today we’re dropping in on talented L.A.-based multi-media artist emily Snyder. i was introduced to emily a few weeks ago at our neighborhood coffee spot, fix, by jihan (who essentially knows everyone) and was excited to get home and check out emily’s website. and to be quite honest, it blew me away — this artist is so prolific it’s hard to know what to be more in awe of. emily’s diverse body of work includes everything from portrait paintings to illustration, calligraphy, and some incredible beadwork the likes of which i’ve never seen before. so i knew instantly i’d like to share her artwork with you and asked lily to have a visit and get up close and personal at emily’s studio and share a little bit more about emily, her tips for independent artists and her beautiful work.
were you working elsewhere before leaving to start your business?
Yes, I was working as the Studio Manager at Mr. Boddington’s Studio in New York City. Mr. Boddington’s is a custom stationery house and at that time was specializing in wedding invitations. The owner of the studio, Rebecca Schmidt-Ruebensaal sponsored my first calligraphy class which I took through the School of Visual Arts in conjunction with The Society of Scribes. With Rebecca’s support and encouragement, my business began.
was your new path motivated by a particular creative need or personal goal?
My new path was motivated by my obsession with the calligraphy done by the calligraphers that we worked with at Mr. Boddington’s Studio. I would trace their letter forms with my finger and finally realized that with my background in drawing and painting and love for letterforms I could easily learn calligraphy.
did you receive any particular advice that stood out when starting your own business?
I don’t remember any particular advice, but I do remember the unusual timing of my business’s beginning. I started my business in the days before the financial crisis peaked in September 2008 and I remember thinking that the timing was advantageous because I didn’t have anything to lose, only to grow. I was still working full time at Mr. Boddington’s so the slow build of my client roster gave me time to learn what to do without being overwhelmed in the beginning.
where do you gain fuel that inspires your creative endeavors?
I gain creative fuel from the interactions and relationships I have with the inspiring people around me. I also gain creative fuel from nature. Because Los Angeles is full of creative people and surrounded by profusely differing gorgeous landscapes, I find it a great place to be creatively inspired.
what was the most unexpected aspect of putting together your business?
At one point, I found it surprising that having a business felt like what I imagine having a child feels like. It needs constant attention, and the more you tend to it the more it will flourish. I also still find it surprising how planting a seed eight years ago has blossomed into a garden of interesting projects and clients.
what’s your favorite thing about your studio space?
My favorite thing about my studio is that it’s allowed me to return to making larger scale paintings and drawing with oil mediums. I also love that i’m surrounded by other creative people that rent studios in the same building. I wanted to have a community around me because my work is solitary, and my studio provides me with social relief and great feedback from others.
what are some of your work tools that you can’t live without?
my calligraphy quill with a fresh supply of hunt 101 nibs at the ready. also,
Neocolor Aquarelle Crayons.
what are the top three things someone should consider before changing careers or starting their own business?
1. the amount of time that it can take to become established; 2. the incredible amount of freedom it can give you; and 3. all the decision making that you will make during your career — it’s all up to you! a blessing and a curse.
what are three books that changed your life?
harold and the purple crayon. i really don’t have three, so, instead i’m writing down three artists that i love: alice neel, friedensreich hundertwasser, and ralph steadman.
• photography by lily glass for sfgirlbybay.
i really love ‘big impact’ artwork. i used to be more of a ‘gallery kinda girl’ but lately, i just love the simplicity of one great big piece of art that makes a bold statement. i have a large print over my sofa from kiki & polly, and another large photograph by laure joliet in my dining area. there are so many wonderful sources for art these days — we’re really fortunate to have places like etsy and chairish for vintage art, and emerging artists’ work from online galleries like tappan collective, deb carlos, 20×200, mammoth & co. and minted art where art is affordable and very accessible. there’s also parabo press and artifact uprising where you can easily upload and print your very own instagram and smart phone photos. the art world is your oyster these days — and if you’d like still more helpful sources for art, check out my gallery pinboard.
welcome to the emerald city, population us — and of course, now you. it’s high time we all adapted these rich emerald jewel tones into the everyday room, as it makes for quite the conversation starter, and a very pinterest-worthy moment. we can’t stop seeing green with all these beautiful forest-toned sofas, cabinets, and appropriate pops of foliage.