Meet the artist - Emily Stepp

By Emily Stepp

This month we are featuring interviews with the artists who are part of our upcoming art show -sight/unseen - at The Artist's Den in Concord, May 21-26, 2016.

This is Emily Stepp - what do you like most about living in Concord?

I’ve lived in Concord on and off since the start of my sophomore year at college in 2009. I have drawn inspiration from nature in the area, often taking photographs in parks to use as reference material later on. 
Cities without enough green space make me feel drained and claustrophobic, so I really enjoy our convenient access to so many parks and wildlife areas.

What mediums do you plan to use for this show?
I plan to tackle this piece with a mixed media approach. I often paint with acrylic on a flat plane, or I sometimes sculpt, but I don’t usually combine the two. I’m wanting to find a way to incorporate sculpture with a traditional flat painting. I think constantly innovating is the only way to truly improve. You have to keep challenging yourself or you’ll get stuck in a groove. Even if you never use a particular method again, it will better inform your future work.
Any new techniques or materials you've learned about recently?
I’ve been learning how to make 3-D digital models lately. It’s definitely out of my comfort zone, in that I had to learn an entire program and become accustomed to its limitations. I’ve taken several classes in the past to learn clay sculpture, so I had to translate that into my digital models. I have even used these 3-D models as reference material for 2-D work, since I can add dynamic lighting and poses.

By Emily Stepp

How long have you been making art?
I’ve been making art since I was old enough to hold a crayon. I became serious about art as a career in high school and enrolled in California College of the Arts in 2008. 
What's the best advice you've received as an artist?
I would say that my first true artist mentor was Randy Chavez. He taught Illustration along with the History of Illustration. He was full of helpful advice and various pieces of wisdom. He encouraged us to practice as much as possible to fulfill our “ten thousand hours” that's needed to become an expert at something. His magic realism pieces are also an inspiration for me stylistically. 
What advice would you give a new artist?
By far the best tip for a new artist is to practice. Keep drawing, sculpting, photographing - just keep doing it. You never start out being the best. You should never compare your art to anyone else’s, always compare your current work to your older work to see improvement. Only measure yourself against yourself. Most students think they need to avoid something they’re bad at, but that’s exactly what you should practice until it is no longer difficult at all.

1 comment:

  1. Can't help but wonder, do you study the anatomy of animals? Like a figurative artist studies the human anatomy? The mirror image of the bird made me wonder.


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