Until she was 13, Emilie lived in Istanbul. ‘They didn’t consider art to be a worthwhile subject at school there,’ she says, ‘so I never really had the opportunity to pursue my passion for it. But like so many other artists, I taught myself – up until now, at least!’
Emilie has been drawing for as long as she can remember, and ‘nowadays I can’t go one day without adding something new to my sketchpad.’
Tell us a bit about yourself…
I’m a 20-year-old Illustration student in my first year of a Foundation Degree. I never took any art classes past GCSE level, so it was a really big deal for me to get this far just by what I’d done in my own time. The rest of my time is spent on video games, although I do have a passion for reading philosophical texts, poetry (especially Shakespeare and Tennyson), and, probably most peculiarly, researching mental illnesses. I also adore brightly coloured hair and dream of one day owning my own Kawasaki Ninja.
I’m studying at Northbrook College right now, which I love. It’s very challenging, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’m very lucky to have some great teachers, like Alan Baker and Paul Collicutt. Even though I’m terrified of jumping into this extremely competitive industry, with tutors like these I’m sure I’ll be as well prepared as it is possible to be.
What are your inspirations?
My influences usually come from the things I surround myself with the most, such as Emilie Autumn or Shakespeare. In fact I like to include the tiniest references to both in my art in ways that very few or only I could possibly tell. Aside from that, Disney often gets me sketching into the night, as will anything macabre or psychologically interesting.
It’s quite hard to say, since I haven’t found a solid style I like yet and often do anything from realistic portraits to 50s poster designs, depending on my mood. My favourite right now though is probably my piece depicting a more modernised Ophelia. She’s my favourite character in literature, and I love experimenting with how she would look if she were living now, as well as combining that with how she is depicted more traditionally.
Most of my favourite artists are from DeviantArt, and often create beautiful character concept art, or draw in a way inspired by manga. It’s hard to be specific though, since I discover new artists on an almost daily basis. However, when I’m stuck for ideas I will almost always turn to the art of the Sky Doll graphic novels by Barbucci and Canepa. I discover something new and interesting I want to try almost every time I flick through them.