This Etsy Portrait Is the Perfect Gift for People I Couldn’t Celebrate This Year

published Oct 28, 2020
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Credit: AT Video

Despite the difficulties of 2020, this year hasn’t been all bad. My sister had my baby nephew (not her baby, my nephew—spoken like a true aunt), a few of my friends got hitched, and a handful loved ones reached milestone birthdays. The only downside to these highlights is that I wasn’t able to be present for many of them (sans my nephew’s birth, which was before COVID hit), but I have the perfect gift to send those who I’m celebrating from afar: colorful name portraits.

Etsy shop SynesthesiaMe creates one-of-a-kind portraits that showcase a given name in a unique color combination. Owner Bernadette Sheridan has grapheme-color synesthesia and sees a specific color when hearing each number or letter out loud, so she created a shop for others to see their name through her eyes, so to speak, that can be displayed at home.

Credit: Nicoletta Richardson
Mine spells out “Nicoletta Richardson”

I already got one during the pandemic, but all I could think about afterward was the long list of family and friends I want to send one to—specifically the ones I haven’t gotten to honor this year. My friends Ally and Chris, for example, got married in August—how nice would it be to send them a portrait with both their names on it? Or my fiancé’s grandma, who we were supposed to have a large birthday party for to ring in 85.

Credit: Etsy/SynesthesiaMe

There are several options to choose from on the Etsy shop—from a single name print to a framed family portrait, and even a specific one for your pet. Also, you can generate your color name for free, just for fun.

Buy: Single Name Custom Print, $34

Not only is it a beautifully framed piece of art that adds a pop of color into a space, but it has a storytelling component to it—how the artist connects each letter to a specific color and shares it with those who buy her work. In a year where people are physically disconnected from one another, it’s important to connect with each other on an emotional level from a distance—and these name portraits seem like the perfect way to do it.