Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Emma Corcoran of Blue Day Designs on the Restorative Power of Portraiture

Mini Portrait on Tiny Canvas
Over the weekend I was telling Josh how I was feeling like I'd lost the thread here a little bit, that I wasn't quite sure what purpose I was serving to my bigger online community. Especially with more and more blogs out there. So I decided to tweak the way that I've been doing my Q&A's a bit to get to the heart of what I think is a big issue for all of us—how to balance our lives with our creative selves and find enough energy to do both things well. I wasn't expecting the first post to be so moving, but I'm thrilled to be able to share Emma's story today. The role of creativity in her life has had an enormous benefit—read on to find out how.

Name: Emma Corcoran 
Company: Blue Day Designs
Location: Ballarat, Australia

What sets your work apart?
I think I have a strong design element to my work.  In my portraits, I try to do something that represents the child well - but I also put a lot of consideration into the placement of the design on the canvas, how the portrait will fit into surrounding home decor, and the color of the image. I usually do my portraits in single colors (usually black and white) and I really like the boldness of this. 

I love my mini portraits just because they are so small.  I think capturing a child's personality in such a small space can make for a really special little artwork. 

Your Handwriting on the Wall
Why do you like working with children's imagery? And, what inspired you to start this line?
I used to be a piano teacher until I got a chronic illness (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome), which has left me pretty much in bed for the past 10 years and unable to work.  When I stumbled across doing portraits, I realised it was something I could do from home when I had energy. 

I was really attracted to working with children's images for the same reason I enjoyed teaching piano - I wanted to do something that would make children feel special.  This is the same reason I do stenciled artworks using children's handwriting - I like the idea that children's writing can be 'art' and is valuable in its own right.

Medium Custom Portrait
How do you find balance between day to day life and finding time to be creative?
I spend most of my time resting in bed when I'm not working on my Etsy business.  So, I have a lot of down-time where I'm able to think of new ideas.  My frustration is that I don't have the energy to carry out all my ideas!

Mini Custom Portrait
  What benefits does creativity add to your life?
Enormous benefit - I used to be a musician, so now being more of an artist is another great outlet for my creativity.  I find that I really enjoy the balance of having a small business and doing marketing and customer relations  - and the actual process of creating portraits.

What would you make more of if you had more time?
I would love to do an exhibition of my portraits locally. 

1 comment:

  1. What a heartfelt story. Emma, I have always been a fan of your work .. I had no idea about your illness. Its amazing how you channel all that energy into your portraits. Wish you much success !