Q & A - Emily Brooks

16 May 2019

Emily Brooks is an award-winning British illustrator and designer. Her recognizable card collections are stocked at Liberty, Paperchase, Oliver Bonas and in stockists across the UK, Canada and Europe.
Known for block colour, engagingly playful illustration and popular social media content, Emily’s marketable designs are growing in popularity and fast becoming a favourite for many design-led retailers. In January 2018 Emily exhibited at Top Drawer London, officially (and successfully) launching her products to the wider market
The Art File are absolutely delighted to be representing Emily in the Greeting Card sector of this market, and will be launching 24 of her bestselling designs, as well as three exclusive new designs especially for us. This eye-popping collection of colour is certain to stand out even to the most discerning of retailers worldwide, and we can’t wait for you to see it.

1. What was the main pull factor for you getting into the creative environment?

I have always felt a pull towards all things expressive, and have worked as a creative in different respects throughout my life (I used to work in the film industry). After having two children, with a fresh need to carve out something exciting for myself, I wanted to take on the challenge of taking my passion for design and illustration to a professional level. I wanted to spend the valuable working time I had doing something I loved.

2. What do you enjoy most about your work?

I love having the freedom to action ideas into reality. I enjoy the PR side; meeting people and engaging with people and their stories. It keeps me inspired and tapped into the reason I’m doing this; to impart a sense of uplifting boldness and positivity into everyday life. It’s brilliant when you can create artwork not just for your own expressive benefit, but to be enjoyed by customers and followers.

3. Where do your major inspirations come from, and why?

I love colour and print: on clothes, in interiors and in graphic design. A trip to the high street or a gallery will leave me with a phone full of photos I’ve taken of colour combinations and print motifs. I’m obsessed with capturing incredible colour pairings. I once waded through a giant, muddy building site (much to the builders’ amusement) to photograph an exposed wall that happened to be painted in just the right shades of yellow and purple.

I’m also inspired by popular culture and imagery that makes me smile and react emotively. I try to illustrate images, animals and iconography that induce a sense of joy, playfulness or confidence.

4. In terms of Greetings Cards, what occasion do you find yourself buying the most cards for? e.g. weddings, new job.

I’m a huge encourager, so i’m most likely to send a random and non-event-related card to a friend that says ‘You got this’ (usually with silly line drawings all over it to make them laugh) when I know they’re going through a rough patch. As for remembering to send actual, normal occasion cards for birthdays and anniversaries and the like…. I’m (ironically) terrible. Don’t 

5. What’s your favourite part about working with The Art File?

So far… the people! They are an incredible team. From their high standards of communication and transparency to their humour and approachability, it’s clear this is going to be a fun and successful partnership!

6. If you could choose to go to one country on an all-expenses paid trip, where would it be, who would you take, and why?

I’d like to say i’d take my family (love you kids) but my instinctive reaction is to gather a gaggle of my girls and head for anywhere in South America (never been!) with a beach, cocktails and lots of colourfully cultural immersion! Just sayin'.

7. You’re walking down the street and find a £50 note on the floor. What would you spend it on?

My initial thought is that I’d walk into the nearest establishment and say ‘someone dropped some money, can you keep it here for them?’ but on second thoughts that’s entirely (and very characteristically) over-trusting. So i’d probably keep it in my pocket thinking I’d decide what to do with it later, which would most likely lead to an existential crisis of sorts.

8. You’ve been told you’ve got to move to a desert island for a year, food and water are provided, but nothing else. And you only have space for three things... what would they be?

Can I bring a person.. or three? If not and I’m doomed to be truly alone, and assuming i’m already wearing some form of clothing…. I’d bring paper, pen(s) and a music player of some kind.

9. You seem to very much enjoy Social Media, what are your thoughts on Social Media trends nowadays

I think social media is fantastic for brands and businesses that are forming and growing. Never before have we had the opportunity to test imagery and content for its audience engagement and customer response so actively before a launch. My audience is often feedback-ing on product releases right from the germ of an idea which gives them immediate ownership and involvement in the brand. I’m particularly loving the trend for sharing a more ‘behind the scenes’, authentic element of a brand story. I’m a huge fan of using video, gif and humour content to connect instantaneously with people.