My favorite thing about art is its ability to speak to many souls, saying something different to each individual. While searching for a stand-out artist to feature on the visual arts section of our blog, I came across a unique and talented artist who spoke to my inner creative.
I was instantly captivated by Emily Saunders' (@EJ_Illustration on IG) work because of her preferred color palette. Leaning more towards warm tones, Saunders does not shy away from using saturated colors to create bold and other-worldy pieces. Originally from Toronto, Emily Saunders stands out in the artistic community because of her open-mindedness and beautifully-colored creations.
What do you hope to say with your art?
My art is about being open, being proud of yourself. Leaning towards comedy, I don't do a lot of work about serious stuff. The one thing I would want my audience to understand is that life is so much happier when you're proud of who you are, whatever that means to them as individuals.
How has your art improved over time?
For a long time I was scared of being bold. Everything was soft. Soft colours blended mercilessly into each other, soft edges, soft everything. Improving as an artist for me was learning how to be sure of my choices. I had to learn to be less worried of ruining a piece of art if it was just meant to be practice. I had a wonderful painting mentor who would get me to wipe my oils off of the canvas right after I finished the painting, and then I'd paint something else on it over and over again. That lesson really helped me be bold.
How do you stand out as an artist?
I stand out because I can't stick with one thing. I could never imagine committing to one medium or style or subject matter. I like keeping my options open and I work really hard to be talented in many areas. It makes my pieces a bit unpredictable, but I've recently figured out how to categorize my work into painting, illustration and environment design. That helps keep me on track.
What advice do you have for aspiring artists?
Practice! Don't shoehorn yourself into one style. If you can afford to, have two sketchbooks. Have a nice one for when you want to do things that are a bigger job for you and use a cheap sketchbook or even just printer paper or newsprint to practice structures or plants or whatever you like. My best advice would be to get some newsprint and a soft charcoal pencil. It's super affordable. Newsprint only costs about $2 for a decent pad so you don't have to stress about messing things up. Using charcoal will force you to be more careful about the lines and strokes you make. I promise you'll see the improvement super quickly.
Remember that art isn't about expensive fancy pens and paints, but what you do with them.