A side by side of the wedding artwork painted by Maggie Smith Khün of a client who found her through TikTok.
Live wedding painter Maggie Smith Kühn says her artwork can be passed down as "priceless heirlooms."
Sarah Dyche/Sarah Elizabeth photography
  • Live wedding painter Maggie Smith Kühn says the response to her art on TikTok has been "insane."
  • The Atlanta-based artist spends between three and five hours painting couples on their special day.
  • Smith Kühn, who has painted nearly 600 weddings, spoke to Insider about her unique career.
  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

Wedding content is so popular on TikTok that videos with the #wedding tag have gotten over 27.9 billion views to date.

It's also where artist Maggie Smith Kühn told Insider her work is finally getting noticed.

Smith Kühn's account depicting her day-to-day of painting portraits of newlyweds on their special day has gotten so popular that she's received over 27.7 million likes.

Smith Kühn started bringing her sketchbook to house parties when she was in college, and things grew from there.

"Word got around there was a girl creating art at parties. Then an engaged girl asked me if I would try painting her wedding," Smith Kühn, 34, told Insider.


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Since then Smith Kühn, who is based in Atlanta, Georgia, has painted nearly 600 weddings.

The finished artwork done by live wedding painter Maggie Smith Khün at a clients ceremony in Mississippi in June 2021.
Reagan Sumrall found Smith on TikTok and reached out to her the day she got engaged in September 2020.
Sarah Dyche/Sarah Elizabeth photography

Smith Kühn says paintings 'capture more than what a moment looked like.'

"Part of my aim is to use color and style to create how the moment felt," Smith Kühn said. "I can honor loved ones who couldn't be at the wedding or who have passed away. I can even capture different moments in time and string them together."

"A painted portrait is the closest a human being can ever get to seeing how someone else sees them," she added.

Smith Kühn spends anywhere from three to five hours painting a wedding, charging between $2,600-$6,000 excluding travel costs.

When it comes to her clients, Smith Kühn says faith is a must: "I like for my couples to just enjoy their day and trust that I'm seeing everything because I'm right there onsite."

Live wedding painter Maggie stands next to her finished artwork of bride Reagan Sumrall and her husband Joseph Thompson.
One of the joys of hiring a live wedding painter is the unveiling of the finished piece of art, which gets a priceless reaction from the couple and their guests.
Sarah Dyche/Sarah Elizabeth photography

The parts Smith Kühn enjoys the most are performing for guests and the big portrait reveal.

"I set up my French easel, plug in my easel light, grab some paint water and get to work," Smith Kühn said. "My favorite part is revealing the painting to my excited couples. The reactions are priceless!"

A photograph of a live wedding wedding painting midway through the artistic process.
Everything Smith Kühn paints happens in the moment.
Sarah Dyche/Sarah Elizabeth photography

After Reagan Sumrall and Joseph Thompson tied the knot in June 2021, they noticed how their wedding photos caught guests with phones out.

Sumrall, 21, told Insider: "The cool thing about wedding painting is how Maggie took the time to go around those things so you can just see us."

The way Smith Kühn brought to life her wedding dress also stood out to the couple.

"I don't know how she did it but Maggie captured the essence of the dress," Sumrall recalled. "That's all my husband talks about when he looks at the painting!"

While 2020 wasn't the year for weddings, it was the year live wedding painting started getting more attention.

"I've been live wedding painting full-time for years," Smith Kühn, whose most viewed TikTok now has over 4 million likes, said, "but most of my marketing was just letting people know that this kind of art exists."

Maggie Smith Khün, a live wedding painter from Atlanta, attending a clients wedding in Mississippi.
Smith Kühn says the energy at weddings in 2021 is unlike anything she's experienced in years prior.
Sarah Dyche/Sarah Elizabeth photography

Like many people, Smith Kühn got TikTok during quarantine. "A lot of my brides were forced to reschedule their weddings during 2020," she said. "I decided to comb through all my painting footage and make short-form videos for fun - the response was insane!"

Brides like Sumrall, who got engaged in September 2020, now reach out after discovering her TikTok.

"As soon as he asked me to marry him I said I'm going to book the wedding painter," Sumrall joked, "I don't care about anything else."

Now Smith Kühn's schedule is busier than ever. "I'm trying to enjoy it and soak up every second," she said. "The energy at these events is unlike anything I've ever experienced before, the joy at being free from quarantine is palpable."

Read the original article on Insider