Emily has been an artist ever since she could pick up a crayon and draw all over the walls as a toddler. She always aspired to being an artist, but never dreamed the arts of caricature and silhouette-cutting would become her career!
Since 1997, she has been caricaturing delighted subjects of all types, and in 2015 she embarked on another likeness-based art: live cut silhouettes.
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, models, rock stars 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 (something mindless you can pick up and put down with many interruptions) and creative birthday-party giving...
...until one day, 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 allow for family 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 murals in local farmer's markets. She worked her way up to pastel portraits (sitting in gift shops and drawing 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, who was very gracious and encouraging. 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, Arizona.
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 over 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!