How do you raise a confident child?

So much is said today on the subject of self-confidence. We're told to be ourselves, love ourselves, or just fake it.

Mr. Rogers says "knowing we can be loved exactly as we are gives all the opportunity for growing into the healthiest of people."

It's true. Some of the most painful moments in my life have been when I've felt left out or excluded because I didn't fit in. Growing up I was shy and artsy, and we all know how difficult middle school can be:)

That's why it's my mission to help kids feel loved and valued for who they are by painting their portrait that truly captures their personality. 

Kids today might have in harder than ever before. Social media creates false perceptions that can seriously diminish a young person's sense of self-worth. It also creates an environment where people can be incredibly mean without consequences. 

Children need to be reminded who they are and what's true about themselves. 

And yes, part of loving yourself comes with age and maturity. We become more confident in who we are and more accepting of ourselves as we get older. Not everyone will love us or take the time to know us, but if you love yourself others will too. 

We all know the value of self-confidence, but how do you instill it at a young age when it matters most?

For me, one the best things my parents did was teach me responsibility. From a young age I had household chores and when I got a car I worked after school. At the time it seemed a lot to handle, but I realize now it taught me to be independent and learn what I was capable of.

I want to know, if you're a parent, how do you instill confidence in your child? How do you let them know they're loved for who they are?

Leave a comment in the section below!




 James Wilkerson, 18" x 24," Oil on canvas, Oxford, MS

James Wilkerson, 18" x 24," Oil on canvas, Oxford, MS

This past month I finished an oil portrait in Oxford, MS for a mom and her two young boys, James and Wade. 

James is the youngest, and about two years ago I painted his brother, Wade. It was amazing to visit Oxford again and see how much he had changed and grown. 

  Wade Wilkerson , 18 x 24, Oil on canvas, Oxford, MS

Wade Wilkerson, 18 x 24, Oil on canvas, Oxford, MS

When painting siblings, it's also interesting to see the differences in not just facial features but character and personality as well. I remember James being reserved and contemplative. Wade, on the other hand, was very energized and active. It was hard to get him to sit still for a picture! Fortunately, his mom Kelly had a sucker on hand for just such occasions. 

I'm so honored that Kelly would chose me to paint these portraits of her precious boys. I've done plenty of commissions in Memphis where I'm from, but its really great when I get business from different places. I also love working with the same families over the years and seeing how my subjects grow and change. 




  Welby , Charcoal on Paper, 11"x14"

Welby, Charcoal on Paper, 11"x14"

This past Christmas I finished a portrait of Welby for my friends The Love Family. A few years ago I did a portrait of his older brother Virgil.

I remember when Courtney was pregnant with Welby while I was working on Virgil's portrait, and now three years have passed. I'm always amazed by how time flies, and how quickly kids grow up. Virgil had changed so much from when I last saw him.

Courtney wanted portraits because she said she wanted something more substantial than just photos of her kids to hang on her wall. She wanted something special to mark this precious time, something she'll have for the rest of her life. 

This time is so fleeting, as all moms know. 

 Virgil on the day I delivered his portrait. 

Virgil on the day I delivered his portrait. 

I'm often asked what the best time is to do a portrait. I think around 3 or 4 is that perfect "sweet spot" when a child's personality is starting to shine and when their features are more developed. They just look so cute. 

Lee and Courtney were so pleased with how the portrait turned out. Welby's happy, sweet personality was really captured, they said. 

I love being able to work with the same families year after year. I'm very selective about who I work with, and it's a small group of clients. This allows me to really get to know them and their kids which helps me create a portrait that's really special. It also allows me to make them a priority because my time is limited.

I hope Courtney and Lee decide to have more kids because they're a delight to work with and those boys are so cute!





Over Christmas I did this portrait of sweet little Charlotte. A few years ago I did a portrait of her older brother, Trip, and their mom Lindsey was one of my first clients.

Charlotte has such a beautiful face. I love her dark hair and light eyes. When we met she was playing with her dolls, in her adorably decorated little girl's room. 

And her brother Trip was running around with a Nerf gun!

It's always great getting to work with the same families over the years, painting their children as they come of age and watching how they grow and change through the years. As an artist, it feels great that they want me to paint all their kids.

I also enjoy seeing where a collector hangs her portrait, whether that be in the family room, or dining room, or I've even seen one in the kitchen!

It's such rewarding work to capture these kids at such a special time in their life. I love getting to know them, and honoring them and their parent's love for them in a portrait.

I really have the best job!