Artist Spotlight: Em Fennell
As you know, Bohème was inspired by the bohemian movement of 19th century Paris. The dreams of those who had broken away from a ‘normal’ to pursue a creative life of freedom, beauty, truth and love. This is where our Artist Spotlight was born – a way of celebrating some of the incredible artists from around the world and getting to know them and their craft that little bit more.

In the next instalment of our Artist Spotlight series, we caught up with the very talented Gold Coast local, Em Fennell, about her journey to becoming the artist she is today and her creative process.

What inspired you to become an artist and how did your art journey begin?
My mum was my biggest inspiration growing up, as she was/is an artist. I was lucky enough to have her painting in our home studio and could never get over how talented she was and how all I wanted to do when I grew up was be as good as her. She taught me all of my foundations in painting, as I never had any formal training & really helped me push my work further. My art journey I guess in the same respect started from when I was really young watching her, then properly took off at the beginning of covid and lucky enough for me turned into a full-time job.

Can you describe your artistic work and techniques you use?
My art is ever changing, I want to always be pushing the boundaries of what I am known for as an artist. I guess a constant is that I always like to paint with colour and impact. I like my work to be loud, messy and take space in a room. I am predominantly an acrylic artist, but I really enjoy mixing media to add depth to my work.

How do you approach the creative process from concept to completion?
Every painting is different, sometimes I start the painting with an idea, other times it's just a colour. Usually, my work revolves around resolving the painting and adding in colours that work well together for me visually. I am definitely not much of a planner and love the challenge of bringing a composition together as I paint it.

Can you tell us about a specific piece of artwork that holds special significance to you and why?
From my latest drop of paintings, "Colour Systems" my painting: Dreaming in Red. This was the first time I had successfully worked with ink after so many attempts and I just adore the vibrancy of the red and pink hues. There is nothing too crazy about this piece in particular other than it really speaks to me as a person through its composition, balance and vibrancy. This would definitely be a hard piece for me to part with.

What role does fashion, and what you wear play into your artistry?
Fashion is a great source of inspiration for me, I love looking at different silhouettes, textures and fabrics and always find myself constantly inspired by the fashion and interior design industry.

Are there any challenges or obstacles you face as an artist and how do you overcome them?
There are definitely a lot of challenges as an artist, and it is definitely not as glamorous as it often looks on social media. I think one of the biggest challenges is self-motivation, to separate your work from the financial obligations you have and create pieces because you love them and not what you think will sell. I think when you paint from your soul you create your best work, and it translates through the canvas. By having other means of income this can really help take some of this pressure off. I also find it challenging showcasing my work to the world... social media has been the most powerful tool for me as an artist, but as many of you would know - with an ever-changing algorithm, getting people to see your work is not always an easy task.

Do you have any rituals or routines that help you get into the creative mindset?
I think just having my dog with me, she has grown up alongside me in my studio, so she is great company for me. Often as well if I surf beforehand it puts me in a great mindset to start a painting.

Do you have any advice for aspiring artists who are just starting their journey?
I guess that it's hard, but that's also normal. It is a challenging industry that is ever changing but as long as you love what you do and keep that to your core of your practise - then everything will work out for itself. If your goal is to sell your art, I believe you should post about it! Document your process and how you found your inspiration to get your work out there! It's difficult to grow as an artist when people don't know exactly what it is that you're doing or working on, or how talented you are! You never know what it could lead to.