Emmet’s Portfolio

 

I make things. Or rather, I start to make things. I never finish making things. One of my core beliefs about art is that it is inherently collaborative. In my childhood, art seemed to be largely a series of excuses adults came up with to hang out with each other. This idea intensified as I became involved in theatre, where I took on roles at every stage in the creative process, from playwright to props department. It became very clear to me that everybody who touches a piece has an effect on its outcome, including — perhaps especially — the audience.

Perhaps this is why I now prefer to make things that explicitly demand participation. One way I do this is by making greeting cards for people to colour and give to loved ones, such as these valentines.

I also like to engage audiences with more long-term collaborations, like this calendar which comes with a paper doll and a number of garments for my collaborators to mix-and-match each month.

It’s tremendously thrilling to me that I can put something out there and not know quite what will become of it. (Follow link to see the #paperdoll2016 tag on Instagram, where participants have been sharing their work!)

I am creating scribbles & stories on Patreon. A new way to share my work.

Sometimes, I meander towards the tail end of the collaboration chain, such as this series of paintings based on the Tom Waits song Green Grass.

I’m working on several projects in this vein at present, including postcards based on favourite lyrics from my musician friends, and illustrated zines inspired by classic texts.

I also like to be my own collaborator sometimes by illustrating my original fiction. My most significant project of this type so far is my chapbook Cheering For The Montreal Canadiens & Other Things I Never Did Before.

I consider craft shows, zine fairs, and art displays exciting opportunities to engage with attendees. One way I like to do this is by drawing “personal monsters” upon request.

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Each monster is a never-before-seen beast with unique care instructions that I whip up while the recipient checks out other booths, or participates in a group activity at our table.

Hope to make something with you soon!