MAGGIE SMITH KUHN is an amazing live event painter making the rounds on social media. she was recently featured on reddit and buzzfeed for the watercolor portraits that she does at various events like the kentucky derby, private parties and weddings. this is way cooler than any photo booth… guests get to take home their own personal portraits, and the best part is that it takes less than 10 minutes.
KUHN began painting at the tender age of 4 years old. her mother recognized her talent and encouraged her to keep growing as an artist. KUHN painted to avoid awkward situations, as she felt much more comfortable in a one on one setting rather than in the middle of a crowd. a family friend took KUHN under her wing from age 9 to 15 and showed her what life working as an artist could look like. she attended the school of the art institute in chicago and finished her painting degree at uga’s lamar dodd art school.
after college KUHN returned to atlanta where she has worked with a variety of client events from fashion shows, to weddings and other private events. KUHN estimates that she has done events 40-50 weekends every year for the past 12 years.
KUHN explains to buzzfeed why her live event paintings are so popular: “guests love to be painted, because we talk and they also have a spotlight moment in the party where it’s all about them.” the funnest part of the job for her is when she shows them the finished painting and their eyes light up. each portrait takes her 5 to 10 minutes, depending on the person’s outfit. KUHN estimates that she has done up to 72 wedding portraits for guests in a single night! now that is a lot of painting.