A Make Good Things Happen content collaboration with Makers and Shakers Markets
As part of our content collaboration with Makers and Shakers market we chatted with Emma Simmons of Emma Jane Illustration.
Emma will be featuring her illustrations which feature iconic buildings, houses and streetscapes at the upcoming Makers and Shakers event in September 2023 at Sydney’s White Bay Cruise Terminal.
Some of you may know Emma from Sweets Workshop, the gallery and studio space in Sydney’s Summer Hill hosting exhibitions since 2010.
Emma is also an illustrator and graphic designer in her own right, producing a range of imagery inspired by the architecture of the Inner West, bringing a touch of nostalgia to her artistry. As for many members of the community, her practice began as a reflective moment of friendship.
“One of my work colleagues was leaving to work overseas and I thought it would be a nice memento to illustrate a scene from around Balmain. I produced my first urban landscape of a grand federation style corner house with pencil, watercolour and digitally collaged it with my collection of vintage lace, fabrics and knits.”Emma Simmons, Emma Jane Illustration
Emma expanded her practice to include a variety of shopfronts, streetscapes and buildings based around the Inner West. The reception from customers and the community motivated her to continue further, and provided additional commission opportunities for both business, and purely sentimental reasons.
“What keeps me going is my clients’ positive reactions when I present their commissioned pieces. I also love to hear people’s personal stories and memories associated with some of the locations I’ve drawn.”Emma Simmons, Emma Jane Illustration
As an “unofficial documentor” of the architectural history of Sydney’s Inner West, Emma’s best sellers include her meticulous illustrations of iconic buildings such as the Olympia Milk Bar, The Petersham Roller Rink, The Marie Louise Salon, the Enmore Theatre, Bar Italia and Marrickville Pork Roll.
With all of her items proudly produced in Australia, Emma creates a yearly calendar, which for 2024 features a series of Sydney’s famous night time haunts which she’ll be launching at the Makers and Shakers in Sydney. The series, titled “Night Life” (pictured above), includes locations like the Enmore Theatre and the Lansdowne Hotel, which many Sydney-siders will remember fondly for a place to see their favourite bands and fun nights out.
“I hope that in my artwork I bring some heart, warmth and really capture the soul of the subject I am illustrating. I want my work to be accessible and bring joy and nostalgic memories.”Emma Simmons
Having struggled with confidence in the beginning, Emma has found a personal resolve when it comes to promoting her business, especially in the battle of social media and perfectionism, and says she now knows to “embrace the wobble” as it’s what makes her unique.
Markets are of course a wonderful way to promote your work and your business, having made tangible connections with her customers and interested folks, Emma has fielded suggestions on future projects down to commission opportunities, but the most relatable thing for Emma?
“I love that little buzz you get before the market opens where you are all ready to go, you’ve caught up with fellow makers and had a coffee and you’re ready to greet the day. “Emma Simmons
Makers and Shakers market welcomes Emma to their Sydney event in September, an event Emma says is always a positive experience with beautiful people.
“I love how professional and friendly Emma, Lee and the whole team are. The whole process is a dream and as a stallholder, you feel like a valued part of the event.”Emma Simmons
Meet Emma Jane Illustration at the Makers and Shakers Sydney event, on 16th and 17th September 2023 at the White Bay Cruise Terminal in Rozelle.
This MGTH Chat is brought to you by our content collaboration with Makers and Shakers Markets