I stumbled across Em’s Instagram profile last week and was amazed at the fashion illustration she was making! Since I love to draw and I love fashion, looking at fashion illustrator’s work is so impressive to me. I asked Em to draw me and she came up with the COOLEST illustration ever. I’m so honoured to have been drawn by her & even more honoured to have her on BrandTravels. I hope Em’s driven attitude will leave you inspired to hustle & to do more of what you love. Happy reading!
Tell us who you are…
I’m a mom, creative, fashion and candy lover, dreamer, and encourager! It’s the little things that really just fill me up and make me so excited about life!
Tell us more about your work as a Graphic Designer and Fashion Illustrator…
I started doing freelance graphic design work right after graduating from Pratt Institute in 2015. I got pregnant with my daughter right after college, so I did jobs when I could, but mainly focused on raising her. Just recently I have been able to really tune into my work and start to grow my own business since my daughter is now a little older. I’ve worked on a variety of projects, all while continuously being inspired by fashion, and creating my own fashion illustrations whenever I can.
What makes your business stand out?
I think everyone brings a unique talent or aesthetic to the table as a creative. I really enjoy creating a whimsical feeling in my illustrations while also pairing it with writing that inspires, encourages, or gives people hope. That’s my main goal as an artist, to give give people hope.
What got you started?
I was flipping through a magazine (I think it was Cosmopolitan), one summer day in high school and came across one of Dallas Shaw’s fashion illustrations. It was right there, on my porch in the warm sun, that I realized “this is what I want to do with my life.
It was a pretty surreal moment, and that dream has brought me to wear I am today. That, getting my work into a gallery, and just always being consistent, sketching every day and sharing my work. I also asked for advice from other artists and creatives I looked up to. Never be afraid to ask questions, more likely than not any successful person has been right where you are at.
What do you love most about illustrating?
I really love the whole process, researching, finding inspiration, sketching, and finalizing it. If I had to pick one thing, it would be the initial sketch, and the freedom that comes with it. I used to get in my head way too much when I was younger, always overthinking how to draw something, which in turn made me think I couldn’t draw anything.
I had to just stop thinking and go for it, and that’s when I really started to tap into my freedom as an artist. When I began to let go and shift my perspective I started to see how freeing it was, especially in the initial sketch. It still amazes me to this day that I just sketch something really quick and see that I can actually create a vision I have in my head.
What is a day in your life like?
Oh boy, crazy to say the least! I have a 3 year old daughter, so there’s a lot of initial routines that usually don’t go as planned, because kids are unpredictable. Usually we wake up at 7:30am, have breakfast, get dressed, play together, and then by 9:30-10am we head downstairs, where my work place and her play area is.
I try to spend time with God first, always. It sets me up for my day. I read my bible or a devotional, something encouraging, and then some personal development books (I only read a short chapter of each of these). Then, I sketch out or look at what I’ve been working on and continue to work on that.
I always have to check my planner before I draw. That keeps me on schedule and organized, especially since I also am building another business other than my graphic design and illustration. While I’m doing that, my daughter usually plays right next to me or watches a show, all while asking for 100 snacks.
I work on various things for my other business after I work on a sketch. I kind of hop back and forth between the two while waiting for the watercolor to dry. By 12pm we usually break for lunch, and then I have to leave my phone downstairs for the rest of the day until I put my daughter to bed at 7:30pm so I can force myself not to work.
I also want to give my daughter my undivided attention, which I’ve realized is so important and necessary. Kids need connection, (it’s also really fun). We do dinner at 5pm, then it’s shower time, pajamas, and a little more playing before a story and bed at 7:20pm. Then, I shower, do a short workout and then power through until 11pm or 12pm focusing mainly on just my art, creating as much as I can while listening to music or watching a show.
What’s next for you?
I moved from PA to OH at the end of last September, so I’m really just adjusting to life out here, enjoying time with family, adventuring, and continuing to sell my work locally and online. In December my work was accepted into a local art center where I also have sold work, can teach classes, and have gallery shows.
It’s been picking up pretty quickly, I’m currently creating work for a group show in June. I also hope to teach a fashion illustration or watercolour class soon! In addition to that I am also creating more work to sell soon on the shop page I’m putting together on my website. I’m just so excited to see where this goes, and the people I get to create work for while hearing their stories.
How do we find you?
Dream city? NYC! Loved it there when I went to college and lived there, and would love to go back soon!
Biggest pet peeve? When people chew with their mouths open and you can hear them crunching.
Guilty pleasure? Sour patch kids or microwave buttered popcorn
Biggest accomplishment? Having my daughter and getting to give her an incredible life.
One word that describes you? Driven