The holiday season is beginning with all of it’s delightful and meaningful charm… And this is the perfect time to buy artwork for yourself or for a special someone. Decorate your own walls before the holiday parties get underway – or plan a super special gift for a lucky loved one!
I’ve created several small paintings – adorable sizes (4×4 & 6×6) that are almost sculptural with their boxy shape (perfect for standing on a shelf or mixing into a rad gallery wall), and, along with those little paintings, there are three larger paintings (16×20 and 18×24) that are substantial and delicious with so many lush colors and expressive brushstrokes.
This collection of paintings will be available today at 12:00 (eastern time) at www.EmilyJeffords.com/originals
One of my favorite “creative rituals” (doesn’t that sounds dauntingly serious & yet so very fitting?) is listening to music or a podcast while I’m working in the studio. Podcasts are awesome because they engage my mind while my hands are busy doing their thing.
There is this really wonderful collection of creative podcasts that is growing steadily into something full and so inspiring. Interviews, discussions, talks about the ins-and-outs of creative culture & entrepreneurship…
It’s so nice to have those voices in my head when I’m alone in the studio. I feel like there is a collective of other people out there who understand what I’m going through and are doing this crazy and fulfilling struggle “with” me (even though we’ve never met and live miles apart and they’re not reeeeally talking to just me even if it feels that way 90% of the time.) ;)
So, all that being said, you now understand my unusual attachment to the creative podcast industry. So….
I was asked by Elise Blaha Cripe, the powerhouse creative behind Elise Joy Blog and the Make29 project, if I would be interested in talking with her on her podcast. I, clearly, said “HECH YES” as fast as my fingers could type.
The topic of our conversation was making time for creativity. We discussed my journey to fight for my artistic career, finding your creative outlet, mixing creativity with parenthood, and ways to strengthen that creative passion.
It was a total honor and I’m so happy to share the podcast with you!
Take a listen and let us both know what stood out to you – or any questions you may have!! I would be happy to offer some feedback or be that voice of support we all need.
Hooray! A new semester is coming up soon (can you believe it?!) and I’m looking for one intern to work in my studio alongside me and my studio manager, Alisha. It’s a fun time.
My goal for every intern is that they leave my studio with an understanding of how to actually “make it” in the creative world when they graduate. I share the lessons I’ve learned and offer tips and resources for success.
Ask good questions and I will give you the best answer I possibly can.
Read below for more details, duties, and requirements.
If this looks like something you would enjoy, send me an email and we’ll talk! email@example.com
Must be local (Greenville, SC), have transportation, and be available 9-12 hours per week. Internships last for the duration of the semester (about 3 months) and can be used towards class credit (please talk with your adviser about this first!)
So yesterday I invited you all to my open studio this weekend (and, of course, that invite still stands!) but, obviously, many, many of you live far to far away to visit my studio in person, so I will bring my new studio to your screens! Snoop to your hearts content. ;)
The things I love most about this space: light, light light. And floors – wooden golden carmel-ness… And the space. Oh, the space. We decided to optimize the space a little more by building vertical shelves that leave the plaster walls pure and un-nailed, while still helping my storage needs.
This is where I block out the world, buckle down, make a mess with my two little ladies, and organize chaos into beauty (as often as possible).
We like our space in the White Whale Studios & Gallery – and you should totally come by for a visit!
Hello! Something fun is sweeping through my city this weekend: Open Studios!
129 artists are welcoming the community into our creative spaces and it’s going to be amazing!
The White Whale Studios & Gallery (where I work) will be bright and lively and full of art, so be sure to stop by!
I’ve been creating a small stack of originals – small and large, and of course, there will be prints (perfect for gifts!!) and wine, and cheese, and maybe some caramelized-rum apple pie if we’re all lucky.
Friday night – Sunday.
401 Smythe Street Greenville, SC
See you SOON!
PS. If you live a little too far away to visit my studio in person, you can check out my studio tour on Decor8 blog.
I love asking other artists for advice and the perspective they offer. It’s like they’re seeing into my head and know exactly what I need to hear! I hope you’ll feel the same:
One of my favorite question of all time:
“Do you have any advice for artists just starting their art career?”
Understand that only you get to define success for yourself. No one else can do this. You get to decide how big or small a goal for your art/career.
If your aspiration is to be a full time artist though, and you aren’t independently wealthy, I would say first to understand how difficult it is.
Also, I would mention the fact that as a professional artist, you are signing up to be a business owner. I certainly wish I had been more prepared starting out to deal with this side of things. Administrative work, dealing with taxes, marketing, shipping art, providing customer service, documenting your work, etc.- all very different from creating art! Having a support system in place is a huge asset.
In the end, art has to be your passion and you have to be in it for the long haul. If this is you, then all of the hard work is completely worth it, when you are creating the life you want to live.
I don’t think young artists need advice, especially if they are good artists – rather emerging and established ones do.
In my case, during college and right after you are driven by such an enthusiasm which is an amazing energy, nothing can stand in your way. A few years into it and you might loose some steam, that’s when you need a strategy.
And the strategy is: find things that will inspire and keep the enthusiasm at high levels!
Just create whatever you find interesting, and create a lot of it.
I think whatever you are interested in and have passion for will be the most authentic thing you can make, and it doesn’t matter if it follows current trends or is like what ‘does well’ out there already.
The more you create, the more your craft will improve and your style will be refined.
This has been so great. Thank you for reading through these bits of advice along with me!
I hope you caught the goodness that went down yesterday (read it here). I’ve been asking artists questions for years and they are all so full of wisdom and ready advice.
So let’s keep talking! I’ve asked several artists this question: “Do you have any advice for artists just starting their art career?”
Their answers are gold. Not just for the new artists, but for each and every artist who is truing new things, making a go out of this crazy creative life, or just needs a fresh perspective.
Read on, dear makers!
The best advice is to stay true to subject matters that are close to your heart.
In the beginning (especially if you are a self-taught artist, like I am) it is also important to try out all of the different media that you can get your hands on. I have spent countless money over the years on buying new supplies. I still buy new spins on materials just to give it a shot and see if it’s something that I can incorporate into my work. By trying new materials and new combinations of materials it can help you identify a unique style.
And lastly, do not ever give up on the big picture. Every single artist out there has failures. I have them once or twice a week. You work so hard on something and you stick it to the end and it might end up not being a strong piece at all, something you might even decide to box up or throw away.
Those missteps do not define you as an artist. Each one of them is a tool and in the end they all do offer bits of information that you will take along with you to the next piece of work.
Can you give a tip to an aspiring artist that they won’t learn in art school but need to know?
I got good advice from someone once a long time ago that seems really simple and annoying:
‘Keep making things.’
That’s it. Make stuff all the time. Even if what you make is awful you will inevitably learn something and get better at what you are making.
Oh, and don’t compare yourself constantly to others and their work. It will keep you from moving forward. I am still working on that one myself.
Work every day and put your work out there.
I know people will steal your ideas but so far I think that the value of having your work widely seen exceeds the downside of being copied. In my experience lasting professional relationships and a career come from your ability to keep generating ideas and — above all — executing them well, which is something no one can steal from you.
Again. Such goodness! Thank you all for your beautiful advice. And guys, check back tomorrow for the last artist-to-artist advice post in this little series. It’s a full one!
Over the past three years I’ve had the awesome opportunity to interview some of my favorite artists. One thing I love asking artists (because I’m always aching to know myself) is what piece of advice they wish they had received when they started their creative career.
Of course there is a whole lot of value in learning things the hard way – allowing the lessons to become etched into who you are as an artist and a person, but good heavens, wouldn’t it be nice to just learn and to be encouraged by these things from the onset?
That’s why I ask. Because, so often the creative life can feel open and lonely and even scary. It’s nice to know that others have walked in your path and have succeeded!
Because there are so many insightful answers, I collected a bundle of responses and will share them over the next three days.
So, let’s do this!
“Do you have any advice for artists just starting their art career?”
I think staying busy and always working even if it’s for an hour is helpful. I have a 4 year old a full time job, so it’s hard to find time. If I can steal away for an hour in the evening I always feel so much better than if I didn’t.
One more thing…If you don’t “have it” one day and the paint just isn’t flowing the way you want it to. Don’t be afraid to put the brush down and comeback to it later.
Its good to be hard on yourself and have very high expectations of your work.
Look at a lot of great art, know why it is great and aim for those qualities in your own work. Learn to recognize your strengths, don’t try to force yourself into a style of art that doesn’t fit your skills or style even if its work you admire.
Eventually you will come into yourself as an artist and it will be fun to trace back life events (like motherhood) to see how life effects the charcoal you just danced all over a page.
In the mean time, network and become friends with supportive, wise people who also want you to succeed. I am very thankful I have a lot of them in my life.
Passion, dedication and belief in what you are doing are the key ingredients to success.
If you are not extremely passionate about making art, it’s probably not the best career option for you. It’s certainly not an easy way to make a living, but if you have to create art to feel like yourself, that is a very good place to start!
I’ve noticed lately, that a lot of people are anxious to create a business out of their art before they have really developed themselves as an artist.
When you feel authentically ready to show and promote your work, I suggest putting together a really simple and beautiful website that highlights your work in a non-distracting way. Blogging is also a great way to share your story and keep things fresh for people who are interested in what you are doing. There are so many ways to connect online now through social media, etc.
It’s an amazing and powerful time to be an artist as the world is literally at your fingertips! But again, doing the work in the studio should be taking up more time than doing the promotional work on your computer. At least that’s my opinion.
Ahh… see what I mean? A bundle of wise words and sage ideas. I need these voices in my head every day! Check back tomorrow for another dose of advice.
I started a new painting today. This happens a lot, so I don’t know why I haven’t gotten use to it by now, but that moment of starting is at once exciting, hopeful, and daunting.
I have a hard time working out ( I blame the kids + schedule, but it’s totally just me) but I often think that starting a painting is like starting a race. You’ve signed up for it. All eyes are on you. But what if you freak out half way through and it’s super embarrassing? Or what if you get confused and take the path that goes to the woods when the person commissioning the painting wanted you to go to the beach? But the love of the race is enough to make you start. It get’s me every time. …and I do love, love, love this race.
Today’s painting is teal (as many of my paintings are) so I washed the canvas in shades of green and blue and cream, spoiling the perfect minimalistic white canvas that had been there. I keep making marks, shaping and forming clouds and land and, honestly, it keeps looking worse and worse.
But I press on. Fighting. Loving. It’s nearly a game: my hands vs. my ideas.
By the end of the day this painting will be completed and it will be up on my mantle (where all the paintings go when they are “done”) and then I’ll get that sweet feeling of pride and accomplishment that makes the race totally with it.
It’s on a good course. But at this moment, while is sits on my easel, flaunting it’s flaws and unfinished spaces, it needs more love, more fight, more passion.
I love that phrase “follow your passion” so much these days. When you’re in the thick of it; excited, tired, drained, and yet loving every moment, it is passion that strengthens you. It is not some illusive idea or an ethereal feeling. Passion is love, heart, grit, and determination. If you are passionate about something, you are willing to suffer for it. Long hours, sore fingers, hours of thought, sacrifice… totally par for the course.
Sometimes it’s less about what you do and more about how you do it. Loving what you do or what you create, having that passion and fire within, spills over into how you do it.
Quality comes of love.
This post was originally written for the beautiful blog Sarah In Pursuit which you should totally check out because Sarah is lovely and so is her blog!
Until next time!
In this fast, exciting, image-lovin’, creative world, there is a special and valuable opportunity for artists to really shine.
I am excited to let you know that I am offering creative consultations to artist, makers, and creatives! These consultations are perfect for people who are interested in growing their online business through organic storytelling and lifestyle branding.
Your audience wants to get to know you – to share in your passion and to catch your vision. While we talk, we’ll discuss several ways to do this clearly, naturally, and elegantly. I’ll share past successes and failures as well as ways you can refine your brand to share your story more clearly.
- Social Media (Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook)
- Storytelling and engaging your audience
- Marketing (holidays, online events, pop-up shops, email…)
I would LOVE to work with you to strengthen your creative brand.
Consultations start at $45 for a small group chat or $75 for a one-on-one consultation. Usually held over video chat, these talks usually last 50-60 minutes. After we talk I will send you a PDF full of goodness and info for you to review at your leisure.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll set up a time to chat!