Emerald Kristina Smith
Emerald was born and raised in Colorado, spending much of her childhood hiking and camping in the Rocky Mountains. She began drawing at a young age, creating characters and imagining unusual worlds to paint. She graduated with her Bachelor's degree in Illustration, magna cum laude, from the University of Colorado Denver and is now working as a freelance illustrator and photographer as well as working at a local horse rescue.
Emerald draws much of her inspiration from the animals and world around her. She has always kept a sketchbook or journal and continues to use both cameras and pencils to document everyday events and create new paintings and illustrations.
HOW I MAKE MY ILLUSTRATIONS
I take most of my inspiration from the world around me, especially when I am far away from the city, exploring the mountains. There is something about waking up on a chill, misty mountain morning or walking through dusky woods that makes me want to paint the scene and capture that feeling forever. Through my illustrations, I try to create portals to other worlds.
I use mainly traditional media, but am always experimenting with new materials. I also use digital programs as an extension of the traditional work. I enjoy the textural quality that is achieved from brushstrokes on canvas, and I strive to emulate a somewhat impressionistic style in my illustrations. Detail is incredibly important to me, especially when aiming to tell a story through a picture. Despite generally working on a smaller scale, I always strive to include tiny, sometimes hidden details in my work that adds more background to each story.