Updated: Apr 20, 2020
I’ve recently gotten to know Emily Kline’s work after seeing her super rad Billie x Adobe series, but we’ll talk about that later. Kline is a skilled and controlled artist all around but her primary focus is in design. As a designer nearing the end of her time in the University of Delaware’s Visual Communications, Kline creates smooth, elegant, and easy to decipher design work that’s both functional and appealing. She’s also flexed her photography and editing muscles with the aforementioned Billie x Adobe series that you can find images from here and on her site, and these things are just out of this world (quite literally). I pondered how to define Kline as an artist quite a bit but she’s tough to nail to a singularity, she’s a creative in its purest form who can adapt to whatever she needs to and still create amazing work. I got to get to know Emily and her work in a short interview that I think will be an excellent read for all of you. Enjoy!
1.Where I always like to start, give us a little background on you as an artist. What got you into art? What inspires you as an artist? What makes you the artist that you are?
My art background is very much rooted in drawing and fine art. It sounds cliché as hell, but ever since I was little drawing came very naturally to me, and with the little tomboy in me having no interest in playing with dolls or stuffed animals, I grew up being interested only in art supplies and soccer balls. But eventually sports kind of took over, and art was always just a hobby or a favorite class – absolutely NEVER something I considered pursuing a career in. Fast forward a couple years and suddenly I’m at the University of Delaware studying Environmental Science in my freshman year, realizing that, although I’d love to help save the world, my career path probably isn’t taking dirt samples from local forests and setting EPA regulations. Environmental studies were (and still are) a passion of mine, but I quickly figured out that I could better serve my dream of helping others through my strengths in art & design. So, I switched over into the art program at UD my sophomore year and ever since have become enamored with the idea of using design to sell ideas and messages that will better the world in some way.
2.You're a designer with a super slick and clean style and this makes for very intuitive and easy to operate looking products. What went into this consistent touch you have in your design work? How do you make work like this yours?
If I’m being completely honest, I’m not sure that there’s anything I do very intentionally to achieve this slick and clean style – it’s really just a product of my perfectionist personality. I’ve always been very keen on the details – paying attention to every little thing that goes into a piece so that everything is executed as precisely as possible. Being a hopeless perfectionist is blessing and a curse – a blessing in that its allowed me to develop such a clean style, but a curse in that I will never truly be satisfied with anything I complete… But that’s the curse of most artists I suppose, being your own worst critic.
3.Building off of that a lot of your work is client/product based, is working with the client and creating for people a passion of yours? How do you balance your creative touch and ideas with what the client needs?
I don’t think I would necessarily classify client-based work as a passion of mine… I just think it adds to the challenge of creating for a purpose. Most all of the work I do is very research based, and concept heavy – creative thinking and problem solving is by far one of the most gratifying parts of what I do. When I see a problem, I like to fix it. These days, with a huge shift in the consumer industry toward the Gen Z consumer, a lot of big-name clients are needing to adapt their brand culture to appeal to a much more niche audience. Figuring out how these brands fit into the conversation surrounding today’s culture, and how they can use their influence and power to do a little good along the way, is something I find to be an exciting and rewarding challenge.
4.I'm dying to ask about the Billie x Adobe series where you created a beautiful series of images that illustrate what you feel when we fall asleep. My first question is about the process, what went into these shoots (make up, lighting, etc.) and what went into the post production? Is work like this something you'd consider doing more of in the future?
Adobe and Billie Eilish put out this creative brief, and I really wanted to do it but didn’t think I would have time for a personal project between work and school. But one night I was feeling ~particularly inspired~ and after I came up with the vision for this shoot it was something I just had to take the time to do. The production process was not so much fun – production is one of my least favorite parts of completing any project. I very much prefer the ideation and post-production stages of the whole process. Two hours of gluing cotton and string lights onto Styrofoam to make a faux cloud, painting my (very patient) model with black paint from the chin down, figuring out how to imitate levitation photography with a stool and black sheet, and my first ever attempt at gel lighting. It was a lengthy learning process, but because I spent so long making sure all the details of the photoshoot were perfect, there really wasn’t even much post-production involved, with the exception of a few photoshop touch ups here and there. I didn’t even end up actually submitting it to Adobe, but I was really satisfied with the end result; makes me think that maybe I should allow a little more time for personal projects like this every now and then.
5.You've got quite the diverse portfolio outside of your design work but no matter what it is, it still feels yours. Any plans to continue work outside of your design work? Other avenues you might pursue?
Right now, I would consider myself to be a pretty aimless young creative There are so many things in the industry that I really enjoy doing, that I’m not so sure I even see myself as a “graphic designer” per say. Right now, I’m pretty interested in seeing what art direction has to offer, but honestly I trust wherever my creative skillset takes me. The most important thing to me is being able to go home at the end of the day feeling proud of the work that I’m doing and knowing that it will have a positive impact on somebody somewhere.
6.Finally, I know the end of your college career is drawing near, so what are your future plans in art? Then tell us where people can find you, any exciting projects or anything you have coming up, plug yourself!
The only plan I have right now is to take everything one day at a time. I am graduating with a BFA in Visual Communications in one week with no solid plans but am currently looking into a summer art direction internship with a couple different agencies. My website is emilyklinedesign.com so check back there if you’re interested in keeping up with my creative journey!
Remember Folks! Feature Friday is an awesome way to get your work seen and promoted, as well as make you eligible for other prizes! But, you’ve got to post on that forum so we can see your work and promote it! So post, comment and post some more! Let’s see and talk about all of your work!