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Answering your Instagram questions

I get a lot of questions on my Instagram about my practice. So I thought it may be helpful to both my collectors, aspiring collectors and other artists to share a list of those FAQs.

Here we go.

Where did you learn to paint?

This is one with a bit of a back story, so indulge me for a second! I am self taught. I actually studied Psychology at the University of Exeter because at the age of 18 I didn’t think I could make any money as an artist and had absolutely no idea what career I wanted to follow. I mean how many of us actually do at the age of 18?

So anyway off I went to uni to study something I found interesting at A Level but let’s be honest, I had no intention of becoming a Psychologist. Surprise, surprise when I graduated and came back from travelling I was lost. In the first few months/years of trying to find a job I was suited for I floated from office job to office job that made me feel like my soul was shrivelling into a ball. I have to be creative in a day.  It’s ingrained into my DNA – I just can’t not.  I became borderline depressed, and that wasn’t good.

Interstella by Emily Louise Heard 2020a

I knew I had to get myself out of this dark place, and decided to teach myself how to paint. I had always been an keen drawer/doodler/sketcher in pencil. No colour what so ever. But I completey did a u-turn and bought myself a set of paintbrushes, paints and canvases. It was round about the time Lana Del Ray was really popular, and I’ll never forget sitting at my new easel, listening to her music absolutely transfixed by painting. It was a lightning bolt moment where I knew I had to pursue it.

It’s been 7 years so far of me learning how to use acrylics (and sometimes oils) as I go along with a process of trial and error. I learn something new whenever I paint and it becomes like muscle memory. I dip in and out of YouTube videos now and again, but in all honesty I learn best by working it out for myself and understanding what method suits my whimsical semi-abstract skies best.

Awakening by Emily Louise Heard 2020

Awakening by Emily Louise Heard

Are you a full time artist?

I get this question a lot, and I see other artists getting asked the same thing too. I think this sort of question has another layer than merely financials. Because anyone who is passionate about art, thinks about it ALL THE TIME, creates whenever they can is a full time artist. You can’t just switch that part of your brain off, it’s part of who you are and what makes you tick. Just because you don’t get all your income from art, doesn’t make you any less of an artist. 

But financially, I still top up my art earnings with a creative job in communications three days a week. This works out pretty well as I’m learning skills that I can also bring to my emerging art buisness too which I love.

Do you accept commissions?

Absolutely! I love creating a bespoke piece of art for people’s homes. I love the emotional stories and sentiment that comes with them too. Art holds such a powerful place in people’s hearts and can be transformative and healing and it’s such a priviledge to be able to put people’s visions onto canvas. Sure I get some commissions where people just want something beautiful to look at that matches their decor. But more often than not people come to me with a story and I love that.

Emily Louise Heard welsh artist

Emily Louise Heard – photo by Christian Stone

How do I get a commission from you?

The process is pretty straight forward, and I’ve added an FAQ section to my website which I hope covers everything you need to know.

Where do you get your inspiration from?

This one is easy. The sky, always the sky. It’s always changing composition and colour palette. Sometimes it’s bright and uplifting, sometimes it’s dark, moody and inspiring. Sometimes you can see shapes in the clouds that literally form a whole magical world above your head. I will always take most of my inspiration from the sky because compared to it’s vastness we are so small and it reminds me that life too is short, so live every moment of it.

My latest collection of paintings, The Wonder Collection, celebrates the magical never ending inspiration I get from looking up at the clouds.

Playtime by Emily Louise Heard 2020

Playtime by Emily Louise Heard

I really want one of your paintings but it’s sold! How do I collect your art?

I upload all of my available work for purchase to my online shop via my website

Some of my work sells before I have a chance to upload it to my website – and that is the power of social media! First and foremost if you are not following me on Instagram be sure to follow along because I share all of my process and new work on there. Secondly, make sure you subscribe to my newsletter because I share my new collections, exclusive discounts and studio sales with my email subscribers.  And don’t forget you can always just get in touch with me via email if you are interested in a particular piece but want more information/photos.

Do you have prints available of your work?

Yes. I have partnered with several licensing agencies who produce high quality canvases and framed prints of my work. You can find these here.

For my UK collectors, I know currently my available prints incur a shipping cost because they are made in America. I know that many of you don’t mind and have been supporting my print sales regardless (thank you so much for that). But I know for some of you that is restrictive. I want my work to be accesible to everyone, so am working on securing more licensing contracts across the globe. Stay tuned for that.

Cloud Nine by Emily Louise Heard 2020

Cloud Nine by Emily Louise Heard

Now that you’re a mum how do you balance art and other responsibilities?

I won’t lie to you, it’s a grind. My daughter always comes first, no question. But any free time I have where my husband is around to take care of her I have to focus on my business. That means I have to say no to family and friend weekened gatherings a lot of the time, which isn’t easy but I know it has to be done in order for my business to grow. I’m absolutely determined to make sure my business grows so that any painting you have from me becomes an investment that will grow in value, I can promise you that.

As I’m writing this post, we are in exceptional circumstances with corvid 19 and we currently don’t have any family support or nursery either so understandably my art time is even more limited. But where there’s a will there’s a way. I just function on a little less sleep and a lot more coffee these days!

You seem to have it all together and be really productive, how do you manage this?

To that I say, don’t believe everything you see on Instagram. It’s a highlight reel. You see photos of me with work that I’m proud of. A snapshot. I don’t always share the swearing, the moments where I feel completely distracted and frustrated, the mounting empty coffee mugs around me and snack wrappers on the floor. I mean maybe I should share more of that because perhaps it gives a more authentic view of life as an artist rather than the whimsical one we see on Instagram? But I manage my productivity by reminding myself why I paint, what my goals are and trying to create a legacy that my little girl can learn from – that it is possible to chase your dreams and succeed. You don’t always have to go down the path society tells you that you should. I’ve always been determined to make a career out of my art, but by daughter has hyper focussed that drive.

Enfys by Emily Louise Heard 2020

Enfys by Emily Louise Heard

 

I hope this post answered some of your questions! If you have more that I can help with, just get in touch.

And if you are looking for some colourful uplifting art for your home, head to my website and I’ll help you out 😉

 

 

 

 

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