Emily Mercedes is an Austin-based artist who first caught our eye with her with her 90-days of nostalgia challenge on Instagram.
We couldn’t wait to see what she was going to come up with each day, it was the kind of brilliant art with an undercurrent of humor that always made us smile.
But what we especially love about Emily is that she was willing to take a risk and pursue art full time. She was the creator and Head Editor of theBERRY.com, a wildly popular humor website geared toward women. After six years of running the site, she resigned to start her own art business, which was especially inspiring because she was also a new mom.
She works primarily with watercolor paint and pen & ink, and enjoys mixed media. She takes custom order requests and loves a good painting challenge. We have a few pieces from her hanging on our walls that really make the room feel happy, in particular the amazing colorful fruit and vegetable series.
Be sure to check her out on Instagram, her website and her Etsy shop and keep reading for the jewels of wisdom from her entrepreneurial journey.
Army Man, Signed Watercolor, Available in 3 Sizes
When were you first interested in becoming an artist?
I practically lived at the art building at Indiana University. I just painted for fun after I graduated, but it has always been my biggest passion. I quit my day Job in June of 2015 to become a full-time mom and artist.
What was your motivation behind taking the leap into creating art full time?
I was motivated by my love for art and I wanted to spend more time with my son. I started painting while he slept and have been selling prints and originals ever since. We have a new daughter and I still make time to paint!
Finish this sentence: My favorite part of being a creative entrepreneur is…
getting commissioned to create paintings.
Iconic Guns, signed watercolor, available in 3 sizes
What has been your biggest hard-won lesson in pioneering your own business?
I have learned that I can’t do everything on my own. I have enlisted the help of some family members that has propelled my business further.
What would your number one tip be for a new artist trying to sell and promote their work?
Create your brand identity first and foremost. Strong branding makes you look professional, possibly before you feel professional.
Grumpy Bear, signed watercolor, available in 3 sizes
Favorite thing you’ve ever created?
There’s a large painting hanging in our living room that I created in the month leading up to my son’s arrival. It is a painting that includes visual snippets of all of the places my husband and I have lived.
What motivates you the most?
Perfecting my drawing and painting skills.
Iron Man Ironing, signed watercolor, available in 3 sizes
Who inspires you most?
The Jealous Curator – Danielle Krysa. Blogger, artist, curator, author, badass.
What do you do to get creative inspiration?
I find that I daydream and paint in my head while taking a walk or doing a yoga class.
Football Print, Signed Watercolor, Available in 3 Sizes
If you could create an art piece for anyone, who would it be and why?
I would love to create a piece of art for Danielle Krysa, The Jealous Curator. She has helped launched art careers for countless artists.