Starting in elementary
school in the 70's, Emily was the student the nuns would always ask to illustrate Bible stories...which they would then mimeograph
(remember those?) and distribute to all the students in her class to color. She also liked to write and illustrate her own
little animal stories, some of which she still has. She went through both a 'drawing horses' phase and a 'drawing mice' phase,
which were attributable to reading Black Beauty and
The Borrowers, respectively. However, her absolute favorite thing
to draw was always the human face.. By seventh grade, she was drawing her favorite celebrities and band logos in her sketchbooks
and on her brown-paper-bag book covers (remember those??). Her first commissions, for a buck or two, were from boys
in her class-- to draw the Aerosmith logo or the AC/DC logo on their book covers (they could manage Kiss but anything more
than that was too hard for them ;-) In high school, Emily took art classes, but after that, artistic life took a detour
as Emily married and had children---which took up most of her time and creative output for some years. She retired her art
supplies for cooking utensils, gardening implements, counted cross-stitch and creative birthday-party giving...
...until one day, when her youngest was a baby, and the early 90's recession
was looming. Being a stay-at-home mom was no longer an option, but Emily wanted to work at something that would let her both
use her abilities and be with her kids most of the time. Where were those art supplies??? She started drawing again, and hasn't
stopped since. First it was small custom painted signs (she targeted local family-run retail operations), then it was pastel
portraits (she sat in gift shops and drew in public on Friday nights to find clients) and then it was art festivals. At one
particular local art festival, Emily had a booth showing her pastel drawings. People were browsing all along the lanes of
displays, but there wasn't much excitement going on...until an elegant lady showed up on the patio, whipped out a French easel
and a sign that said CARICATURES, and immediately started drawing a long line of people who appeared out of nowhere.
Emily watched her, spellbound.
This was fascinating, and she'd actually never seen a live caricaturist before. At the end of the festival, she mustered up
the courage to go talk to the lady, Sally Chase-Trace, who was very gracious and encouraging, and even drew Emily's two small
daughters who were with her. Emily told her, "I am going to learn to do this, too!" and the lady just smiled. As
this was several years before internet access was the norm, that was the first and last opportunity to see anything caricature-related
for quite some time. So Emily went home, determined to figure it out. Armed with a bunch of Sharpies and Nupastels,
her kids' faces and her kids' friends' faces, she practiced. And practiced. And practiced some more...
Gradually, from working for
free or next-to-nothing at her children's school events, Emily worked her way up to drawing caricatures at local fairs.
The ball was rolling now! Eventually, she got a gig alongside other caricature artists, and that's how she heard about the
National Caricaturist Network (now ISCA, the International Society of Caricature Artists) and its annual convention. In 2003,
she drove all the way from Pennsylvania to Orlando, Florida for her first convention, and had her eyes truly opened as to
the scope of this artform.
From there, she went on to having various agents represent her work, to
drawing at major league baseball games in both Philadelphia and Baltimore, to drawing for many corporate clients, to caricaturing
in such far-flung locales as the Las Vegas Strip, the Ocean City NJ boardwalk, Boothbay Harbor, Maine, and the State Fair
of Texas, to learning all sorts of interesting techniques and possibilities, and best of all, having a network of caricaturist
friends all over the globe.
In 2012, she won her first award---2nd place Best Studio Caricature at the annual ISCA convention
held in San Antonio, Texas, that year. In 2014, she attended a caricaturist mini-convention in Vlagtwedde, Netherlands, with
some of the best caricaturists in Europe. In 2016, she took 3rd place in 3D caricature at the ISCA convention in Phoenix,
At this point, her happy caricature clients number in the tens of thousands. Her "Caricatures
by Emily" Facebook page currently boasts 2600+ fans of her work, and her Instagram is closing on on 1000.
Also in 2016, Emily began doing live silhouette events. Her first silhouette gig was the official Star Trek convention
where she cut Andorian, Klingon and human profiles for the attendees.
Who knew faces would become
an all-consuming passion? Please contact her to have her draw at your event, create a caricature illustration just for you
or cut live silhouettes!
|Emily's Award-Winning Royal Family Caricature paper Dolls. 2012
|1977--Paul has no mouth even though she tried so many times! And Yo' Adrian!
|John Travolta doesn't look like this anymore!