Los Angeles, USA
Emily Keating Snyder
GET TO KNOW EMILY KEATING SNYDER
Q: WHAT DOES BEING AN ARTIST MEAN TO YOU?
A: On a grand scale, I love that being an artist connects me to all the artists and artisans who have come before me. I love knowing that I’m working in mediums, like embroidery, that humans have been using and evolving for thousands of years. And on the other hand, knowing that I’m having some small influence on the future of art for others.
Q: WHEN DID YOU BEGIN TO INCORPORATE EMBROIDERY WORK INTO YOUR ART?
A: I was always a crafty person and a fine art person but found that I kept those two worlds separated. Right out of college I was creating embroidery scenes inspired by more traditional Victorian-era embroidery and incorporating found photos. At the same time, I was always interested in color and did a lot of abstract painting and drawing as well.
Several years ago, I had an idea for a series of paintings that would just be one color, to create a space to really experience color itself. I wanted to draw the eye to that central paint color and keep it there, so it sorts of came to me in a flash to use embroidery as a way to direct the eye with texture rather than a flat painted line. The embroidery kept expanding from that initial idea.
Q: WHAT IS YOUR FIRST MEMORY OF CREATING ART OR BEING AN ARTIST?
A: I actually can’t remember a time before I thought of myself as an artist, it feels so much a part of who I am. I do have one beloved memory of setting up an art store in my dad’s house when I was maybe 8 years old and having an order form outside the door where “people” (i.e., my dad and stepmom) could order artwork. I even remember that my dad ordered a still life and I had to ask what that meant!
Q: WHAT INSPIRES YOUR WORKS? ARE THERE SPECIFIC COLORS, PLACES, EXPERIENCES, ETC. THAT YOU DRAW INSPIRATION FROM?
A: Color in general is my ultimate inspiration. I’ve always been drawn to bright colors and unexpected combinations. Again, the idea of creating an active experience with color is something I really strive for. My abstract work is not meant to be symbolic or narrative, it’s more meant to give the viewer a direct experience with what’s in front of them: the physical, tangible forms and colors. You can even see that in my titles which are very straightforward, but sometimes hint at the memories or images I associate with certain colors, like “peony” or “snail pink.”
Layering is another important piece of my practice and I think that’s part of the way my mind organizes information - layering colors, textures, forms and even layering different traditions like folk art and modern painting.