As we continue our How Are U series – listening to the experiences of our artists in quarantine – we continue to be fascinated by the insights gained. When faced with unavoidable physical confinement, creativity can allow the mind to soar, breaking the quotidian shackles. Today we check in with the exciting New York based painter Emily Marie Miller.
‘How are you?’
I’m doing as well as can be expected during this time. There are good days and bad days. Over the past year, I had reached so many of my goals in the city, and was finally getting to a place where I was experiencing New York as a place of abundance and not scarcity. I’ve realized how much of an extrovert I am. Despite being alone in the studio almost every day, on a typical week, I would go to 3-4 art openings or events, and that is where I would see all of my friends. I really miss my friends. At this point, I’m realising how much I loved life as it was in New York City. However, I am doing my best to look at this moment as an opportunity to research and begin a project that has been on the back-burner for over a year, as well as to make small works and drawings for my upcoming solo show at Unit London.
‘Are you self isolating?’
I am self isolating with my partner in the country upstate close to his parents’ house. We have been in self-quarantine for 2 weeks, so now we are beginning to spend time with his parents who are also self-isolating.
If you are / aren’t – how is it affecting your practice?
My partner has been having health issues over the past 6 months, so we jumped on the opportunity to leave the city before things escalated. I had to leave my studio behind, which was very difficult for me. I set up a small studio where we are now (out of a mini easel and 2 boxes of supplies), but I am limited to making studies and tiny works. I am seeing this as an opportunity to slow down and use this time to research, draw, and make studies when under normal circumstances I would jump head first into making a larger piece.
One piece of advice you have for young less established artists at this time.
When I was less established, I felt tremendous pressure to be constantly making and putting out content on instagram in order to be noticed. However, I have found that taking a pause is fertile ground to plant the seed for your next big idea. Don’t feel like you have to be “productive” in your art practice. This moment is a huge shift in humanity as we know it. Absorb it, turn it over in your head, and respond through your art when you feel ready.
Scroll down to view some of Emily’s available works…