My Design Journey: Emily Heath

my design journey Jul 21, 2022

Emily's path to becoming a pro painter happened in four short years. Taking one of our courses led to an internship with the Longina Phillips Designs studio, which evolved into a job offer.  Working in-house she was exposed to a painting style that would change her career and her life.

We love this story because it proves you can pivot a creative career while raising kids — AND find success pretty fast!

I started at Longina Phillips Designs as an intern in 2017 and ended up staying for four years! I had very young children when I began and was fortunate to find a workplace that was flexible and supportive of my role as a mum. Much to my delight, after finishing my internship I was offered a job. I think my most memorable moment would be selling my first design… pretty sure I cried! 

I owe my painting style to LPD.

The regular in-house workshops held at Longina Phillips Designs were a great way to learn new skills and when Tannya Harricks came in for an expressive painting workshop she honestly blew my mind. The way that Tannya uses her materials and the wonderful intuitive process that she follows were like nothing I'd seen before. She encouraged us to try acrylics combined with pencil and charcoal and I instantly felt a connection to the loose and expressive way of working.



Everything really just snowballed from there!

After the workshop with Tannya I started painting for pleasure one day (well a couple of hours a day - kids willing!) and started posting them on my Instagram profile and showing friends and family. My Instagram profile started to grow and I applied to group shows and galleries to start getting my work out there into the world. Once there were a few galleries supporting me and I had launched my own website I needed more time to create work and made the hard decision to leave LPD to pursue painting full time.





A standard work day looks like this...

Once I've dropped the kids to school my husband and I will usually go for a walk before we launch into work. This has to be one of the biggest perks of working for myself! After a walk I'll tidy the house just enough so that I can make a path to my easel through the boys' morning mess, set up for the day, meditate and then get into it. I really don't like trying to finish pieces so I have a terrible habit of just starting something new almost every day. I do obviously have to finish things at some stage but like all good procrastinators, I'll leave this until the very last moment....! There's also a lot of admin that I need to take care of on any given day so I'll usually do that just before I get the boys after school.



I'll usually start with an object or some flowers that I'm really inspired by

and build a story around that. I love using objects that are meaningful to me or my family and so many of the boys' weird little bits and pieces end up in my paintings - from their drawings to their lego pieces! I really paint my life, in the form of still life. Until quite recently I was using acrylics but I've just started combining them with oils, which I'm loving but at the same time, finding incredibly challenging. 


Do you have a good tip for us? 

Oh boy, I’m really not sure you should be taking advice from me! But OK, if you insist....

Just because you enjoy something or want something, don’t expect it to be easy. You need to find a way (and the people to support you) to put one foot in front of the other every day, even when it’s been a really shit day.

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My Design Journey: Tannya Harricks
My Design Journey: Maxine Hamilton
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