A couple portrait of Sonya & Brad for their anniversary, surrounded by all of their memories and things they love to do.
Women Pattern for #womancrushwednesday
Plant Care Illustration 1. All of Tara’s plants Illustration 2. Self portraits watering plants submitted to FemZine Issue 13
My friend and I shared a special love for plants. She gave me a Euphorbia for my 30th birthday. And when I moved to a new house at the coast, she helped me fill my home with plants. She gifted me cuttings from her garden, turned up at our pottery class with a car full of bargain plants for me, sourced cuttings from friends of friends for me and one night we stole large cactus cuttings from a cactus tree in a neighbourhood garden. We updated each other on our plants health, new shoots and flowers blooming.
At the start of this year my friend died. We filled her hospital room with plants, large leaf fronds and flowers and we sang to her until her last breaths. And also sang to her after her last breaths. I kissed her forehead goodbye. I hugged my friends and her family and we wept together.
Her body was laid in a beautiful woven banana leaf basket. Once again we surrounded her with plant cuttings, plants from friends homes, flowers, big leaf fronds, and music and fairy lights. I carried her body with other women who loved her and who were friends. We were strong and we carried her weight and the weight of our grief together.
Now I am caring for some of Tara’s plants and am wearing some of her clothes, since she has gone. Wearing her clothes feels a bit like a hug from her. But it feels very sad. I feel very blue wearing her shirts and dresses. It feels like she is still in her clothes. When I’m caring for her plants and my plants it feels really healing and like I’m helping her. I know she would trust me to take care of her plants for her. Now that she is gone, there is a radio silence. When I’m tending to my plants, I feel like I can almost hear her voice and opinions and hear her giving me tips and getting excited for new growth and new shoots and new flowers and guiding me to care for her plants.
I love you Tala Walala - I’ll take good care of your plants for you.
Hand painted portrait of Yayoi Kusama.
Papyrus Tropical Fiesta
I had the absolute pleasure of designing a ‘Tropical Fiesta’ range of party supplies for Papyrus. My gouache and water colour floral, pineapple and flamingo illustrations were bedazzled with glitter, gold foil and jewels and used for paper cups, plates, napkins, coasters, place holders, banners, straws and party bags.
Personal Project - A portrait of Valerie Taylor, my inspiration, for International Women's Day 2018
A collection of hand built and wheel thrown ceramics that I made in 2017 and hand painted my illustrations onto my ceramic creations.
As a Dog Thinketh
Commissioned by TouchWood Editions Publishing to create a book cover with a similar pattern to my original dog face pattern for "As a Dog Thinketh", by Monique Anstee.
Commissioned by Westfield Carindale to do a mural for one of the nappy change and play rooms.
Garfield & Leo
RSPCA Cat Mural
RSPCA Wacol commissioned me to create a cat mural. This was a really fun commission and I enjoyed visiting the animals in between hand painting the wall.
Commission by Westfield Carindale, featuring the three little pigs in a black board and chalk style vector illustration.
When Doves Cry. RIP Prince. Your music will live on and on and on in my heart!
Illustration for 'The Legend of Monga Khan, an Aussie Folk Hero' by Peter Drew. Featuring 11 short stories and poems, 24 illustrations and 35 contributors.
Little Wren Magazine
I’m really excited to finally show my cover illustration for Little Wren Magazine! Available in News Agencies around Australia now! There is also a little feature article in the mag of me working in my studio.
Emily is an over-imaginative, animal-loving artist, who thrives best at the beach in summer.
Imagine you would live in the jungle. How would you spend your days?
Befriending animals, climbing trees and relaxing in my jungle hut.
On your website you mention that you on a variety of exciting, nonregular objects like wall murals and a life sized circus food caravan. How do you work on surfaces like that? We imagine they work way different than plain paper?
I approached these surfaces in the same way that I normally work. All of my large scale works so far have been Hi-Res digital prints onto panels or wall paper. The main challenge working with such large canvases was finding a way to translate my usual hand painted textures into a vector format and working with huge file sizes. I’d love to hand paint a mural one day though! It’s on my list of things to do.
What is your main/favourite method of working?
I love to paint and experiment with loose strokes, make funny mistakes and create lots of colours and textures.
What is it that you love about dogs?
I have a pet dog named Pommy. He is the best animal, I love him so much! A lot of my dog based illustrations started from imagining Pommy as a life sized friend who I could talk to and go on adventures with. haha. My obsession just grew from there! Dogs have such funny and unique personalities.
What would your dream project be like?
It’d be a dream to see my art work on ceramics and textiles! Hopefully this dream will be a reality very soon.
What is your favourite object in your working space?
My favourite object is my computer! It sounds materialistic, but my husband (who was still my boyfriend at the time) bought me a new computer at a time where I was really struggling as an artist and my old computer was about to die. His gift really enabled me to move forward with my work and I’ll always be grateful for his support. My other favourite item is my dolphin watering can. I make dolphin sounds every time I water the plants.
What is your favourite summer memory?
My favourite summer memory has to be my wedding at the start of this year! My husband and I got married in our favourite location, on the beach at North Stradbroke Island (A little island just off the coast of Brisbane, Australia where we live). It is an amazing island and we go there every year to swim, eat gelato and watch the dolphins that live around the island. We had a tropical island, tiki style party for our wedding celebration. We decorated everything ourselves with lots of pineapples, a tiki bar, leis, grass skirting and paper flowers. My husband is a musician and there was lots of amazing live music at our wedding. I even walked down to the ceremony with a brass band. We laughed and cried, ate paella and cupcakes until our bellies were full and danced wildly into the night with our friends. It was magical.
Club Tropicana or Last Christmas?
Club Tropicana of course!
A sneaky peek of my Wedding Invitations!!! Shane and I got married at Home Beach, North Stradbroke island and the most amazing day… with a tropical tiki party!
Sunday Social Homewares
I collaborated with Brisbane fashion label Sunday Social as part of their new home wares range, ‘Down Time’. The range included ceramic works by shop owner Jess Barty, weavings by Tasmanian artist Holly Leonardson and hand painted cushions, tea towels and pillow cases by myself.
I hand painted everything with fabric paint and made my own carrot stamps and hand made pom poms!
All of the home wares are one off original works, as they are hand made and hand painted. They are currently stocked at Sunday Social in Winn Lane, Fortitude Valley, Brisbane.
Jungle Heart Exhibition
I recently took part in the Jungle Heart exhibition at Southside Tea Room to join the fight for conservation in Borneo. Proceeds from the exhibition were donated to raise critical funds for WWF to help them continue their conservation work in Borneo. The group of artists all produced work based around the theme of Borneo and it’s endangered animals. I painted a couple of clouded leopards and an orangutan using ink and water colour. The night was a great success! I sold all of my work and was able to donate 50% of the proceeds to a good cause.
Dog Face Pattern
I love dogs. This is my pattern dedicated to all of the dogs. I think it would look most excellent on some pyjamas! And I would wear them during the day too.
A personal project for an obsession of all things tropical and summer. 2013/2014 Summer print range. This range was influenced by Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas and The Rum Diaries, tropical lush jungles & rain forests from around the world, South America, jungle creatures and imagining myself sitting by the beach or pool sipping tropical cocktails.
A series of patterns I created as a Summer 2016 collection. Some of these patterns have been sold for use on product designs and textiles.
I illustrated a full-scale circus caravan art installation, for Workshop Events, Sydney. There are two sides to the caravan prop, both featuring different illustrations. The caravan was created for a circus themed event and I’m very excited that food was served from inside the booth! Photographs of my circus caravan are by The K Effect Photography.
Music for Babes
Logo and portrait branding for Music for Babes and The Musical Baby for a music therapist that sings and makes music with babies. How cute!!
Competition entry for YEN Art Awards. ‘Tropical Adventure’ is a self portrait of me in my favourite vintage dress heading out on a tropical jungle adventure with a giant version of my pet pomeranian, Pommy. Illustration is hand drawn with & collage in Photoshop with hand painted water colour textures.
Commission by HUMBLE Pâtisserie for large scale wall mural graffiti style paste up of a hipster bunny rabbit man.
Commissions for Princess Polly. Mural wall paper design for Princess Polly Indooroopilly Shopping Centre store in Brisbane, Australia. Cabinet lining and store art work for Princess Polly store in Pitt St Mall, Sydney. Art works were hand drawn and then vectorised for large scale printing.
Faith & Lola
Illustration for fashion brand Faith & Lola for sharing on their social media platform.
Custom illustrated portrait commissions of couples and pets.
Lolly smile commission by Raw Blend. Featuring all of my favourite childhood lollies!
Spring Collection of greeting cards and art prints made a few years ago.
An assortment of my Christmas Greeting Card designs.
Paddington Up Late
Poster design for a local market in Paddington.
Creative Play Central
A series of children's illustrations created for a children's activity book to prompt imaginative & creative play and creations. Illustrations commissioned by Creative Play Central.
Emily Dolphin (formerly Emily Nelson Illustration) is an artist based in Coolangatta, Australia. She creates digital and hand painted illustrations, ceramics and textile designs. You can follow her daily art and beach side adventures on Instagram below: