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Teaming up with E.B. Goodale was a natural collaboration. Not only is Emily our press manager and printer extraordinaire here at Smudge Ink but she is also a truly gifted illustrator. You've likely seen her hand-drawn artwork as part of our holiday collection, and next month we'll be launching a new everyday line of note cards and notepads featuring more of her thoughtful drawings. We asked Emily to give us a glimpse of her studio life outside of the press room. Read more about her creative space and process ... 

When did you know you would be an illustrator?

I started illustrating books and making greeting cards when I was 7 years old. I think my young self would be pleasantly surprised that I'm still at it.

How do you come up with ideas for your illustrations? From where do you draw inspiration?
I draw on my own memories of childhood. I also love looking at old family photos of my parents, grandparents, etc as children and seeing how essentially, nothing really changes, except fashion. I'm also very inspired by nature. I love taking walks and looking for wildlife. 

(image: My Neighborhood by E.B. Goodale)

What is your favorite illustration in your portfolio and why?
It might be one I call "My Neighborhood" that I finished last year. I think it really captures the personality of the little girl in the image. Also, the loose drawings of the triple decker houses in the background feel very homey to me, being from the Boston area.

What are your favorite mediums for illustrating? What about them particularly appeals to you?
My favorite mediums are printmaking (letterpress, etching) and watercolor. Watercolor allows for so much movement and messiness ... it is unpredictable and free. I often will combine it with a print so that I have the best of both worlds: the control of an already printed image, and the looseness of the paint. Letterpress allows me to create imagery in a very calculated way, and then have fun with color separation, and color mixing via overlays. It is like figuring out a puzzle.

What do you do when you’ve hit a wall on a particular piece? How do you get “unstuck?”
UGH! It can be really hard to get unstuck. I think the best way is to start over again and again, try drawing from a new perspective or a with a different medium. Sometimes it helps to switch it up entirely and move from a desk down onto the floor. Whatever works!

(images left to right: great-grandmother’s embroidery, favorite pencil cup, menagerie of animal figurines )