Emily Dumas is an illustrator, surface designer and hand letterer from north of Boston, MA. She got her BA in Graphic Design from Salem State University, where she is now an adjunct professor in the Art Department. After graduating, she worked as an Art Director in advertising. In 2012, she left her ad job to pursue her passion of illustration. In addition to teaching and illustrating, she has exhibited and sold her work from craft fairs and markets to coffee shops and galleries across the US.
How would you describe your style?
A mix of bright, clean and fun with a little wit and whimsy.
How is your personality reflected in your work?
My sense of humor is most definitely the biggest piece reflected in my work. I’m always listening to music and everyday conversations as inspiration for a lot of my work.
Can you describe your process when creating new work?
I start with simple pencil sketches, refine in pen (usually a fine point sharpie), take a photo with my phone and use my sketch as a base in Adobe Illustrator. As far as gathering ideas, it comes from all over. Sometimes I need to do research and other times I just go with what comes naturally as a potential solution.
Did you always know that you wanted to be a professional illustrator?
Never! I always knew I wanted to do something art related (and I loved to draw) but I didn’t see myself doing this for a living. I have a graphic design background so I always imagined that would be the path.
How did you start your illustration career?
I loved using Illustrator and began making invitations for family and friends. It eventually transitioned to a small business that I did after my day job. Then I began putting those illustrations onto other products that I produced on my own. I initially wanted to wholesale but enjoyed the drawing aspect much more than the product making. That’s when I discovered licensing.
What do you hope the not-too-distant future holds for your art career?
I recently signed with an agent. So I’m hoping to snag that first licensing deal.
What inspires your creativity the most?
Music, travel and conversations with other artists. Just discussing ideas can usually catapult into something.
What kind of illustration do you specialize in?
I work in Adobe Illustrator so everything I create is vector. But mostly I create for products (anything from greeting cards to apparel)
Please describe an average day in your life.
I don’t think that any day is average. However most days involve, sketching, emailing, listening to music and working out.
Are you self-taught or professional trained?
I’m professionally trained in graphic design. Before my illustration start, I was an art director in advertising. So I’ve certainly gained skills that have helped me. But, the shift to illustration was self-driven.