Today we’d like to introduce you to Emily Hess.
Emily, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
Ever since a young age I was eager to express myself and be creative, I played instruments, experimented with many different hobbies, and I especially loved to draw. In the 7th grade I was fortunate enough to begin attending The San Diego School of Creative and Performing Arts, my first 2 years school days consisted of both academic and art classes, I learned the fundamentals and basics of a wide variety of subjects, including visual arts, dance, music, and theater. When it was time to choose a discipline to study exclusively the choice was easy. I loved visual arts and I wanted to learn everything. When I returned for High School my chosen major was Design & Mixed Media. I studied photography, 2D design, drawing and painting, ceramics, and any other class I could get into.
After graduating high school, I continued to draw and paint but decided against moving forward onto an Art School for a higher education. At the time I want to say I felt burnt out, after practicing art every day for almost 5 years, but I think more than anything I was uncertain. At 18 I had no idea what I wanted and so I started working full time and living and continued to create but not consistently. Part of me always felt like being an artist was unattainable, but mostly I was just afraid. A few years pass and I decide to enroll at Mesa Community College, I picked 2 classes: 2D design and Art History. Being in school again helped restart my imagination and relearn some forgotten skills. I continued to take both academic and art classes, but eventually started to feel like it just wasn’t enough. I made an intention to spend more time creating, and had a new-found desire to share my artwork, but I was still letting fear hold me back.
At this point in time I believe that I very much wanted to be an artist, but was afraid to actually admit it much less COMMIT to it. I was concerned about money, afraid of being vulnerable, and terrified that my art would not be understood and appreciated. I let the fear of uncertainty control me, and ultimately keep me from allowing myself to be the person I so desperately wanted to be. I had the painful realization that the only thing preventing me from reaching success was myself. In September 2017 I made a choice, I decided I was not going to be afraid anymore, I put myself out there and it was terrifying and uncomfortable but I wouldn’t change a thing. I began sharing my artwork, submitting to shows, applying for markets. I started actually selling art, and it was amazing. Since making the choice to put all of my intentions towards being an artist over a year ago I have become an internationally collected, participated in 6 events including the West Coast Craft Show in San Francisco, and learned so much.
I believe I am still very much in progress both as an artist and a human being, and my story is nowhere near complete. I’m still very young with tons to learn, and that’s very exciting to me. A year ago, I could not have imagined myself where I am now, and in a year, who knows where I could be. I hope in the future to continue with my practice and find more opportunities to collaborate and branch out into even more experimental forms of visual art.
Can you give our readers some background on your art?
I consider myself to be a highly experimental artist, I work with various different mediums including acrylic paint, collage, spray paint, and pretty much anything I can get my hands on. As an artist one of my main goals is to disrupt the traditional ideas behind fine art, and to alter my viewers -perspective. Within my practice I use a lot of non-traditional tools, and my color choices are often loud. I’ve been told that my artwork is whimsical, and humorous, and I love both of those interpretations.
In some of my recent works my intention is to show my audience places that are familiar based on color and shape, but still completely abstracted. My hopes are that my viewers find familiarity within their own interpretation of my artwork, a color that reminds them of a place they once saw, or a feeling of nostalgia. I make my artwork from both a place of my own sentimental reasoning while also leaving enough mystery so that my audience can place themselves into the work as well.
I am heavily influenced by dreams, science, outer space and the environment. I hope to combine the natural world with my own imagination to create my own version of our planet that is completely me and filled with joy.
At first, I started painting these happy places to escape our world, but then something shifted and these paintings became my reality. I hope that when people see my art they see possibility. I hope it encourages people to adjust their perspective. The world we live in can be terrifying, but only if we look at it that way.
Artists rarely, if ever pursue art for the money. Nonetheless, we all have bills and responsibilities and many aspiring artists are discouraged from pursuing art due to financial reasons. Any advice or thoughts you’d like to share with prospective artists?
Put in the hard work, believe in yourself, and everything else will fall into place. I trust that the right people will see my art and if they love it enough they will purchase it, and if a painting hasn’t sold it because the right person hasn’t come along. It’s much easier said than done, and money can definitely be frustrating, but I try to make my decisions without fear of financial consequence. Living under the pressure of “will this painting sell?” “will I have enough money” has only brought me grief in the past. I create the art I need to create and trust that everything else will happen as it should.
What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
The best way to see my work is through Instagram, I post consistently about artwork and any upcoming events. The best way to support my art is by purchasing a piece through my website or contacting me directly to commission an artwork.
- Website: EMILYHESSART.COM
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: emilycbhess
All images belong to Emily Hess