Hello creative souls! I'm so excited to introduce you to Emily Jeffords--Oil painter, mother, and founder of @Doitfortheprocess on Instagram. I met Emily after being captivated by her luscious landscape paintings on that platform..which led me to her website...which led me to follow her very insightful and fun Periscope broadcasts. If you are new to the world of art you simple must follow her scopes! She provides so much juicy information to help rising artist thrive.
- How did you find the courage to put your work into the world? Where did you begin?
I started selling my artwork while working on my undergraduate degree, hosting art shows and setting up a website to showcase my work (this was in 2007, pre-Etsy and pretty much all social media). After I had my first baby in 2009, I wanted to stay home with her –this is when I really took my artistic career seriously and started creating a large body of work. I painted a painting a day and published / sold the paintings the following day on my blog and on Etsy. I also started my blog, Beautiful Hello, which has proven to be a huge source of inspiration for me and thousands of other creative people! I really enjoy sharing my work online and via social media. I feel as though I can collect my thoughts and share them when I am ready and with words I chose.
- What is the most difficult and rewarding parts about being an artist?
This is a huge question. If you are meant to be an artist / creative, then even the sacrifices are worth it. There are hard days, painful moments, scary decisions, and hours and hours of hard work – but if you are passionate about your work then you will be willing to suffer for it –and the suffering won’t really hurt all that much because you love it so much. I wrote more about this on my blog: http://beautifulhelloblog.com/2014/10/03/passion-painting-and-being-ok-with-tired-fingers/
- What are three adjectives that describe your style?
Impressionistic, modern, colorful, romantic, fresh
- Do you keep a sketch book or have a daily creative practice? How much time do you devote to your craft and what does your process look like?
I go to the studio nearly every day for at least a couple of hours (usually clocking in 15-25 creative work hours and 20-30 non creative business work hours each week). I try to paint every day. I love to work on large-scale paintings (40 x 60 inches) that fill up my wall –but then, alongside that large piece, I’ll create several small paintings. It’s refreshing to switch scales mid-process.
- What do you do when you get stuck?
Paint. The only way I can re-center my mind is to get back into the process. Sometimes I need to take a couple days of rest, go for a walk, or even go on a trip –but the only real cure for a stuck mind is progress and the process. Without fail, about an hour into the process my mind clicks on and I have inspiration again.
- How did you find your voice? How did you keep going when you didn't know what your voice was?
I think most artists start creating work without a voice. That’s actually a really good thing because in those months or years you get to experiment and try all kinds of different styles and mediums – searching for that perfect expression of YOU. I probably painted 500 paintings before I created anything that looks like what I create today. And I can guarantee that in 5 years my work will look quite different then it does today! Your voice should be evolving and changing just like you are, because your voice is a visual reflection of your ideas.
- What are your tools of the trade?
Brushes, handmade oil paints, and canvas.
- What are some words of advice or encouragement you would give to other inspiring artists?
Keep your head down and create good stuff. It can be really, really overwhelming to be an emerging artist today with all the creative and visual stimulation flooding our minds. The very best thing you can do for yourself and your creative career is to look at it all –soak a wide variety into your mind and get really inspired by this creative wave –and then shut it all off, get to know yourself, and create. Stay away from copying anyone’s work. It will only hurt you and your reputation and will diminish your confidence in your own ideas.
- Are there any upcoming projects on the horizon for you that you are excited about?
I make it a habit to be excited about my work. I think I have the best job in the whole world! Its high paced and exciting and I have SUCH great collectors. I cannot be more thankful. We are going to France next year for a couple months of creative refreshment and I’m so excited about walking in the steps of my favorite French Impressionists and Post-Impressionists!
- Just for fun, name one artist, designer, or maker you’d love to collaborate with and why?
Alexander Calder. I’ve been obsessed with his work for years and years. Wouldn’t it be awesome to see one of his mobiles with clouds painted on the large metal disks? I think it would be pretty cool.... ;)
In the real world, I love collaborating with makers who create beautiful things! I currently have a small collection of ceramic frames crafted by ceramicist Abby Preston that now hold little tiny paintings created by me! They are darling and beautiful and I love them.
Thank you Emily! Your work is beautiful and on behalf of all creative spirits everywhere, we appreciate your heart for sharing!