Meet The Artist: Emily Filler

Here at Art on a Postcard, we are always so grateful for the extreme generosity of our artists not only for donating a postcard-sized work of art to help us raise money for The Hepatitis C Trust, but for the amount of time that they set aside to support us.

We met with artist Emily Filler to learn more about her creative process and studio space.

Your work uses a combination of collage and painterly abstract gestures and marks. What is your process? How do you start creating each work?

When I start I really have no plan. I'm constantly collecting materials that I think are interesting (bits of paper, old letters, photographs..). When I start a work I lay a bunch of things out and sort of see what looks nice together and go from there. I tend to make very quick decisions, and the work changes a lot from start to finish. It's hard to explain but you sort of just know when something looks right. Basically I keep adding and taking away things until I think it looks right. Ha!

Tell us about your studio. What is your working space like?

My working space is a huge mess. I have tried to keep it clean in the past but I've sort of given up. I find that a big mess helps when making collages. I like being able to see everything - that's also how you end up with exciting and unusual combinations of things. Sometimes a scrap of paper that has been sitting on a table for 6 months is exactly the thing I need to finish a piece (but if it had been put away neatly I never would have seen it, if that makes sense). My studio is located in an old school building. It is actually an old classroom, so it has very nice windows and high ceilings, which gives it an open feeling even though there is stuff everywhere.


Talk us through a day in your studio. Do you have a creative routine

I do have a bit of a routine. I try to do any computer work (emails, etc) in the morning because I don't love being at the studio in the morning. Then I walk from my apartment to the studio (which is about 20 min) through a very nice part of Toronto - it's a good combo of shops (I often stop in at my favourite bookstore on the way) and residential. There is also a lovely park to walk though. Then I work from the early afternoon until the evening. I don't know why but I like being at the studio later. There is a corner store across the street so I always take a break at some point to have a tea or something. In the studio I usually set a goal for the day - like I'd like to accomplish this by the end of the day. I also think about what I plan to do tomorrow. I usually have a loose plan for the week of what I'd like to get done. I do so many different series of works (paintings, paper collage...) so each day is a bit different. I used to listen to music all day but now I'm very into podcasts.

Do you hold onto any paintings for yourself? What is special about the ones you choose to keep?

I am terrible about this in that I hold onto very little. There are some full series of work I've done in the past where I don't even have one piece! There are a few things I've made that I wish I kept but I always think, I can make other things. I only have a few things I've made up in my apartment and even those things I've taken down to put in exhibitions before.

Do you have any exciting projects/exhibitions coming up that you can share with us?

I have two solo shows coming up in 2020 which I'm looking forward to. Both are in Canada - one at Newzones Gallery and one at Galerie Robertson Arès. I will also be participating in some art fairs - the next one is in Miami in December.

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