Interview / Emily Malone

How did you begin your work as an artist and how do you feel your work has progressed over time?  

I just started painting from my little bedroom at home because I enjoyed it. I wasn’t really working towards anything else at the time and didn’t have any goals. I wasn’t expecting to get anywhere with it right away, I didn’t really have a style yet and I was just starting to figure it all out. I went through a bit of a phase painting skulls, then cherubs, then I started to move into more figurative renaissance-y figures. I started to become really interested in the way women are presented in Renaissance and Baroque art and started to approach these classic paintings in my own way. Over time I think I’ve just gotten more confident in my style and bolder with my colour choices and patterns. I still paint a lot of things that don’t go my way.. but it’s all part of the process! 

Your work is reminiscent of renaissance figures, particularly nude scenes. Do you have a favourite painting from this period that inspires you?  

Not really actually! I guess I’m just fascinated by the dreaminess of Renaissance art, I just love the cherubs, the landscapes and the elegance of it all. I can’t actually say I have a favourite, but I do love the style of Peter Paul Rubens. He paints more real looking women with normal looking bodies, which is so refreshing for his time. 

What is your artistic process, do you have anything that helps get you in the painting mindset? 

I just blast music and enjoy the vibes! I used to find it so hard to get in the zone, a blank canvas can be so daunting if your mindset is that it ‘must be perfect’. I don’t pressure myself at all any more on things like accuracy. I chose to just paint erratically with minimal planning and I think that’s why I enjoy it so much. I never know how my paintings are going to look when they’re finished. 

Has lockdown affected your practice at all?  

Lockdown has been such a blessing in disguise! Before the first lockdown I was working full-time in a coffee shop and painting on my days off. I knew I wanted to be some kind of artist but didn’t know what I was working towards, so it was difficult to stay motivated. Just as the March lockdown hit, I started this huuuuge painting, I wanted to set a bit of a challenge for myself and I absolutely loved working on it. I got lots of messages and comments about it and next thing I knew it had sold! Selling my first painting made me really start to believe I can actually do this. So, I just kept going, painting every day, taking on commissions, doing raffles, giveaways, and entered open calls; anything to try and get my name out there a bit. I set up a website and a shop, and just started putting things up for sale. So as rubbish as lockdowns have been, it’s really given me a push in the right direction. 

What will be the first art-related activity that you’ll do once things are back up and running again?  

Oh I’m definitely getting myself down to a few galleries! You just don’t get the same impact looking at an art piece through a screen. I love to see big paintings in real life where you can really take it all in. I love feeling motivated after leaving a gallery setting and eager to get back to work. 

Do you have any advice for aspiring artists who are looking to establish an audience?  

To be honest, I have no idea myself! I’m completely winging it. I definitely still consider myself an aspiring artist rather than professional. But if you act confident in what you’re doing people will think you are! I would say just do what you love doing, keep sharing your work, and your audience will find you eventually. The number of followers isn’t as important as engaging with ones you already have. 

View her website:

Instagram @malonemily

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