Emily Little of Little E Studio is a self-taught mixed media artist based in Nashville, Tennessee. Emily uses layer upon layer of color and texture to create works of intentional joy.
Needing a new creative outlet after leaving her day job and closing her antique booth, Emily took a weekend abstract art class with friends. The class helped Emily overcome her inhibitions because it emphasized expression over perfection. Armed with the knowledge that there are no mistakes, only layers, Emily began painting every day.
Other than weekend class, Emily is primarily self-taught. Her style developed as she experimented with different mediums and applications until she found her niche with acrylic paints and the palette knife. Her fresh palette and unique style have been featured on home decor, gift, and seasonal lines with Creative Co-Op. This successful collaboration has allowed Emily’s bright and happy artwork to grace homes all over the world.
How long have you worked with Creative Co-Op?
My first collection came out in 2012. It was all bright and colorful and whimsical. I remember the first product photo I ever got was of a small chest with my birdcage painting on the drawers. My jaw dropped. I was very green. I had no idea what licensing was really about at first, so seeing all the creative applications of my images on wood, metal, ceramic, and fabric just blew my mind. I suddenly realized that behind every rooster on a dish towel is a hard working artist sweating it out in a studio somewhere. I’m just so happy to be one of them!
What are your favorite Creative Co-Op products that you have been involved with?
The large decorative floral papers are definitely my favorite product ever. My original work tends to be very layered and textured, and the tactile nature of these papers captures that aspect of my work. Also, they are ginormous and I love the idea of someone having a huge statement piece of art at an affordable price. The prayer box from my first release, the oversized ornaments from the current Christmas collection, and anything they’ve done on metal is also a favorite. It’s too hard to decide!
I always feel like Tamra and the product development team at Creative are magicians. They just know how to match the right image to the right product in a way that respects the artist and considers the market. It’s so fascinating and fun to watch the process develop from image to showroom.
Who inspires you?
I am constantly inspired by the other local artists in my community. When you roam the aisles or sit across from talented people all weekend at an art show, you learn so much. And they are so generous with their advice and encouragement. It inspires me to grow and stretch when surrounded by people who excel at what they do in their chosen mediums.
What medium do you work in?
My work is mixed media. I typically use texture mediums, paper, fabric and acrylic paint applied with a palette knife although I’ve been exploring brush and pen work lately.
Do you have any other creative outlets?
Right now, renovating and decorating my house is my other creative outlet. Our former home burned several years ago and it took a couple of years to rebuild, sell, and then move again. We finally feel settled and ready to make this house our home. I’ve been having a blast infusing our home with the same unabashed mix of color, texture and pattern found in my artwork.
What is your favorite meal?
Fair food. If you sell something in a kiosk, food truck or concession stand, I will buy it and eat it. Things I would never eat normally; I will eat if you sell it out of a truck. It makes no sense.
How does the place that you live/work inspire your creative pursuits?
My studio is in my home on 2.5 wooded acres that back up to a horse farm. When I throw open my studio doors, I see huge evergreen trees with gnarled limbs, rusty wire fences, golden hay bales, blue skies, stacked wood, glossy manes. These varied textures and saturated colors are integral to my work. The studio is definitely the heart of our home. During the day, I am a one-woman show, but once school and work are done, everyone ends up in the studio. We intentionally created a bright and colorful multifunctional space where everyone feels comfortable, including the dog who has claimed the bottom shelf of my paint table as his bed. The peaceful, natural beauty outside my studio and the messy, joy-filled togetherness inside cannot help but infuse my artwork with its signature happiness.