Meet the Artist: Emma Howell
Say hello to amazing artist, and ‘mind yoga’ guru – Emma Howell. Emma talks to us about how she got into art, what she loves and where she finds aspiration, so listen up all you budding artists!
Describe yourself in 5 words
(I’m not sure which, you can choose any one of these!)
1. An artist practicing mind yoga.
2. Understanding my mind with art.
3. Working on that healthy mind.
4. Happy artist, on an adventure.
5. Artistic, adventurer, inquisitive, clumsy, dog-lover.
How did you get into art?
I’ve definitely been artistic my entire life. I admit that I’ve tried going down numerous different career paths, but I’ve always ended up going back to art. Last year, when I lost my Dad, I totally lost my way, but creating art saved me and pulled me out of quite a negative hole. I’m now a full time artist and use it everyday as a type of meditation and totally see it as “mind yoga”.
What’s your artist style
I’d consider my style to be very abstract, focusing on colour, mark-making, movement and direction. When someone looks at my artwork, I want their eyes to move around and their minds to relax and feel uplifted. My artwork is all about happiness and represents the motto “happy art for a happy mind”.
What’s your favourite medium and why?
Acrylic paint is always my initial go-to, in particular Golden Heavy Body Acrylics and Lukas Cryl Studio Acrylics. I really get along with the texture and flow of these paints and it’s handy that they dry quickly, as I always work in layers. I’m also a big fan of Pebeo’s range of Fantasy Prisme and Fantasy Moon mediums; they add a shine and extra texture to an artwork.
Top tip 1: To mix different colours, use a palette knife instead of a brush; it creates a more solid colour, makes less mess and keeps your brushes clean.
Top tip 2: Using acrylics has an advantage over using oils because they dry quickly! If you’re ever frustrated with an artwork, see the part your painting as a layer, then go back to it a bit later. Layers add depth!
Tell us about your favourite piece of artwork that you have created.
This is quite a hard question because the answer to this changes regularly.
Today, my answer would be “Iris Fiesta”, 24×36”, mixed media on deep edged canvas. It’s colour scheme is quite different to what I’d usually use and I found it to be quite a meditative challenge. For this reason, I see it as an accomplishment. It’s also super bright and totally fits my happiness motto.
What projects are you working on now?
At the moment, I’m currently working on a collection called “Aloha Mala”, which roughly translates from Hawaiian to English as “hello/goodbye garden”. The collection represents adventure, courage, joy and reflection, all words that epitomize the time I spent in Kauai, Hawaii.
Where do you do most of your artwork?
All of my artwork is created in my studio, which is above the music shop that my Dad owned. Now that my Mum is running his business, I moved all of my arty mess in and help her out downstairs whenever I can.
What has been your favourite new product or discovery over the last year?
One of the best discoveries I’ve had over the last year has been the use of Golden Heavy Body Acrylic paints; they have incredible pigment, an extensive colour range and are super easy to work with.
My favourite product that I use everyday, without fail, is any type of Daler Rowney System 3 Brush; they’re awesome.
Where do you get your inspiration?
I’m inspired by everything: sounds, smells, conversations, music, landscapes. I tend to photograph anything that inspires me. I soak up as much of the world as I can and then translate it onto a surface with the help of my “mind yoga”.
My Dad is a huge inspiration to me. He was an awesome bass player/business owner and always wanted me to use my creativity and work for myself. Here I am, doing just that and it’s all dedicated to him.
What are your top tips for anyone looking to get started in painting?
Firstly, do it.
Secondly, see it as meditation, a relaxation method and a way to express yourself- it makes the whole process feel more meaningful and enjoyable.
Thirdly, I would advise to start big when creating your first painting. Many would disagree with this and say to start small, but if you start on a bigger surface, it throws you in at the deep end and you have more space to discover your flow. Remember- it’s just a layer.. if you don’t like it, come back to it later!
Lastly, join an artist community and network with other artists! Getting to know other like-minded individuals from all around the world is an incredible thing. I’m part of a community on Facebook and Instagram called “Passion Color Joy”; it’s awesome, check it out.