Emma has a BA in Illustration from Middlesex, and an MA in the subject from Kingston University.
Emma's sets are built out of paper, and then works with a photographer to capture them, ensuring the use of light and shadow brings out the three-dimensional aspect of the work. Where she does use her drawing skills for a client's project, she works with ink.
One of her main styles involves cutting out and constructing scenes and silhouettes, but Emma also does traditional drawing and likes to try a new style every year. Most recently she’s been looking at styling food in bizarre ways.
Question: Emma, this has been an exciting year for you. What's been the best bit? Emma: Leaping from one exciting project to the next, working with photographer Dan Price and creating a card fish and chip shop installation at the Victoria and Albert. Question: What first drew you to illustration/design? Emma: I loved drawing as a child, I’d get lost in the pictures in fairy tales books. I had a good dressing up box that my sister and I would regularly dive into. At school I couldn’t really get into subject unless it was hands on and involved creating something so it was a natural progression. Question: Do you have any formal design training? Emma: I went to Middlesex University to do a BA Hons in Illustration and few years later after a while running my clothes label I felt there was something missing. I realised it was drawing so went to Kingston to do an MA in Illustration. Question: Where do you live & what drew you there? Emma: London born and bred. My parents are Spanish and Irish, they met as they both lived in an old hotel bed sit opposite Victoria and Albert museum, they moved into the ballroom there and then had me, I suppose it was natural they moved further west. We ended up in Chiswick. I am living in our old family home now. Question: Who/What is your biggest inspiration? Emma: My childhood story books, vintage costumes and fabrics. Question: How do you get your ideas? Emma: Brainstorming, going to galleries, reading books, talking to Sam Bompas and my friend Dan Price the photographer I work with.
Question: Do you keep a scrapbook? Emma: I love sketchbooks; in many ways they are far more interesting than the final article, a bit like peeking into someone’s diary. Question: What is the first record you bought? Emma: Bad boys by wham, I was only 7. Question: Tell us about a favourite project you've recently completed. Emma: Victorian & Albert Museum - I ran an illustration installation about 2 weeks ago for their Friday night Late. I designed and made a chip shop where punters ordered from the menu; things like “Battered Vowels and Cod Consonants”. Paper letters and card sausages where then shuffled into a specially designed news paper template where the people then sat in the sitting area in our chip shop and emptied the contents out and made collages of the front cover of the paper. Question: What would be your "dream job/commission"? Emma: To work with more photographers and create more sets and installations. Question: Who is your design hero? Emma: Bompas and Parr, the jellymongers. Question: Who are your musical heroes? Emma: This changes but at the moment I am listening to Devendra Banhart “So Long Old Bean’ as I have a broken heart and last week saw Grace Jones play at Somerset House, she was amazing. My heart is much better now.
Liberty, Harper's Bazaar, , Tatler, The Observer, Historic Royal Palaces, Visa, Bompas & Parr, Adidas, 02 Center, Harvey Nichols, Wall Street Journal, Intel, , Museum of LondonFavourites
: Le Vergel, South American café, SE1 elvergel.co.uk
: Don’t like shops so much but I like car boot sales and markets.
: Not into those yet.
Place to inspire yourself
: By the sea, in the sea, with friends.