I spend a large chunk of time in my home office. I’m either writing, reading, hiding from family or passed out drunk because I can’t make it up the steps to my bedroom.
Decorating the office was left in my incapable hands. After five years the walls are still bare. I don’t own art, refuse to buy scenes from cities I’ve never been at Target, and writing my name in detergent so it could be seen with a black light looked psychotic in a dorm room, imagine the message it would send to visitors to my hundred year old home in the burbs.
Ideas for the walls were as barren as the actual walls until I read this story about Connor Barwin of the Philadelphia Eagles getting portraits done of his defensive teammates. The ego-driven idea was brilliant so I reached out to Chris at Nobilified to talk about his portraits, where the hell an idea like Nobilified came from, and exactly how I could get my hands on a self portrait.
“The idea came to me during my time at the University at UBC in Vancouver,” he explained in an email. “I had bought a few posters at the university poster sale, which looked cool, but were completely unoriginal. In my freshman year, I asked a guy from my dorm to create an abstract painting of me so that I could decorate my room a little better. The idea was to tell chicks to come back to mine and check out my “cool painting.” He never came through. Even with first/second year art students, I could not find anyone willing to make a portrait of myself that I could actually afford. With studying and life, I forgot about the idea until my final year. By then it had evolved into getting painted as a royal. I mean who would not want that? I looked online if anyone offered a service like Nobilified. There was nothing. After graduation, I finally had free time and decided to explore the idea as a business. It has been a wild ride ever since.”
A self portrait as a king, knight or member of the Stark family from Game of Thrones hanging on a wall is an automatic talking point. I’m not sure exactly how many chicks would fall for the line “want to see a painting of me as Gatsby in The Great Gatsby?” but if this homeless dude can get laid with his terrible openers, it’s a strong possibility.
According to Chris, Nobilified isn’t just catching on with bros and recent grads living on their own. The company has painted CEO’s of big startups and there is a wall of fame in the YELP offices where the top salesman of the month gets a Nobilified photo.
While I was sold on the idea, I wasn’t quite buying my head on the body of an 18th century conquerer or Cosmo Kramer. I needed a portrait focusing on more of my inner dork. Finally, inspiration struck, and I relayed my idea to Chris with the precursor of “it’s probably the weirdest request you’ve had thus far.
Nobilified did a customer requested painting of a man as Zeus along with a pet velociraptor, a guy with Chuck Norris holding a Les Paul guitar as his guardian angel, a bro fighting a saber-toothed tiger and a fella painted as Napoleon riding a T-Rex across the Alps. “Just recently,” Chris wrote, “a son bought his father a portrait of the both of them painted as Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel. While it remained classy, having father/son painted like that is epic and odd.”
I felt a little better about my original but peculiar portrait choice and placed my order. In about three weeks, the finished product arrived, but I was unable to secure an orchestra to play in my hallway as I unrolled the masterpiece and hung it above my desk. That said, it was still an amazing moment, and my home office is now complete.
Dig it, brother.