in me. I like to hear people tell their moments of triumph and their confrontations with what life throws at them. I find that people’s jobs put them in the way of stories, because ultimately work is about interaction with the world on behalf of someone else. They meet people they would not meet and do things they would not have otherwise done. So I asked Liiga about her work’s stories and what she said touched my heart.
Question 9. Everyone has an interesting story related to their work—what’s one of yours?
The most memorable story I have related to my work is actually a sad one. One client commissioned a painting of an angel with the facial likeness of his girlfriend as a gift to her. It was to have large, elaborate wings, a sparkly dress, and be shown melting away the snow from a wintery forest to herald the arrival of spring. Excited about the idea, I set to work, sending in a preview for the starting sketch, the halfway point and finally, after upwards of a month of scribbling away, the final preview. Oddly enough, although the initial responses had been fairly quick, the one to the final never came. After some waiting and reminders, I concluded the client must have for some reason decided to bow out and left it at that.
It wasn’t until a few months later that I suddenly received the payment for the finished painting and a response; however, it was not from the client, but from his girlfriend. It was then that I learned that the original client had passed away just before the painting had been completed, leaving her a final parting gift. It has been several years since this happened, and I can safely say I’ll never forget this story.
Winter Angel, in memory of Isaac, can be seen on Liiga’s site.