PROFITS & passions: MAGGIE ZANDER & EMILY ORLING
A mother and daughter artist team are collaborating to paint the county.
Maggie Zande, of North Salem and her daughter, Emily Orling, hung out a shingle as mural painters for homes and businesses around Westchester earlier this year.
A 20-year resident of North Salem, Zander has worked as a freelance illustrator for the past 25 years, as well as doing fine art by commission. “It’s what I always wanted to do,” she said.
Her daughter, who became a professional portrait painter in Now York City, said growing up with an artist mother left her with similar ambitions, but that it took some courage for her to take up full-time portrait painting last year. “I finally took the risk, and I’m glad I did,” she said.
Zander said she had been thinking of a venture like this for some time. “I wanted to branch out and try something new,” she said.
Then, about three months ago, Orling, now 25, returned from an artist exchange program in Cape Town, South Africa, and moved in with her, and We two of them decided to go into business together.
Most of their commissions so far have been for nurseries and playrooms, although they have done other rooms. “People want something a little unusual, not wallpaper,” she said.
She said they’ve done one business so far, a children’s party location in Bedford.
Some clients have had very specific plans, while others have had none, Zander said. Most fall in the middle. “Most have an idea, and they’re open to suggestions,” she said. “A lot of people want something, but they’re not sure what they want.”
Both of them said mural painting was not that big a leap from what they had been doing. “For me, it’s all the same,” Orling said. “As long as I’m painting; its good.”
Zander said she does the same research she would do before an illustration job, to make sure what they are painting is accurate. “You use the same techniques, it’s just bigger,” she said. Mother and daughter said they work well together. “It’s fantastic, we get along wonderfully. She has some fantastic ideas,” Zander said.
“We both get along so well,” Orling said. “She’s got a great sense of humor. We like working together.”
Neither mother or daughter could see a serious downside to the arrangement. “I kind of miss being in the city,” Orling admitted.
Zander said she expects to see business increase in the future, as people look for new ways to decorate. “People are open, to new ideas,” she said.
“We hope to just keep getting more and more clients,” Zander said.
“We love what we do. I like making people happy. I think its the best thing you can do.”
Copyright Westfair Communications Apr 19, 2004
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