This Artist Left Fashion To Launch A Cool Licensing Biz
We recently partnered with Bounty to support emerging artists and designers in a national design competition. The ask? Design a graphic for a new Brit + Co and Bounty paper towel collection themed A Clean Fresh Start, which launches this month. In this creator spotlight series, we are featuring the winners of that competition to learn more about their inspirations, their design process, and their winning Bounty design. Read on to meet…
What are your design inspirations? I use my art to help me feel happy and to preserve my memories. I started making art for myself at a time when I needed happiness. Plus, I wanted to cover up some empty wall space in my new place in London. My contemporary art pieces are inspired by my childhood memories, especially the games and toys I played with as a child. As a kid I would like to make crafts and so I like to use plaster casts in some of my physical artwork. There is something about working with my hands and sculpting that gives me pleasure.
From a young age I loved stories and writing. My mother kept some stories I wrote when I was seven. Some of these stories I have created as art pieces to help me preserve that memory. The words I use in my artwork today are from my notebooks that I have written in over the years. Recently I have decided to choose happy and positive sentences for my text-based pieces that are taken from my London notebooks.
The colors I use are normally dependent on how I am feeling and what is going on in my life. I used rainbow colors when I first moved to London. When we lost our baby girl to SIDS I went through a black and white period. A few years ago, when we returned to California, I started to create a body of work that was white as if for a fresh start. Today, I like to use my rainbow colors again as they make me feel happy and I hope they make others happy too.
One thing I believe is that art does not always have to be flat, and it doesn’t always have to be on walls. It makes me extremely happy when I see people wearing my art as shoes or shirts. You can see my prints licensed on a variety of products, such as fashion, home goods, tech accessories and more. I get added joy knowing that others like it enough to wear it and live with my art.
Tell us about your design process. My designs may look simplistic and minimal, but the journey to get to that point is quite complex and can be germinating in my head for some time before I can execute it. My letter series started out a few years ago as plaster casts of those colorful fridge magnets. The crude way that I started making these casts was by using plasticine. This made these generic plastic letters look organic. It’s a game for me when I compose these plaster letter pieces. Some letters are sculpted to fit or move around so that the same words are not near each other. I then give the piece a few coats of white paint so that it looks like it has been sculpted like a wall relief.
Three years ago, I made a digital version of these letters and started playing with them on Photoshop. I created a collection of fun positive letter art prints. Then I created two public art pieces here in Palm Springs, which were so fun to do. These text-based pieces were first made digitally for my Bounty submission, but then I hand made the stencils so that the letters were consistent. After placing the letters, I then hand-painted each colorful letter, which took a long time but it was very satisfying. If you ever visit Palm Springs, you can see my work on two electrical boxes across from The Saguaro and on a bench outside Trina Turk.
It was after doing these public art pieces that I was inspired to create the Bounty Paper Towel design.
How did you get into illustration? I studied fashion in England and then started working in fashion in London in a few places with my last job being as a Technical Designer for Ted Baker. But I had a need to create things with my hands, so I started making art for myself in my spare time. I had an exhibition in my own home for fun and invited family and friends. Within a few years I did over 20 pop-up art shows around London. I showed my art in small gallery spaces, bars, and restaurants.
In 2005, I got married and moved to California and was able to work on my art full-time. Then in 2010, my husband had a job opportunity in Canada. Leaving my art behind in Palm Springs was very difficult. To continue to be creative I started manipulating photos of my original artwork with Photoshop. I discovered I enjoyed making prints using my art as a starting point. For fun I started to use print-on-demand companies. Other companies then reached out to me and so I started licensing my prints on a wide variety of products.
We decided to return to Palm Springs in 2018. Since moving back, I have been able to create physical art again. I still love to create prints, but I get more joy with my physical artwork. When I get a chance to do commissions, it makes me so happy as I can help others preserve their memories with a one-of-a-kind piece of artwork.
What are three IG accounts you love? I like to follow Sarah Grossman @polychromist because she likes to share fun colorful places and things. My friend @betsyenzensberger, who also lives in Palm Springs, makes fun colorful popsicle sculptures. She’s just done a fun collaboration with @annmariecoolick, who I’ve been following for a few years because we both license our art with Casetify.
How do you know when a piece of art, like your winning Bounty Paper Towel design below, is “finished”? When I do my colorful prints and paintings, I map out the colors mathematically. I count how many blocks of color are required and divide them by how many colors I want to use. Digitally it can be like a game for me to ensure the color placement is right. I squint a lot to make sure that the print looks cohesive. However, when I am hand-painting something I like to paint each color separately, painting the reds, orange, and yellow first. But it’s only when the last colors are added does it feel like the piece is finished.
What will it be like for you to see your design on a Bounty Paper Towel at your local store? I’m so excited to see my art on Bounty paper towel. The design I created is with positive words and bright happy colors. So I hope my print will help people feel good and make them smile.
Be sure to look out for Emeline’s winning design wherever Bounty Paper Towels are sold!
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