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Dolly Parton Paintings

1. Where it all started
2. The Process
3. The Takeaway
4. The Outcome

Have you ever gone through it before?
 Feeling like you have absolutely no idea what it is you’re meant to be doing with your life.

Quote Dolly Parton If you don't like the road you're walking start paving another one brainy quote purple sunset trees scenic view water river dam lake sun clouds

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Where it all started

After I left school, I really wasn’t sure what I was going to do. I was concerned that my main skills were nestled under art and creativity in a world where everyone is pressuring you to go to college and get a job.

I can gladly say that even though I had no clue what lay ahead, I managed to make my way to Thailand to study “Teaching English as a Foreign Language” or the TEFL course. I then continued on to Cambodia to fulfil a contract with an employer at an International School. During this time I met a coworker who had been very excited about some portraits he had wanted painted. Unfortunately, he couldn’t seem to find anybody to do them for him and all other promises kept falling through. As I used to do art when I was a teen and absolutely loved it, I decided I would fulfil his request and give myself another shot at being creative.

After all, who could turn down an amazing opportunity to paint such a legend!

The one and only, Dolly Rebecca Parton!


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Yes ladies and gentlemen, the Queen of country! I was so excited I started right away.

The Process

I ordered the canvases, the paints, the brushes (bearing in mind this is the first time I’d ever ordered ANYTHING online) and waited eagerly for my package to arrive. In the meantime I visited a printing company that printed the portraits I was working with in the requested size scale, and grabbed some carbon paper for tracing.
After the nightmare of visiting the main post office in Phnom Penh to receive my goods, I finally had my materials and held them tightly in my grasp as we balanced them between the two of us in the tiny Tuk-Tuk, all the way back to our apartment.

Yay! I was able to begin, I was ready and extremely eager for the process to be on the way.

I traced her beautiful face on the canvases and added the contrast lines – then I commenced to painting.

(100cm x 50cm Acrylic on Wrapped Canvas by J. Otto)

After my first few strokes I realized it was going to take me much longer than expected, I had to repeatedly go over it again and again, layer after layer until the paint was the correct thickness. Not only was I only working on it on my weekends as my job kept me late in the day, but it was extremely trying to repeatedly paint the same area again and again. It really tested my patience. However it didn’t take me long to realize that this is what I truly love doing.

The Takeaway

All of a sudden, the paintings came together, I was so pleased! What an incredible feeling to see something you’ve created and have a sense of realization that, you are capable. You are capable of creating amazing things it’s just up to you to put in the work, we are all beginners first. Practice anything and you will see yourself improving.

Something I was starting to realize when painting these portraits was that the more I was doing it, the easier it was becoming. It was also becoming much more fun, something I wanted to do a lot more of, more often.

I had found my passion and my hobby all in one.

Pop art painting of Dolly Parton collage in red, yellow, blue and green

(100cm x 50cm Acrylic on Wrapped Canvas by J. Otto) Final Dolly Parton Painting

Before this discovery I was wanting to stop doing art. I had thought to myself, “What’s so great about MY art? How can I build a business from art & craft? Surely, I don’t have the potential to make a living simply by being creative?”

When I indulged in these paintings, it felt as though a piece of my soul had awoken and I had once again begun to feel a deep passion for creativity. I never wanted to live without art again.

Dolly Parton painting on three canvases in blue, purple and pink

(3x) (50cm x 50cm Acrylic on Wrapped Canvas by J. Otto) Final Dolly Parton Paintings

The Outcome

Since then I have moved back to Malawi where I have been progressively growing my art business where I offer commissions to my clients not following any particular niche. Painting themes from Portraits and Landscapes, to Nature and Animals, even Tattoos and Mandalas, and so much more! I will be sharing the rest with you along the way, so sign up here to avoid missing any important posts.
I have been working on my social media and online presence, building my website and using my time to continuously improve my skills and grow business. I have plans and goals that I may help other creators with less, who are struggling to make a living and even survive off of their creative businesses.

The more time I spend doing what I love, the more I realize that this is what I am meant to be doing. I’m becoming more and more excited to see what I’m going to create next and how much I can improve so that I may help others. If you want to join me on my journey to discovering myself and my skills through the thing that I love, feel free to follow my accounts below and get in touch for more info.

Thank you so much for the support!
God Bless x

Otto Designed Picture

Main Instagram – @ottodesigned
BTS Instagram – @ottodesignedbts 
My Art Instagram – @jodidawnottocreations