13 Jan 2011

Artist 59: Emma Block

'catherine feeney gardening' created for Amelia's Magazine

It's Emma Block, a little ray of sunshine for us at the very start of the year. Emma is a third year student already establishing herself on the wider stage with an impressive range of clients. She has an instantly likeable style which really draws you into her world of soft pastels and clever use of texture collage. Her work has a real delicate flourish which whilst seeking to endear has a touch of class that is really important when creating semi naive work. Her images both convey a sense of summer and of happiness with a simple elegance that allows her to use her figures sparingly whilst getting her point across with an eloquence that belies some acute observational skill. It's very pleasant to see the poses and sense of movement based on looking and recording that allows her an element of deconstruction and style that gives the viewer great design without losing the connection to the subject. Great style, infinitely marketable designs backed up with a heavy dose of graft and skill. definitely a rising star this year!

Who are you:
My name’s Emma Block and I’m a third year illustration student and illustrator living in London.

What do you do:
I am currently in my last year at Middlesex University, and whilst working hard there I have been lucky enough to do some freelance work for clients such as Time Out, Woodmansterne, Moo, Amelia’s Magazine, Cellardoor Magazine and Ballad Of Magazine.

How did you start:
I have always loved art, and always known that it was all I wanted to do. I’ve always been a drawer. I did a National Diploma in Art and Design in 6th form, and whilst I was there I was lucky enough to be taught by fantastic illustrator Simon Wild, who really encouraged me and my love of illustration.

I’ve also had a blog since I was 16, which I have found wonderful way of receiving feedback and encouragement and meeting other illustrators.

A Personal statement about you or your work: 
I like to collect beautiful paper from charity shops and carboot sales; I look for old sheetmusic, discarded books as well as any curious objects with an interesting history, and then I piece them together like a patchwork and turn them into something completely new.

My work always starts with drawing; I carry a small sketchbook with me wherever I go so that I can jot down ideas and inspirations as well as being able to draw some of the more interesting characters I see. Then I develop my drawing with some collage, some painting and finish it off with some more drawing on top. Sometimes I feel like my room is miniature prop department when I’m making all my tiny little plant pots, books, ducks, pencils, Jack Russells, hats and shoes out of coloured paper.

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