Meet Emma

Meet Emma

New Zealand artist Emma is passionate about creating quirky illustrations using colour and botanicals with a strong sense of femininity. Emma enjoys experimenting with different mixed media including acrylic and oils and drawing inspiration from the female form and florals.
PieceHouse Post Reading Meet Emma 4 minutes Next Meet Mokshini

What is your artist background?
I studied at the Charles Rennie MacIntosh Glasgow School of Art in Scotland. After graduating I worked as an Illustrator for a greeting card company in Edinburgh before deciding to travel. I then worked as a Graphic Designer and Illustrator for many years until deciding to launch my own business Studio Peers.

Where in New Zealand do you live?

When did you start doing your art?
Since I can remember I’ve always been drawing. I have been working in the illustration and design industry since graduating from University many years ago.

When did you start your entrepreneur journey?
I’ve ben part time self-employed for around 10 years and have been constantly changing and developing throughout that time. I finally felt ready to become fully self employed in the November before Covid hit - wasn’t the best timing! However I have some amazing clients so am very lucky.  

Some amazing other work by Emma.

How do you describe your artwork style?
I have a bit of a split personality when it comes to my artwork. My illustrations are very botanical and colourful, my larger paintings focus more on mark making and the manipulation of form to evoke a strong sense of feminine expression. I love portraying women and all their beauty, vulnerability and strength.

Some amazing other work by Emma.

Have you always done your field of art or was there other types of art that you have done? If so, what types?
I’ve always loved drawing and painting. My career started in commercial illustration, which lead to branding and marketing. I enjoy helping clients create a brand for their business that expresses their own unique personality and purpose.  

What is the best/ideal environment for you when creating your artwork? 
I do need my own space to feel creative. I put some music on which can vary from soul music to big musical scores depending on what I am painting and can get lost for hours in the studio. When I’m painting time passes and I don’t notice anything else going on around me. 

Who is your hero? And why?
I admire people who follow their instincts and go after their dreams. It takes a brave person to step away from the ‘norm’ and create the life they truly want and I always admire those that at least give it a try.

What values are important to you?
Kindness. I also believe you have to stay open in life to new possibilities as that’s where greatness can happen.

Any advice for aspiring NZ artists?
Draw or paint every day your are able and experiment with different materials. Also surround yourself with creative people…..find personalities that inspire, encourage and challenge you and keep them in your life.

What was the inspiration behind your artwork for your PieceHouse puzzle?
I love a good bookshop.  When I lived in a big city I used to sit for hours in bookshops with my sketchbook and research different artists. For ‘Blossom Lane’ I wanted to create an inviting scene where the viewer would want to hang out for the afternoon. Books, botanicals and coffee…. 3 of my favourite things. Emma is the artist that created the Blossom Lane puzzle.

What do you do to help keep your mental health in a positive place?
I’m very lucky to have a partner that makes me laugh - laughter is a must. I also eat healthy, walk everyday and get lots of cuddles from my dog Bella. Most importantly I make time to get completely lost in a painting - I think I am at my most content mentally when I am covered in paint and making a mess.

Follow Emma's instagram here.