Artist Series: Emily Jeffords

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Emily Jeffords is an artist who creates gorgeous impressionistic landscape paintings, out of Greenville, SC. I’m thrilled to have Emily on the blog today as part of the Otomi Home Artist Series. She speaks about how she able to beautifully balance her work and be a mother of two. I love the way she uses soft colors and light throughout her paintings. Here is Emily’s interview…

emily jeffords 5  How did you become an artist? What was your training?
I grew up in a home that seriously encouraged creativity.  In fact, I was on track to become a musician rather than an artist for quite a while!  Even though I though music was going to be my career, creating artwork with my hands felt the same as playing the violin or piano – both expressed something within me I couldn’t say with words.   However, while music said those words and took them out of me, art not only spoke, but also filled me up – energizing and exciting me.  Art made me curious.  I graduated with my BA in fine art and dove right in to life as an artist.  Working, selling, making, doing things a little differently than the norm… 

What are you working on right now?
I am currently painting my little fingers off, getting ready for the holiday shopping season (artwork is always a good gift)!  Along with that, I have a HUGE commissioned canvas (120×60 in) on my wall that is always calling my name.  Actually, I have commissioned painting from now until next June if you can believe that!  

emily jeffords emily jeffords7Where do you do your work from?
I work out of a lovely studio in Greenville, SC called the White Whale Studios & Gallery

Who or what is inspiring you right now?
While I paint, I find that colors inspire me endlessly.  The way they compliment or contrast each other, the weight of the textures and colors, the warm + cool tones…. there are endless possibilities and I’ve made it my job to try to explore them all.
I have learned (the hard way) that inspiration is a something you can control – or at least set up for success.  Curiosity.  Just having a mindset of wonder does magical things to your creativity.  That and rest.  Which I get very little of, so I just resort to curiosity + coffee.  ;)   

MorningBlooms1sm emily jeffords harvestSun2 emily jeffordsWhat are you the most proud of?
My daughters.  Hands down.  But professionally, I am most proud of the moments I carve out to spend time painting – regardless of the outcome.  That is a daily fight and it goes against cultural norms and is rarely easy, but it is precious and needed in my life.   It means I sacrifice in other ways, but I’m proud to own those sacrifices if it means I am able to be who I want and need to be.  

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What is your most prized piece of art in your home? What is the story behind it?
My girls come to the studio with me quite often.  While there they have free reign of the watercolor paints, colored pencils, crayons… whatever they need to create.  There is a wall in the studio that is tiled with my personal favorite “girl paintings” – the ones that somehow uniquely convey their sweet thoughts and creativity.
I think if the building were burning down I would try to snatch everything off that wall before anything else.  ;)
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Thank you, Emily, for such a lovely interview! You can find Emily Jefford’s work on her website, etsy shop, minted, and west elm. Her instagram account is also must see!

(All photos courtesy of Emily Jeffords)