About Emily Jeffords
I am an abstract impressionistic painter, creative educator, & writer living in Greenville, South Carolina with my husband, two little girls, & baby boy. My studio is based in a historic 1890's white-washed, light-filled mill house called the White Whale Studios.
Painting brings me peace and offers me a place to meditate on the beauty in the world & the grace I feel while living in it.
My highest goal is to convey that same peace and grace to the viewer, offering a moment or pause & a feeling of deep belonging.
My childhood was certainly unconventional. We lived in several different states as well as various locations in the middle east. Experiencing a variety of cultures, lifestyles, and seeing a wide scope of the world has increased my appreciation for art, for the landscapes that unite us, and our innate human connection to land and nature.
I was a strange, creative child. I know that from this side of life. I can see that young girl sitting in her closet making hand-cut, painted cards to sell in a scrapbook catalog (one that I also made, not a professionally published catalog, lol) -- and I adore her.
Truly, not much has changed beyond the scope of my vision and the reach of my artwork. I am still that scrappy, inventive, creative, hardworking, entrepreneurial girl.
I have a theory that our souls do not age; that we are both young and old, 10 and 80, wise and innocent all at once. I feel connected to that young girl in the same way that I feel connected to the wise and established artist-teacher-writer-leader woman I hope to be in the future.
As I the years went on, I went to university and got a degree in 2D Fine Art, began teaching art privately and in class settings, got married, had a baby, and struggled through several years of deep financial lack but much love and happiness.
I officially launched my creative practice in 2010 after the birth of my first daughter with my first painting-a-day project. If you are an artist needing some encouragement, visit my first website. It's a hoot! And please judge gently. These early phases of the internet were not lovely.
That project, the Painting365 Project, helped to establish my rhythms, excited and grew my audience (though this is pre-social media as we know it) and helped me further develop an aesthetic I resonated with.
In 2011 I began Beautiful Hello Blog, a space devoted to creativity, art, and design. This season of life held little painting (I gave birth to our second babe and moved across the country while my husband joined the military) but much incubation and a maturing of my inspiration. I continued writing in this blog through 2018!
2012 I set up a studio in a spare bedroom and dove back into my creative practice. I participated in my first national art fairs and developed a new style of collage artwork and jewelry. My goal at this point was to make $400 a month from my creativity.
In 2013 we moved to Greenville, SC and I moved into the White Whale Studios. During this transition, I began another painting-a-day project to fund our move into a new house out of a bit of desperation and inspiration (we had only a few dollars to our name thanks to a series of doors closing and opening and the growing pains that accompanied them). This project kick-started my painting career, my social media presence, creative rhythm, and brought tremendous growth and clarity to me personally and professionally. Though my work was still maturing, my vision for what a creative career could be was blossoming rapidly.
I also co-founded and published the (then) digital magazine, Trouvé Magazine with Amanda Marco.
In 2014 my career really matured into a fully formed business, one that began to truly sustain my family financially and me creatively. I began the hashtag #DoitfortheProcess after a particularly exhausting season and a big mental shift I had - turning my perspective inward and on the process, rather than outward and on the end result. That hashtag recently received it’s ONE MILLIONTH submission!
2015-2016 was a season of continual growth personally and professionally. I had the honor of speaking at several conferences, teaching thousands of fellow creatives in courses and workshops, and began creating collections of artwork and selling them through my own platforms rather than through galleries. I began working with large brands on really exciting projects and established myself as a leader in this new wave of modern artists.
I also had the privilege of traveling extensively through Europe with my family (which lit a fire of inspiration in my heart and has since become a rich part of our life).
In 2017 I continued creating collections of work, teaching, collaborating with large brands, as well as offering the first destination Creative Retreat in France with my studio mate Julie Dodds. Visit WillowGathering.com to learn about upcoming retreats. My first collection with Anthropologie was released as well as one with School House Electric (both of which were big, exciting dreams of mine and super surreal moments).
I also gave birth to our son at the end of 2017!
In 2018 I continued self-representing my work (creating collections and offering them to my collectors privately) as well as continued collaborating with companies such as Anthropologie to license select pieces of artwork.
Julie and I hosted three Willow Gathering Creative Retreats (in France and Spain), and I continued educating and mentoring hundreds of new students through online courses and in the first-ever EJ Mastermind! My family and I traveled through the UK, France, and Spain which deeply inspired my artwork in this year and into 2019.
My work has been shown in several galleries including Art & Light Gallery (Greenville, SC), Peyton Williams Gallery (Charleston, SC), Gallery Twelve 21 (Orlando, FL), NOD Studio, (Chicago), and Eliott Fouts Gallery (Sacramento, CA), but I have the honor of being largely self-represented (meaning my collectors purchase work directly from my studio!) I also partner with well-aligned brands to create beautiful products.