Artist + Girlboss: EMILY RICKARD

YAY, Emily Rickard

We couldn’t be more excited to be featuring our absolute favorite abstract artist + total girlboss, Emily Rickard, all week on Spread the Yay! Talk about #MondayMotivation to jump start your week, Emily is super talented and centers her career around creating things that bring pure joy to people allover the world. Her art is the definition of “YAY!”

Emily and her truly AMAZING creations have been featured in VOGUE, WEST ELM, THE ZOE REPORT,  A BEAUTIFUL MESS {one of our absolute favorite blogs!} and so many others that you will see throughout the post. Today, we are sharing an exclusive Spread the Yay interview featuring the ever-so talented, motivating, and lovely artist, Emily Rickard! We will be sharing our favorite prints to add to your art collection later this week and oh just wait, Friday is going to be one exciting GIVEAWAY! {Give-a-YAY!}

Click the image to shop Emily’s prints on Etsy!

“Emily, we are so excited to feature you on Spread the Yay! Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule. You’re one of our absolute favorite artists and girlbosses around. You’ve built your own brand and continue to inspire people & companies across the nation. What inspires and motivates you?”

Thank you so much for having me! I love finding daily inspiration in bright colors and patterns, hunting for amazing images on Pinterest that spark an idea for a project, and looking at some of my favorite blogs like designlovefest, one fine day, design*sponge and spread the yay for an extra burst of inspiration. I’m so lucky to have friends who are also small business owners like Rachel Dangerfield, the creative girlboss behind Imaginary Beast whose work always blows me away. It’s really important for me to make artwork that makes people happy! Bright, bold colors have such a joyful effect that can inspire on a daily basis.     
Recently I’ve been motivated by visiting big cities with a small town feel that help their creative communities thrive, like Cleveland, Columbus, & Nashville. They really support entrepreneurs and small businesses who are leading the way in art, design, food, music, retail etc. It’s so encouraging to me to experience that pride in craftsmanship. There’s a collective creative spirit, you can feel it in the air!  

“For our readers, can you share your story of how you got started? How did you launch as an artist?”

I always knew I wanted to be an artist and it was really (stubbornly) the only career I ever considered. I studied Fine Art and Art History at the Columbus College of Art and Design and in 2011 my now-husband Tyler and I decided to throw caution to the wind and move to California to find work as artists. He’s a CG animator who works on tv shows and I’m an abstract artist whose work seems to fit with the colorful west coast aesthetic. I started out by freelancing and taking on odd design jobs, doing commissioned paintings, and selling original artwork and prints online. Developing an online presence through social media has been a learning experience through trial and error which has taken a few years to develop but has made my work visible to people all over the world. Thankfully the move to LA paid off, the projects keep coming and we’ve both been working artists for five years now.   

“Wow! Hard work & a positive/go-getter attitude really does pay off! 
What’s been your biggest “YAY” moment throughout your career?”

I worked with Plum Pretty Sugar to design the fabrics for their debut BHLDN collection which featured soft, floral watercolor paintings. My big YAY! moment happened months later when I was sitting in a restaurant and I got an email letting me know that the collection had launched. Seeing my designs realized on fabric and for sale on BHLDN’s website was more surreal than I had expected. The waiter arrived with our drinks as I was looking at my phone and crying HA!! I had recently picked out my wedding dress at BHLDN so having my artwork printed on clothing in their stores across the country was a very special full-circle moment for me.  

BHLDN collage
Click the image to learn more ||
“The BHLDN collection is absolutely beautiful! It got us thinking, besides your big “YAY” moment, what are your top 3 other favorite pieces or projects you’ve ever done?”

One: My CCAD thesis show Gatherings will always be a favorite project – I worked on the main piece The Silken Tent for four years. Finally seeing it finished and hanging up in a gallery setting was extra rewarding.

Gatherings, Emily Rickard

Two: I made two paintings, Sweet Fig & Bright Lights, to be featured at the opening of The Fig House an event space in Los Angeles designed by my favorite interior designer and total girlboss Emily Henderson. Meeting her and collaborating on a project was a dream come true!   

Emily Rickard

Emily Rickard

THREE: A recent favorite project was our wedding! Tyler & I worked together to design our wedding invitations and I painted our ceremony backdrop which we attached to a wooden arch that Tyler’s dad built for us. It was literally a labor of love!

Emily Rickard, Spread the Yay
“You are truly an inspiration to us. What advice would you give to other talented girlbosses around the world, whether it be another artist or someone trying to build their own brand?”

Get in touch – Contacting other brands and people you admire can lead to possibilities you’ll never know about unless you reach out.

What I’ve learned so far (the hard way) is that it’s okay to feel stuck …. Everyone does! When you’re stressed it’s impossible to do your best work. So it’s okay to give yourself a break and do something just for fun. Often that turns into a project you love or a serendipitous opportunity of some kind.

Most importantly, make what you love! Find other makers and companies that inspire you, figure out what it is that you love about their brand and why you feel connected to it, and channel that excitement into something that is original and reflects your personality. And have fun!!

 chaos collection

A huge THANK YOU to Emily for sharing her journey and inspiring us to have fun & love the work we do! Remember to stay tuned all week as we continue sharing our favorite pieces and an Emily Rickard Etsy shop GIVEAWAY happening Friday!

spread the yay