18 Mar Art Fair Fridays – Emily Isabella
It’s Friday again and both Bijou & Boheme and Heirloom & Knot are excited to once again share with you our latest instalment in our collaborative Art Fair Fridays series.
This week we had the pleasure of interviewing the stunning illustrative work of Emily Isabella,
whose playful folk inspired pieces speak to the artist’s love of whimsy and femininity. Her work reflects a narrative that feels un-encumbered and exuberant…innocent and without burden. Her illustarations bring a light-hearted and joyful heart to every medium in which they are interpreted…from textiles to wallpaper to cards to wrapping paper…all as beautiful as they are dynamic.
How long would you say you have been a professional artist and what has lead you to this point in your career?
I’m a third generation illustrator, my grandfather was an illustrator and graphic designer, my father is an illustrator and graphic designer and my mom is a painter. It wasn’t a surprise that I went to school to study textile design. I started my business immediately after graduating from college in 2008, which was my dream all along. I’ve been fortunate to have attracted clients who believe in my vision and give me the freedom to create work that I’m proud of.
What is the best advice you’ve ever received about your art ?
My parents always encouraged me to draw from life. A strong drawing foundation gives depth to work no matter how elementary the end product is.
How would you describe your creative process?
I find that long walks in nature help me to navigate my thoughts and I always start a project by sketching on scrap paper. I’m a visual thinker so sketching is the only way I’m able to work out creative hurdles.
What is your favourite medium to work in?
I love gouache! Historically, textile designers used gouache to mock up fabric designs because it has a flat finish and looks similar to screen printing. I like that the medium nods to my textile background although I’ve reassigned it to my illustration work. Also, I like to work quickly and gouache is perfect for fast work because it dries almost instantly.
What has been your biggest career highlight to date?
Ever since I was little, I’ve dreamt of illustrating books. I had the opportunity to illustrate Back in the Day Bakery Made with Love and The Picnic, two cookbooks that were released in 2015 with Artisan Books. It was exciting to break into the book world and I’m so excited for future books, maybe I will write some myself!
How would you describe your signature style?
Spirited, playful, feminine
Where do you find your greatest creative inspiration?
“And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places.” I love that quote by Roald Dahl, it perfectly describes my philosophy of pulling inspiration directly from my own personal experiences. Doing this enriches my daily life because I’m always on the hunt for something new to excite me. It could be some moss on a rock in the woods or maybe its the colors of a candy wrapper, but I find that inspiration is always around the corner if my eyes are open.
What do you think sets your work apart from other artists?
My work is always changing and evolving as my life unfolds because I’m pulling inspiration directly from my surroundings. In staying true to who I am, my work breathes an authentic voice.
No. 1 Spoonflower – The Classical Ladies Wallpaper – $60.00 Per Roll
No. 2 Stella McCartney – Camille Dashing Lace Bra – $95
No. 3 Kathy Kuo Home – Zoe Global Bazaar Light Purple 4 Light Mini Chandelier – $159.00
No. 4 Francesco Russo – D’Orsay Suede & Snake Pumps – $789.00
No. 5 Furbish Studio – Fuchsia Spotted Silk Pillow – $65.00
No. 6 Holt Renfrew – Estee Lauder Lip Conditioner – $24.00
No. 7 Kelly Wearstler – Marble Bust – $595.00
No. 8 Anthropologie – Slub Velvet English Fireside Chair – $2,798.00
Any artist who describes her work as spirited, playful and feminine is A-OK in my books…Emily Isabella’s portfolio is so in my favourite kind of wheelhouse and it’s amazing to see her illustrations interpreted in so many different ways.
That elephant print as curtains in a little one’s nursery…or the black and white on a French settee…be still my heart.