Exclusive Interview : Artist Emily Lovejoy with Streets Connect
Thanks for taking the time to build with us, Emily. First off, congratulations on winning the RAW Nola Artist of 2013 award. Can you speak on the honor, how it happened, and what the awards are all about?
Oh my gosh – I was super nervous because they had told us the winner had to give a short speech, and I have the worst stage fright, and G-Eazy was there and the painting I did of him was on display. It was definitely an honor I wasn’t expecting. It’s just nice to know people like my art, so thank you!
How else have you been involved in New Orleans art culture this year?
The ways I am involved have been a lot of fun. I curated two group exhibitions this year and that was really rewarding. On street art… I think any culture is strong when you’re immersed in it, but I’d say it’s more of a subculture.
How did you get started? What’s your history in art – both studio and street?
I suppose I got started at the tender age of 4 and a half with Barbi doll coloring books and mini tubs of Playdoh. From there I went on to major in Fine Art at UNO. Real though…I started college as a business major and just did art because I couldn’t imagine not creating something on a regular basis while I majored in business, so I got both. I never really thought art would be what I would end up doing so I’m hella thankful for that. Also shout out to my mom I definitely wouldn’t be able to do this without her continuous support.
With street art I got into it as a kid looking at writers who used “wild style” and I was always amazed by it. Then a few years back I was re-introduced to it via the love of my life. He is no longer in the city but we’re still really close and a lot of the people I met through him are now some of my best friends. I guess I really just relate to the lifestyle of it, which is just kind of a DIY – not really giving a fuck about anything attitude.
Love how your passion for music merges into your art. Has it always been like that?
The music really only comes through when I’m doing a live painting for a performing artist at a show. I meannnnn I listen to music while I paint.
Who are some of your favorite music artists? Including local folks?
Lately I’ve been listening to Mickey Factz, G-Easy, AER, and Hoodie Allen. A$AP Ferg is awesome, I painted for him recently. Locally I keep Lyriqs Da Lyraciss and Pell in my car at all times.
Speak on your style and process – love the quote “The process I use to create my recaptured images stems from the cognitive accumulation of tangible and intangible materials such as furry animals, baked goods, magazines, sex, lyrics, fashion and hip-hop and the graffiti lifestyle?” That probably sums it up, but want to ellaborate at all?
Meh, I just paint whatever whenever. My inspiration comes from everywhere.
You blend street art with more traditional styles. Who are some your influences – on both sides? Graff writers?
If I’m blending street art with more traditional styles its definitely not on purpose. I guess in the sense that I try to make art that’s fun to look at and doesn’t really have some deeper meaning behind it other than “oh I feel like painting this today”… I do tend to like lowbrow art over anything else. Dudes like Mark Ryden and Ron English are cool. I’m probably more influenced by graffiti writers than I realize just because those are my friends…I’m always around them. Swamp Donkey is one of my favorites. I don’t know him, but I love that little thing.
So cool you do live painting. Do you love the live environment, or are you most comfortable in the studio?
At first I hated it. I just did it as a means to expose my art to large groups of people at once. Now I crave it. I love painting for a crowd, I always get a positive response n’ shit.
Do you have a favorite live gig from the past, or a crazy story from any of your experiences at shows?
Mmmmm no. Everything has been amazing. Althoughhhh recently I got a call to paint a Saints player at this ultra fancy party – so that made me feel pretty special.
With all of the positive attention, your fan base must be growing. How are you finding becoming a rising star in the city?
It’s nice. I love going to fancy parties and popping bottles. Just kidding …I still paint pretty much all day every day.
Do you travel much for shows or openings?
Everywhere I go I see the same hoe… ha no I wish though.
So what’s next, what is your focus on at the moment?
Trying to curate another group show in February, but having some issues with location so shout out to anyone who has access to a warehouse and wants to let me borrow it at the end of February.
Where can people check out more of your art?
I really need to update my website, but: