Emily Meehan, originally from California, creates art that sits across so many mediums it’s hard to keep count! From paintings and murals (you’ve probably seen her skills on Foveaux St, Sydney people) to fashion design, 3D pieces and more, Emily explores her abundant ideas through neon and 80’s attitude. Read our chat below, check out her work and find out where you can see her work right now!
Okay, so fill us in and how you got going with all this flavour!
Me and my art are highly Californian. The whole state raised my up good. I had drawing and painting lessons from a very early age and ever since have been just doing it. Lots of practice. My first instructor was a woman named Dianne Zepeda. She employs a very free brush-stroke and was legally blind when I met her and during the times she gave me lessons. I’ve self-produced 3 solo shows out of fear of approaching galleries thinking my work isn’t good enough (including the one referenced below). I have also been on both ends of producing and showing at group shows since about 2009. High school was when I started painting a bit more seriously; doing portraits came naturally and easily to me. High school was also around the same time I started taking an interest in the aesthetics of graffiti and lettering but not ever really doing it because of fear of breaking the rules.
What does being creative mean to you? And how does it nourish you?
Being creative means I have a mega gift and an equally mega curse. Gift-wise, I have the opportunity to work with all the other creative folks this world holds (given they want to work with me of course) and those who aren’t, I can connect with as well, because we both have a mutual appreciation for visual or aural stimulation. Curse-wise this brain is absolutely loco to be in all day every day. I can’t keep up with all the ideas and I sometimes feel like I’m drowning from having so many.
Creativity is my spirituality. It keeps me alive one hunnid percent. It tells my future and my present and past. It’s the ultimate energy release to draw, write, take someone’s photo, make a song or put some paint where it ain’t ya know? It can be a bit isolating at times thinking that I should just be “making my own shit” .. like alone, in some studio but what’s truly the motion is working with other people who are equally creative and motivated. Making art is the most magical, honest thing I do.
Have you ever had a creative block? What did you do to overcome it? & in hindsight can you see why you came to have that block?
I divide my week up into all the various creative pursuits I got.. so luckily there’s never really a block..If I don’t feel like drawing, I’ll surf or do yoga or pole dance or write. If my body’s hurt or exhausted from physical arts, I chill and paint, sculpt or draw or play a little music. I have an extremeeee amount of creative juice up in this little form I take.
Tell us about your art work you’re showcasing next week! Explain your beautiful character and the neon etc…..
The work i’m showing on Friday at Insacious is pretty much all the work I’ve made since arriving here in Sydney in January, 2017. As I take in phenomena and it passes through my brain, it endures the “fluorescent filtration system” process, as I like to call it. It’s an upping-the-saturation-button inside my mind’s eye and then pumping out a new version from Meehand (ehhh see what I did there?). The ultra bright colours probably have something to do with the amount of Disney channel, MTV & Austin Powers I watched in my youth and the leotards I wore as a young gymnast & snowboarder.
The character, “The Pile” is how I depict my soul. It’s cute, flexible, delicate yet full, and always chugging/spilling liquid all over its plump little body alluding to my overindulgent tendencies though it remains balanced. It sits, lays or “passes out” daintily on top of things drinking or vomiting and may be bright in colour, but holds the dark message of the real grave dangers of excess especially with drugs and alcohol. The Pile is my spiritual symbol; its eyes are closed representing ignorance and blindness both to self, and to one’s effect on the world. It’s androgynous and always wearing its heels – marrying my equally masculine and feminine sides.
Come to Emily’s Sydney show
‘Real Good Fun’
Friday 15th September, 2017
5pm – 9pm
462 Parramatta Rd. Petersham, 2049
OR look out for her Dino splurting out ‘I Love You’ on the Bondi Beach Graffiti Wall
A huge thank you to Emily!
Photographs by Hannah Rankine
Artwork courtesy of Emily Meehan
Shout out to Ted from Bondi who kindly posed for a photo!