We're getting prepared for the upcoming Mom & Pop Shoppe--Crafty Mart's large, annual Spring Show. We're eager to bring you a series of profiles to introduce you to a few of our makers coming to the Mom & Pop Shoppe on Saturday, April 2nd, 2016. This is just one in a series of Vendor Spotlights where we let those who will be sharing their wares shine a light on what it is they do. The following profile is Emily Louise from The Diggingest Girl and her response to a mini-questionnaire.
1). What's your name and what is it that you make?
I'm Emily Louise Howard, owner of The Diggingest Girl. I'm a relief printmaker and illustrator who creates fine art prints, drawings and other crafty goodies like block-printed pennants, banners and "stuffies" (which are little block prints on canvas that I sew and stuff with polyfill and lavender, patchouli and other yummy smells). My work explores the intersection between nature and narrative and has been described as having a Victorian-Appalachian vibe.
2). How did you acquire the unique skill set to do what it is you do?
I took my first printmaking class during my very last semester in undergrad, and I had one of those "Why didn't I try this earlier?!" moments. I went on to take several printmaking courses in grad school. I'm also classically trained as a painter (my MFA is in painting), so those skills come into play when I'm doing my pen-and-ink illustrations. I've loved to sew since I was about six or seven years old, and I started out doing basic embroidery stitches and applique techniques. I think the key to acquiring these kinds of skills is as simple as following your curiosity wherever it leads you and being open to the possibilities you encounter.
3). What is your best seller?
My print "Awakening" is a long-time bestseller, a woodcut print of a girl in billowing dress framed by two curved trees. It's in its third edition! I probably carved a zillion blocks before that one, but this one was the most intricate design I had attempted at the time, and took me over 20 hours to carve.
4). How long have you been vending? Have you done a Crafty Mart show before?
I've been regularly participating in art & craft fairs since 2009, but have been showing in gallery-type settings since 2003. This will be my very first Crafty Mart show!
5). Chocolate or peanut butter?
Chocolate, obvs. Make it dark, too :)
Thank you for answering our questions Emily Louise. And, thanks for coming to the Mom & Pop Shoppe. We'll see everyone on Sat. April 2nd from 10am-4pm at the Akron Art Museum, Summit Artspace, and Akron Main Library. You'll be able to find The Diggingest Girl at the Library.