Emmie Ruth is born and raised in Columbus, Georgia "practically with a colored pencil in her hand", she says! She gained interest in architecture started in college when she painted buildings for commission. She ultimately obtained a degree in Product Design from the Georgia Institute of Technology and a certificate in Classical Architecture from the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art. After college, she worked for a high-end architecture firm in New York for a short time!
What’s your creative specialty?
Much of my current work I would categorize as grandmillennial, or broadly inspired by traditional forms of decorative art such as chinoiserie. I am passionate about creating custom pieces that tell a story. Through triptych panels on paper, room divider screens on wood, or wall murals, I look to antiquity for inspiration and love getting lost in the details. My favorite medium is watercolor, because creating detail has an organic flow for me. Clients particularly like to see my watercolors on invitation suites, or in a collage where I capture every little detail of their wedding day while painting live at the event.
How did you start?
I have always been creating since I was young, but I really started a ""side-hustle"" of commissioned paintings during my junior year of college. I created T-shirts for my sorority using my own artwork and that opened doors for other design opportunities. I also won a competition for designing the college parking pass two years in a row. The idea of being rewarded with free parking (a big deal in Midtown Atlanta) showed me that my art had value.
Quite frankly, I started using watercolor as my medium after taking art classes in other mediums that left me feeling uninspired. Most of my first commissions were house paintings. I soon thought I would enjoy architecture more than my major at the time, leading me to get involved with the subject as much as I could outside of school. I even reached out to an architect in Atlanta simply because of his watercolor renderings. Interestingly, it was the journey of exploring going into architecture that has slowly formed my career as an artist.
How do you gain/gather inspiration? What do you do to get recharged?
Traveling has always been key to my inspiration. Exploring new cultures and meeting new people keeps things fresh. Studying legends from the past is also important, and seeing their work in person, whether in architecture, interiors, or paintings, allows me to understand their story even further. Reading is not the only way to study; my favorite method is by sketching, painting, and redrawing the subject.
I love the challenge that comes with each new project, whether that is trying a new method, medium, and especially scale. Many of my works involve curating elements and making them work together in a new composition, so the challenge is to solve this creative puzzle. I am a collaborative artist, so I enjoy the aspect of working with people in order to bring a vision to life.
What’s your favorite thing about creating?
What advice would you give your younger creative self?
I have honestly scored some of my favorite projects simply by asking! You never know who will actually read that direct message on instagram, or open that random email. Dream big! Set your sights on something that you would love to do and then go get it! But don't be against rerouting when the first idea doesn't work out. Oftentimes, rerouting may end up being something better for you than what you first had planned.
Check out Emmie Ruth’s work on her website and Instagram and tell her thanks for sharing her answers with us!
Stay tuned for more artist spotlights in the coming weeks! Be sure to sign up for our texts so you don’t miss an opportunity to learn about some awesome artists who inspire us! Text AEBLOG to 855-850-2937.