Features Week August Day 1: Em Somerville

I got in touch with Em after seeing the logo she made for Good Nightmare. Once I saw her Instagram, I was hooked and just had to learn more about her. We even chatted about a t shirt design for my merch shop.

Under what name do you do your art?

Em Somerville Illustration

How long have you been creating?

My whole life! I lost a bit of creativity after high school when I spent 9 years in a pretty toxic relationship, but I reclaimed my love from creation and started developing my illustration style in 2011.

What inspired you to become an artist?

Anything, everything! I’m heavily inspired by mountains. I love adventure and travel, landscapes and interesting locations. The movie ‘The Secret Life of Walter Mitty’ led me to drawing an inspired piece the afternoon after I saw it at the cinema. That piece went onto be featured on the official Walter Mitty Facebook page by 20th Century Fox, and started me on a kick of drawing mountains which I’ve never (and hopefully will never) shake!

What medium(s) do you use for your art?

I sketch pencil to paper, then scan and use as a base for digital freehand drawing on a Wacom Cintiq.

Which of your pieces is/are your favorite?

What artists inspire you?

I’m inspired by a ton of video game art! I love playing video games, particularly very aesthetically pleasing adventure games. I have an actual shrine in my house built around the game Firewatch, by the incredible creatives at Campo Santo. I also have tattoos inspired by Night in the Woods – an incredible beautiful and fun game illustrated by Scott Benson.

Do you have any funny stories related to your art?

When I was 5 I drew a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Valentines card for a boy at school. My mum came in with me before school to hide it in his desk, and I was sure she was putting in the wrong desk..but I rolled with it. Of course, it was the wrong kid, who totally loved it, and I had to awkwardly pry it from his hands and then hand it to the uninterested kid next to him that it was intended for. My taste in men has always been terrible.

What is the most challenging part of being an artist in the medium you’ve chosen?

My biggest challenge currently is staying inspired – it’s a fine balance between getting commission work done and creating for myself. When I put the latter on the back burner by prioritising the ‘important’ stuff, my creativity tends to drop and I lose motivation. It’s so important to make the time to create just for fun.

Is there anyone you’d like to promote?

I’ve always mentioned a couple of my fave video game artists, so instead I’d like to shout out the tunes that keep me alive while I draw. Here’s to the calming stuff that inspires and goes perfectly with a cup of tea. Bon Iver, Sufjan Stevens, Copeland, Frank Ocean, Francis and the Lights..and the Back to the Future score.

Where can we find you on social media?

@lickmycupcakes on twitter and insta for fun stuff, @emsomervilleillustration on insta for art!

Em also has a website where you can buy prints, pins, and postcards with her art on it! Thanks so much to Em for her willingness to be interviewed, be sure to follow her on social media and ask about some custom orders!

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