Alix Greenberg is the founder of Portraits For Good, a very noble and wonderful project that brilliantly swirls art with philanthropy. Fascinated by this project (and by Alix in general), we decided to get her thoughts on a few things.
What do you love about being an artist?
I love having a creative outlet. Balance is important; with the stress of the work day and busyness of the city streets, I treasure coming home to my sketchbook, pencils, and a glass of wine. Since my artwork is mainly portraiture, I get to "meet" so many people - there is nothing more personal or enjoyable than rendering a face. Another thing I love about being an artist is that childhood is never really over - I can use craft materials without excuse. Glitter glue is my favorite - when a client permits me to use this on his/her drawing, I am infinitely happy.
How did the idea for Portraits For Good come about?
My parents, especially my mom, were always involved in philanthropic causes so giving back is sort of in my DNA. And having devoted my professional and academic career to the fine art world, the merging of the two was kind of a no-brainer!
I founded Portraits For Good as a forum for artists to make art, and, in turn, give back. The idea came to me in December 2015. I was creating a lot of custom portraiture for family and friends - moonlighting as an artist while working for the Israel Museum during the day. With my day job providing much insight into the non-profit world and charitable giving and with so many portrait requests coming in, I thought I should expand my venture beyond creating solely for friends. The business model that felt right to me was economizing my artistic practice while simultaneously donating to various organizations, either meaningful to my clients or personally significant.
Then was born Portraits For Good, beginning as a commission-based platform, in which I was the sole artist creating custom artworks drawn from clients' photographs, blossoming into a forum for other artists to create custom art (or sell limited edition prints) under the same overarching charitable mission: With each purchase made, Portraits For Good donates $18 to the nonprofit organization of your choice.
Do you think that drawing different subjects and people has changed or influenced your perception of what beauty is?
Absolutely! Faces are so interesting to draw and flaws are the best part! Models are of course beautiful, but certainly not as fun to render as some of my subjects. If I could hop in a time machine and tell my 15 year old self my current perception of beauty, I think high school would have been a much simpler place. Beyond physicality, there is so much beauty in the intangible connection between two people, which is why I love drawing couples. I am not sure how, but when I draw a pair, the connection seems to jump off the page making my job super easy and highly enjoyable.
What words do you try to live by on a day-to-day basis?
I don't really have a daily credo, but my mom taught me to never touch something on your desk more than once, so I try not to procrastinate and if I have a job to do, I do it and do it well. I am also a bit of a perfectionist - my clients always know that I am doing the absolute best I can and would never hand anything in that I couldn't 100% stand behind.
Anything else you'd like to add?
I am excited to announce that my new website will be up and running soon – we have gone e-commerce! Soon you will be able to purchase directly on portraitsforgood.com or you may simply go to the site to browse custom works and limited edition prints by my amazingly talented stable of artists!