Emily Cromwell is an artist and an illustrator with a passion for hand lettering and all things colorful. She is a lover of cats, chocolate, and bright city lights! She started her handmade business when she was 17 years old as a junior in high school and has built it up from there. She loves to create things that make people smile and bring inspiration into their life. To explore Emily’s work, view her Etsy shop here and connect with her on her favorite social media, Instagram!
Carrie: Welcome to Artist Strong Emily! When did you first realize your love of lettering?
Let’s see…that’s a tough one! I have been doodling since before I could even read, so I’ve been an artist pretty much my entire life! I first realized that I absolutely loved lettering when I was in middle school. Teachers would always come over and see that I was drawing or lettering in a funky style.They didn’t even ask me to stop either, they just encouraged me to keep going! As I got older, I grew to love all of the different styles that you could do. I find hand lettering to be so beautiful and amazing. Why? Because it is something that a computer will never be able to achieve. It is uniquely yours!
Carrie: How did you discover your artistic style?
I didn’t have to try and find my artistic style, like some people have said that they’ve had to do. My artistic style just emerged out of my work. After drawing and creating art for so long, you look back at it and see a certain style that you draw or paint in, and you just kind of go “Oh hey, There it is!”
Carrie: Can you describe your creative process to readers?
My creative process is a fun one! I put on a playlist of some of my favorite music (which changes all the time!) and I hit shuffle and let it go! I always like to plan out my ideas visually on paper so I will usually do a few doodles here and there and make some directional marks for certain ways I want my lettering to go, or how I want to arrange the layout. If you saw my sketchbook, it would probably just look like a bunch of scribbles, that’s how loosely I draw my rough sketches! Once I do all of that, I just go with my ideas and let it flow. I try not to force anything when I’m creating, I just let the pen flow when I’m drawing and see what I end up creating!
Carrie: How do you take risk in your art?
By creating what I want to create. I used to think that I had to create things that other people wanted and I tried to make things that other people would like. That’s when I realized “Hey, why not start making things that YOU like?” So I did! That has been the biggest risk for me, creating things that I like, and hoping that people will like them. But as I always say, people buy your passion! And if you love what you do, it shows.
Carrie: How does your life experience and emotional state feed into your art?
I grew up with divorced parents, which made me a pretty sad kid for awhile. However, both of my parents are equally AMAZING support systems and their positive energy has pushed me to succeed and overcome my experience. In a way, you could say that my troubles are what keep pushing me to create such inspirational and upbeat things. I want to be inspired and feel happy, so I design things that bring a smile to my face, and ultimately I’ve found that they make other people smile too!
Carrie: What do you hope viewers take from your artwork?
I want viewers to be happy. I want them to walk away being inspired, feeling upbeat, and feeling like they can handle anything life throws at them.
Carrie: What is the first thing you do when you feel stuck working on a project?
I take a small break and doodle anything that pops into my head. A flower, a little hamster, a cat wearing glasses…you name it, I have probably drawn it! Doodling helps to open up my mind to new possibilities and it always gets me back to moving forward when I hit a roadblock on a project.
Carrie: How does collaboration help and/or hinder your art?
I haven’t directly collaborated with another artist to create something, but I do collaborate with clients that want custom requests, and honestly I love doing that! Working with someone can really open up your mind to new ideas that you have never thought of before and it can really put you in a different state of mind when working on a project!
Carrie: Who/What inspires you?
I am inspired by so many talented artists around me. I’d have to say my biggest inspiration though is Van Gogh. He has been my artist idol for years! I am so inspired by him and how he took all of the struggles that he had and he channeled all of those inner feelings into artwork. I always have felt a connection with him because I use my feelings and turn them into positive artwork, and that’s just what he did too.
Carrie: What is one creative resource you can’t live without?
Oh my goodness, my favorite art store in the world. Blick! I am so in love with that store, I have literally spent four to five hours in there just walking around because just being in the store makes me so happy. There’s just such a great, artsy atmosphere in there, it’s definitely my go to place!
Carrie: How do you define Creativity?
To me, creativity is using your inner feelings and imagination to create something that adds meaning to this world. It doesn’t matter what you create, all that matters is that you do, and that’s such a wonderful thing, to be a creative person. You must never lose that spark!
“People buy your passion.” (Click to Tweet)
BE COURAGEOUSLY CREATIVE: Do you use doodling to help get out of a creative block? I want to know! Talk about it in the comments below.
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I love Dick Blick too! I wish there were more of them!!! Nothing like a trip there on a Saturday morning to get your juices flowing!!!
I loved going to a Dick Blick store when I lived in Connecticut. It made me happy too 🙂
“People buy your passion” — I love that. It’s one for the memory bank, in my opinion.
As to supplies, I buy online from DickBlick.com and it really inspires me to stroll through their virtual store. It’s good value, despite the horrid cost of international shippingto South Africa. 🙂
Hi Alison! 🙂 yes it’s a great quote.
I love Dickblick too. I haven’t considered doing that to Oman yet but maybe I should!