My desire for the creative life has led me to the streets of Paris, the boroughs of New York, the galleries of Berlin and always to the shores of the West Coast. I am inspired by living a simple life, rich in culture. I am drawn to cities where dogs sleep below cafe tables, where books and art grace the walls of homes and where the world slows down for a meal shared with friends.

I've made my home on beautiful Vancouver Island. My studio and home, a hundred-year-old character house, acts as the canvas for every photograph, recipe and dinner party. 

I invite you to read my blog, view my portfolio and please get in touch if you're interested in working together.

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Creative Q&A: Emma Robertson


Name, Location, Occupation
Emma Robertson
Oakland, California
Freelance Graphic Designer

Please describe your workspace:
Lots of wood, plants, bright light, and white! I just recently had curtains installed because the glare on my computer screen was too much! They are a nice transparent fabric that filters the light perfectly, instead of creating an ugly black out! The entire space is broken up into sections for each of the studio mates. We typically stick to our corners - focusing on our work all day! Every once in a while we'll take breaks to catch up or go for a walk to get coffee and lunch. Jack London Square has proven to be a wonderful spot to have a studio.


What are you working on right now?
A promotional book for a photographer friend of mine, Eva Kolenko. I also just met with the owners of Oakland Surf Club to talk about working together. They are adding children's clothing to their shop and want to create a new mark for their "mini" addition. Both of these clients are good friends of mine - I love that I've been given the opportunity to work them!

What has been your most rewarding project to date?
I truly enjoyed working with Hoboken Coffee Roasters in Guthrie Oklahoma. I went to college with the owners, Trey & Mallory, and was so excited when they reached out to me about their young business. They are a very passionate, hard working, & uplifting couple - they were always positive, great at communicating, and had such vision for what they wanted. They took the logo that we created and made it come alive through their signage, packaging, coffee mugs, the list goes on! I've never had my work become so tangible.

Which designers and artists inspire you?
Oh man, right this second ( it's so hard to narrow this down ) - Fuzzco, Park & Cube, Ro & Co, Wide Eyed Legless, Lotta Nieminen. Essentially, anyone from my Lovely Lady & Gentle-man series inspires me! They are all creative people doing something amazing that caught that my eye.

Has there been a defining moment or turning point when you realized what you wanted to do for a living?
Honestly, I became a freelancer out of desperation. I had just moved to Berkeley with my boyfriend ( fresh out of college ) so my portfolio was small and obviously the work of a student! I applied for as many jobs as I could get my hands on without a single response back - not even a Thank You for applying! I was devastated. So from there, I quickly put word out to family and friends that I needed design work and the jobs slowly started coming in. I'm still friends with the first client I ever had as an official freelancer - she is a photographer here in Oakland. As I now have time and experience on my side, I'm realizing that I truly do love graphic design! I don't plan on shifting to something else anytime soon! I do feel my perspective changing a bit but I think that's just me maturing as a business owner and craving new and different things for myself. I am about to relaunch my portfolio with plans to really expand my creative reach. Tres exciting!

What do you think is the most difficult aspect of your work?
Working with people on such an intimate level is a challenging and very personal experience. I'm taking someone who is starting a business, re-launching an idea, or beginning a new phase in their life and helping them with a huge part of the process. Keeping it professional is the name of the game but it's difficult to not bond and connect on a very personal level with the client.Also, every single person is different so my job is to figure out how to wrangle up their strengths and weaknesses to make sure we get the job done! There is a lot of communication involved, questions, guessing, trial and error... !!


What are you reading at the moment?
A Story Lately Told by Anjelica Huston. She is one of my favorites so I couldn't help but dive into her story. It's all about her enchanted childhood in Ireland, her teen years in London, and her coming-of-age as a model and nascent actress in New York. Sounds magical right? I also got It by Alexa Chung - I couldn't resist the light pink cover and the insane layout of the interior of the book. One flip through and I knew I needed to spend more time with it.

What are your simplest daily pleasures?
Riding my bike to and from work. It forces me to step away from the computer, phone, friends, everything... It is such a great way to clear my head, get my blood flowing, and just relax... I also love cooking dinner every night with my boyfriend. It has become a huge source of happiness for us. Also, sleep has always felt like a huge gift to me. The fact that we can go go go all day, pushing ourselves to the limit, and then when we're ready - we can lay down, calm ourselves, and rest. I find a lot of comfort in resetting my mind and body each night.

Where do you see yourself in ten years?
With work? I'll most likely have my hands in LOTS of different things - I don't think I'll ever be able to JUST design! I do hope that designing will always be apart of my life as I'm excited to grow my skills and watch myself evolve. I hope that my blog sticks around. I have thought about stopping a few times but it has never failed to bring creative opportunities my way so I quickly ditched that idea. In the end, I can't imagine moving forward without it. Lets see, what else? I have an idea for another book but I want to sit on it for a while - It won't involve knitting or crafting! With life? I'm 26 so I feel like the next decade has a lot in store for me - a few more moves, I want to travel a lot more, maybe marriage, who knows!!! Crazy fun stuff to think about :)

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