“Art is the soul of your home”…that is Melbourne based self-taught abstract artist Emma Thomas’s mantra. From creating eye-catching, dreamy, ethereal-feeling pieces to compliment a room or a bold and powerful statement piece, Emma’s art is truly special.
We spoke with Emma about starting out as an artist against traditional skill sets, what inspires her as an artist and what making the switch to living your dream job was like! Read more to find out all about Emma’s journey to becoming the sought-after artist she is today in our #mymoderncareer interview!
I have always loved art and always wanted to be an artist! But I never thought it was possible for me – because I can’t draw. At school I loved going to art class, it was my favorite subject, but I felt like wasn’t any good at it. I was so hard on myself because I couldn’t actually draw. So I would giggle a lot, being the class clown and literally finger paint, trying to SOME way I could paint without having to draw. I loved it, but felt like I didn’t belong. Then a few years later (or maybe 10…) I discovered fluid art, resin and alcohol ink, basically any other ways to paint without having to use a brush or draw. I paint abstracts without any plan and I have finally found a style that works for me.
What inspires you as an artist and when creating pieces?
I find inspiration everywhere! I’m constantly taking pictures anywhere we go and if I see a colour scheme that grabs me. Particularly natural stones and the beaches, they’re definitely my favorite colours.
While my boys where little I was working in retail and completely and utterly miserable. It was not my passion at all and I just knew that I needed to do a job and I was completely and utterly head over heels in love with. I had started making art for our walls in our home and then slowly family and friends would ask for a painting for their home. Something clicked and I just knew this is what I wanted to do. I would go to my retail job sometimes in tears and I knew it was a terrible example to be showing my boys. I wanted them to see that you should be in a job you love. It’s so much easier when it’s your passion. Don’t get me wrong, I’m now working so hard and there’s late nights trying to keep up. I would be working less if I had of kept my retail job (and I wouldn’t be worried where my next paycheck was coming from). But this is my passion and I wouldn’t want it any other way. Work is a major part of everyone’s life, so you may as well be doing what you love. And I’m so glad this is the message I’m sending my boys now.
Could you give us some insight into your creative process?
I love experimenting with different colours. I literally dream of different colour palettes. I get really obsessed with different colours and once I get in the zone, I can’t stop! It’s like something HAS to come out of me. I’ll just pop on a podcast and get in the studio with my paints. Sometimes I’ll create 6 paintings in one sitting because I just have to get it out of me, it’s like therapy. It literally is my therapy, If I find myself restless and anxious I know I’m due for a paint. Once I get the paintings out of me I have such a sense of peace in my soul!
“This is my passion and I wouldn’t want it any other way. Work is a major part of everyone’s life, so you may as well be doing what you love. And I’m so glad this is the message I’m sending my boys now.”
Best piece of career advice would like to share based on your experiences?
There’s nothing in nature that blooms every day of the year, so you shouldn’t expect yourself to either. This really resonates with me because I use to put so much pressure on myself to be “ON” all the time and to consistently produce art. I’ve learnt that it comes in ebbs and flows. Same with the job load, I get so hard on myself if things get a bit quite. But it always comes around so now I’m just trying to be a bit more organized and prepared.
Also, please don’t compare yourself to others. It’s not productive at all and you could be spending your energy is so many better ways. Seriously, nothing good comes from it all, focus on all the amazing things you have going on.
#mymoderncareer plans for 2019?
I’m going to really build up my business this year. Both my boys will be in school next year, so I hope that I have built up enough momentum to make this business full-time. I will be releasing my own print range very shortly, I’m so excited. I made myself a rule that I have to use an Aussie supplier. It’s so important to me that it’s a local company. I also have a hand painted earring range which I love (because I am earring obsessed) and I hope to be able to create lots more of them this year too! Lots of exciting potential things this year (some of which I can’t talk about yet 🤫) I’ve been working closely with a hotel too, which I’m SO excited about!
Thank you so much Emma for sharing your career story so far and what inspires you as an artist! Such a testament to following your dreams no matter what and achievement comes from truly believing in yourself! Emma is such an inspiration to us and we love that setting a positive example for her boys is a priority. We can’t wait to see what is install for 2019!