Name: Emma Robertson
Location: Auckland, New Zealand
How long have you been doing art: I have always loved drawing and painting for as long as I can remember and there is photo evidence from even before then. I lost myself in the inevitable high school panic of “what are you going to be when you grow up, you have to make a living, you can’t live off an art career”. After a few years of floundering around in office jobs I came clean with myself. The standard 40 hour week doesn’t work for me. Last year I quit my terrible retail job, started painting and I haven’t stopped since.
I took a short course in airbrushing a couple of years ago and I fell in love with it. I love how detailed airbrushed work can be and how soft it can look while still holding the details.
More recently I have been playing with watercolour as well. The great thing about an airbrush is that I can put any medium through it so long as I can water it down enough so lately I have been working on airbrushing with coffee and tea.
How long have you been dancing: I started learning Lindy about 6 years ago in Christchurch New Zealand. While I was doing a course I had to research the trends in the 19th Century and I came across the Hellzapoppin clip on youtube that we all know and love. It was the most amazing thing I had ever seen. I think Swing dancing was my first massive passion. I only wish my partner and I could afford to travel more to get to the bigger exchanges since it’s very expensive to bring teachers over here.
What inspired you to make art: I am inspired by a range of influences. My fantastic partner David who inspires me everyday to be better and to keep learning. My dog, who sits on, under and around my feet as I paint. Dancing inspires me greatly! That feeling you get at 3am that keeps you awake after a night of great music, dancing and friends – that energy inspires me to create. Another huge inspiration for me is my garden. Our house is surrounded by natural bush and we have so many native birds and insects that it’s impossible to not feel awed and connected to it all – If you haven’t experienced New Zealand’s natural beauty, you should!
What is your medium: Mostly I use water-based inks through an airbrush but lately I have been playing around with watercolours too.
Where you hope to go with your art: I would love to have my art pay me enough to travel for dancing and to afford to bring teachers over for more exchanges in New Zealand. My current goal is to exhibit in NZ this year and not go bankrupt trying.
Anything else you’d like me/the readers to know about your art? I actually have donated a portrait of Frankie Manning to Judy Pritchett for Frankie100. It’s a black and white airbrushed painting on A1 size paper. There is a whole gallery of art that’s up for sale, with some or all of the proceeds going towards the Frankie Manning Foundation. Here’s my one – http://shopfrankie100.
Are you available to make these for people? Most definitely! That’s how I make my living. I am commissioned to paint Frankie, jazz musicians, dancers, pets, kids – pretty much anything really. I paint on paper which can be rolled and sent in a tube anywhere in the world.
Website – www.prideandjoyportraits.co.nz
Facebook page – www.facebook.com/prideandjoyportraits
Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
What do you love about this? What strikes you the most? Let us know in the comments below, on our Facebook page, or find us on Twitter us @Kevin_and_Jo and we’ll retweet your fabulous art! Don’t forget to tag it #aprilartists !!
P.S. At the end of the month, some lucky commenter will win a free digital download of their choice from our store! Just leave a comment below (that’s key!!), use an email address that you check (so we can email you about your possible winning), and we’ll randomly select a special someone on May 5!