Community Q &A: Emily Pope Harris

I get weak-kneed over texture in just about anything. I can't quite put my finger on why, it has always made me feel something that goes a step deeper then just enjoying with my eyes. It's that sense of something speaking to one's soul but I just don't have the language to describe the conversation. I do know that I'm not the only one though. Emily at @emilypopeharris is involved in a similar love affair where she derives inspiration from old buildings and historical structures.

 

Tell us the story of how you found your distinct style and artistic voice. 

 I started working with a decorative artist after college and learning about different products and plasters to create the "Old World" look. My major in college was Art with a concentration in Art History, so I already had a special interest and love for all things old and historic. I decided to venture out on my own a couple of years ago, continuing the decorative custom finishes in interior spaces, and then evolving those processes and techniques into fine art pieces as well.  I have a love for texture and that has sort of become a trademark characteristic of my work.  I enjoy traveling all over, and find my inspiration on old crumbling building facades and wall, mostly from Charleston, other historic cities, and all over Europe. I use the photos I take of those places to create new pieces and series!

 

 Describe the first piece you ever sold and how that felt. 

The first piece I ever sold was just a little less than a year ago at the UNICEF Atl Art Party. It was a weird but great feeling because it confirmed that someone else (other than my friends and family) liked my work enough to pay money for it. The fact that the proceeds benefitted UNICEF was just the added bonus.

 

 What is your ideal creative work environment or routine? 

 Though creative, I am still kind of a neat freak (doesn't that break stereotypes?) It annoys me sometimes. I end up making a huge mess during the process, but I always have to get started with a clean organized space. I HAVE to have loud music, no matter what. I can't have others watching me and I need to know I can have at least 2 hours of uninterrupted work time to do anything, or it seems pointless for me to start.

 

What are some of your real life artistic struggles that take place outside these Instagram squares?

 Sometimes I get SO busy working outside of the home with custom finishing projects (that I LOVE) that I am just simply too tired or there is not enough time to create new art once I get home. My mind plays tricks on me when I do make new pieces or commissions and I have to learn when to just walk away from it and when to come back.  I usually hate all of my pieces at one point or another, and then become obsessed with it again.

 

 Okay, close your eyes. It's five years from now. What new horizon have you reached with your art? In style, recognition, whatever comes to mind. 

 5 years from now I would love to be a household name within the creative/collector community. I want to help create the vision of the client, designer, or photographer for whatever it may be- whether it's a commission piece, a custom finish, or a backdrop. I would love to be at the point where my work is desired by enough people that I have to hire someone to help me with the business/financial aspects...all the things that I am not good at!

 

Is there a fellow creative that has really encouraged you in your journey? Tell us a little bit about them and their impact on you. 

 Mattie Tiegreen and Kaitie Bryant. They are both the creative minds and founders behind 'Gather.'  Gather was an intimate creative workshop for women that I attended almost one year ago today. During those 2 days, I learned so much about starting and growing my business. I was encouraged there to start creating fine art. I was introduced to so many other creatives and so many opportunities have come from that. I would say the majority of positive things that happened in my business over the past year would not have happened had it not been for Gather!


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