E M I L Y B A L S L E Y
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WORDS FROM EMILY BALSLEY
I’ve been drawing for as long as I can remember. My mom is an artist, and as a kid, I was constantly surrounded by her professional art supplies. I remember gazing at her box of fancy Prismacolor pencils, longing to push their creamy lead across my paper. At one point, she was taking a typography class, and as I flipped through her textbook, I would try to mimic the lettering styles, filling the pages of my sketchbook with dozens of hand-drawn alphabets.
Now, as a freelance illustrator, I am STILL surrounded by professional art supplies - a whole room of them - but this time they’re my own. And I have my own daughter to make and create art with - in fact, I have a second desk in my studio for that purpose. My best days are when I am working on my projects on one desk, and Stella is doing her thing on the other. We’re both in our zones, making art, and loving life.
I love exploring new mediums and drawing supplies and seeing how my style flows with the experimentation. So much of my finished client work is digital, but I’ve found that as I spend more and more time at my computer, my desire to get back to analog grows stronger. When I’m drawing, I switch back and forth between super-saturated color and black and white. I love the stark contrast of drawing with black ink, and the challenge of using just one color to create different tones, textures, and moods. But I’m a color girl through and through - and will take any opportunity to infuse my art with bright color. Tomato red, Pepto Bismol pink, and sky blue are frequent players, though, when it comes to color, anything goes!
If you would like to learn more or be apart of my artist series, email me at