Before she starts painting, artist Emily Grady Dodge cleans and organizes the room. It’s a must before sitting down at her small Parsons desk with her watercolors. She paints beautiful botanicals and inspiring patterns, all while jamming out to Fleetwood Mac or Broadway tunes in her headphones. Eventually, her painted work turns into original art, prints, textiles, and now four new Punkpost card designs.
“Designing cards was something that I had written down on my ‘art dreams’ list, so I’m really excited for this opportunity with such a cool and innovative company!” Emily says. “It’s also just so freaking cool that something I created will make someone I’ll never meet smile.”
As you can start to sense, Emily’s goal for the cards — and all her work— was to create something that was pretty and happy. “Basically, I want someone to open the envelope and go ‘Ooooooooh!’” And we’re sure that’s going to happen.
To get Emily’s signature watercolor look on our cards, she had to strategically create layers that would blend together into one smooth brush stroke when printed on our Risograph. She then kept the words simple, such as “congrats,” “happy” or “thanks,” so that the brush strokes could steal the show.
Shhh, don’t tell the other cards, but the birthday card that says ‘happy’ is secretly her favorite. “The brush strokes serve as birthday candles, and each letter is like a little flame,” she says. “I take blowing out candles on my birthday very seriously, so I’m happy that I could subtly incorporate that tradition.”
While many days she’s immersed in her watercolor work, that wasn’t and isn’t always the case. She started her artistic journey back in 2009 when she moved from Florida to New York to pursue interior design. One of her courses required her to use watercolor paints to show elevations. After that class, the paints sat on a shelf and collected dust for a year or two. Then, on a whim, she dug them out and painted a fiddle leaf fig. She posted it online, and “Someone bought it right away and I was shocked!”
Soon after she read Take the Leap: Do What You Love 15 Minutes a Day and Create the Life of Your Dreams by Heather McCloskey Beck, and she knew art was her future. We’re so happy that’s the case!
We also couldn’t chat with an artist and not get their favorite tools. Emily uses two pretty cups for water, a porcelain watercolor palette, Winsor & Newton watercolor tubes and sable brushes.
When she’s not painting, you’ll find her reading a mystery or thriller, such as Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn, or watching TV. “My husband and I are unapologetically ‘TV people,’ so we’re always watching a show or two,” she says. Right now, they are binging on The Sopranos. And during Bachelor season, Monday is her fave night. Her and her best friend watch the show together every week.
Check out these card collections:
- BFF Card Collection
- Birthday Card Collection
- Friendship Card Collection
- Congratulations Card Collection
- Encouragement Card Collection
Artist profiles you’ve got to see:
Other stories from Punkpost: