LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The saying goes surround yourself with people who inspire you and for Carla Terwilleger that's bold, beautiful women on canvases.

"I always say I paint the person you feel like you are," said Terwilleger, the woman behind "Twiggy Originals." The paintings as colorful as the artist herself have become iconic in Louisville.

"A Twiggy girl or that inner Twiggy never waits in line for a drink, and is the boss at work and is a superstar mom," said Terwilleger.

Terwilleger is a Louisville native who began painting as a kid. "My parents were amazing. They let my paint all over the walls of my bedroom," she said.

She sold her first painting while attending Sacred Heart High School, eventually heading off to UK and landing in Los Angeles, before officially founding Twiggy Originals in 1999. "It just kind of tumbled from there. It completely has been word of mouth," said Terwilleger.

Her style has evolved since then and has grown into the larger than life femme fatales that grace the walls of her Highlands home studio.

"I want to paint the life people want to have, and the life that they feel like they have and get it out the door and put it on your wall," said Terwilleger.

She specializes in fierce and fun females who inspire women to be their best self. "She's like 'I look at my Twiggy every day' and I'm like 'be that woman today'," said Terwilleger.

While the drop dead glamorous divas are what she's known for, the brand continues to grow with Twiggy Bridal and Twiggy Baby. Her work has been displayed in exhibitions from Louisville to Los Angeles and this holiday season was a top gift selection in USA Today's Modern Woman Magazine.

"National is amazing," said Terwilleger. "I always call it a good headache to have. It would be great if there were an influx of orders."

Between now and Christmas she'll churn out about 50 custom pieces working on up to 10 pieces at a time -- and each one is truly unique.

"I'll say 'give me a couple pictures and tell me a little bit about each person's style, but you don't have to go too far down the rabbit hole because that's my job'," said Terwilleger.

And when the glamorous goddess is complete, she delivers a boost of confidence for the recipient and Twiggy herself.

"The most nerve wracking and yet most fulfilling part of my job is delivering a painting to someone and seeing the look in their eyes and knowing that I nailed it," she said.

Twiggy has several events coming up. 

  • Thursday, 11/30 at Avanti Skin Center in Westport Village from 4:30 - 6:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, 12/2 Holiday Open House from 11 a.m. - 2 p.m.
  • Thursday, 12/7 Twiggy’s Annual Uptown Art Paint + Sip Class

And, as always, Twiggy’s work can be found at The Hat Girls Shop in Norton Commons, located at 10708 Meeting Street in Prospect.

Her work can also be viewed online.

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