For the Design Annex by Diana Limbach Lempel
This Saturday, December 3, 2011, Union Square Main Streets hosts a Winter Craft Market on Union Square plaza and inside Precinct. It’s a great opportunity to check off some holiday gifts, shop local, and see what some amazing Somerville artists and crafters are up to! For a sneak peek, here is a special installment of our creative business profile series, featuring a couple of awesome Somervillians whose work will be on display this Saturday. We’re excited today to share the first craft visual artists in the series. Meet Emma Weisman and Emily Garfield! We especially love Weisman’s Little Monster character (as much as she does!), and Garfield’s detailed imaginary maps.
DA: Why is Somerville the right place for your business?
EW: Somerville is a great place for my business because there is so much support for local artists. I’ve participated in Somerville Open Studios for four years in a row, and love the strong sense of community. There are so many creative people in Somerville, and it is very inspiring! It makes me work harder to put myself out there, to show and sell my work, and to meet other artists.
DA:What is the hottest thing about your business right now?
EW: The hottest thing about my business right now is my Little Monster character. I’ve been focusing on children’s illustration for the last two years, and slowly Little Monster has emerged as a funny, scruffy, darling little creature. I feature him in “Little Monster Guides” – – framable instructional comics that are sweet gifts for a child. Little Monster’s Guide to the Perfect S’More is my favorite.
DA: What do you hope your business will be known for in the future?
EW: I would love to continue with Little Monster, eventually writing some full length children’s books about him. Eventually, I would like my business to be a pleasant mix of illustrating children’s books and doing illustration commissions for children and adults alike.
DA: Are there any other projects you’d like to share with us?
EW: My favorite project I’ve been working on recently is Little Monster Customized Alphabets. The customer gives me favorite, personalized words for each letter of the alphabet (S is for Somerville, A is for Art, etc) and I make an 11×14 illustration in which Little Monster is depicting each word. These make great unique baby shower gifts!
DA: What makes Somerville the right place for your business?
EG: I’m originally from New York City, and while it would seem to make sense to move back there to be an artist, I’ve found a lot more opportunities here. The things I do are generally considered craft, and there’s a lot of interest in that here. I’ve also found it easy to get involved and meet artists, and that leads to a lot of opportunities that I probably wouldn’t find in a more competitive art environment.
DA: What is the hottest or newest thing at your business right now, the piece or project you’re most excited about?
EG: I’m always coming up with new things, so the very newest things haven’t yet had enough time to get a response! So far people have been excited about my new map-design holiday cards — besides craft fairs, I’m also selling them at Blue Cloud Gallery in Ball Square and 13Forest Gallery in Arlington. I also continue to experiment with my singed flower designs, and recently completed a few large necklaces that have attracted some attention.
DA: What do you hope that your business will be known for in the future?
EG: Although I also do jewelry and other crafts, I think the map drawings are the most unique and interesting project I’m currently working on, and there are still a lot of ways I could go with the idea.
DA: Are there any other favorite projects that you would like to tell readers about?
EG: In terms of maps, I think that the woodblock prints are my most recent project, but I’m particularly interested in the large maps I’ve been working on lately. They’re the same level of detail as my usual ones but about four times the size.