Close Up Interview with Artist Mandy Emerson

The Moth
 Mandy Emerson

Tell us a little about yourself and what you do.

I am a self taught artist which I have been creating since I was about 4 years old. I am extremely passionate about my works and have an obsession in mixed media works, which I apply to all my works. You can find me everyday lost in creativity in my art room at home…I LOVE IT!!

Who (or what) inspires you to do what you love in your own creative business?

My family inspire me a great deal..they believe in what I do and can see my great love of doing so. My mother is a beautiful quilter and has always sewn and made our clothes when we were young. She makes tiny jerseys which are sent to new born babies in Africa who have aids and she is always giving away her works to people that so need them. I love the reaction I get when people tell me my works stir something up inside them, gives them inspiration and belief that they too can create.
SONY DSCMoonlight

 Where do you get your inspiration from when you paint?

My inspiration comes from everyday vintage objects, A love of bird nests, fabrics, little wooden windows, rich garden colours, whether it be from toadstools, seeds or pods, Beautiful birds, moss or dandelions. I apply the works in a series of layers and apply a final coat of gloss which gives the finished piece a vintage finish so it appears to have been hidden away in a attic somewhere waiting to be rediscovered.

What are the five words that people who know you would use to describe you?

Motivated, cheerful, inspirational, A soul sister!!

Lucid Dream II 51x61cmLucid Dream II

Tell us about your very first job and what path have you taken since then?

I started work in the fashion industry as a junior assistant , then went on to manage a Just Jeans store in New Zealand..I had always loved fashion (and still do)And I guess my love of fabrics today comes in to play in my art works.

Describe a typical day in your studio space?

I dive in after I dropped Luc (our beautiful 11yrs old daughter) to school, blow the dishes and the bed making..once I have gone over each piece I have created from the day before I just stand in my studio in silence and soak up the inspiration for the day. I always paint in nice clothes(the entire family think I’m crazy) because I find if I feel better in myself I definitely paint better. I have been known to change my clothes in the day if my work isn’t flowing as I would like.

Hidden Treasures 61x61cm $1000Treasure

As an Artist, what is your biggest frustration?

I find being an artist working from home quite lonely at times. I always have music playing, but the lack of conversation with others on a personal level can make you feel a little isolated. I make sure I have coffee with friends at a cafe at least twice a week. Friends always drop in for coffee to now I invested in a commercial coffee machine!!! IT”S THE BEST THING!!

Tell us about how you prioritise your studio work.

I don’t really prioritise my studio work, family comes first, espically Lucy, she has a busy social life, gorgeous friends and after school activities. My work fits in around that and if I need to paint till 2am to get work done then that’s just the way it is and i wouldn’t have it any other way.

SONY DSCThe-manor

Since you are working at home, can you please tell us about how do you connect with other artists, and your customers (i.e. how do you network)?

Face book is a great way for me to communicate. I use facebook really only for my business, not so much for personal communication. My website too is a great link to have.

What advice can you offer other creative people who are just starting out and following their passions?

Believe in yourself and stay true to what you want to create. It’s great to take inspiration from other artists but don’t copy their work. To get your name known to the public enter in every art award competition and always present your best work.

What dreams do you still want to achieve or fulfil in your life?

I really want to have a show in Europe. France or Italy is my next achievement. Once I do that I will definitely sit back and sigh a great long awaited sigh!!

SONY DSCMother nature calls

What is your proudest moment so far?

My proudest moment is when I won the very first “Signature Award” in 2009 with the NZ Art Show. This was a peoples choice award and I received $5000. I used the prize money to attend ART Melbourne in April this year.

Who do you most want to meet and why?

A well known fashion designer who wanted to take images of my work and apply to fabrics to make the most amazing dresses with. I would just be in heaven if this happened.

What is the most important lesson in life that you have learned?

Pay it forward…I am a firm believer in giving, if you do it will always come back in some form or another.

What book are you reading right now, and do you have a book you would like to recommend?

I don’t read much at all…I am a picture looker!! I love love saning magazines or art material and indulge in the colours or images. I get inspiration from it.

field notesField Notes

Where do we find you and your products?

My Website:

Soul Gallery

The White Swan Hotel
109 Main Street, Greytown
Works for sale in formal dinning room

Vinh Van Lam
the authorVinh Van Lam
Vinh Van Lam, co-founder of ArtSHINE, is a visionary art coach and entrepreneur with a passion for fostering creativity. With a diverse background in art and business, he brings a unique perspective to empower emerging artists, enabling them to thrive in the dynamic art industry through the innovative platform of ArtSHINE.


  • Love this interview/article. I have been inspired by Mandy’s work and am a fan of her beautiful technique and use of materials. Lovely to read a little more about the person behind the paintbrush.


  • Thanks for your comment Kylie.
    It is delighted for me to received great comment about the artists.

    Mandy is a talented artist and I cant wait to catch up with Mandy in November in ArtSydney.

    Please drop by our ArtSHINE blog from time to time. I constantly post something inspiration and business tip for small businesses in the creative community.

    You can also join ArtSHINE blog and Newsletter to finds our what is the lattest news for the creative community.

    To your success,


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