We had the good fortune of connecting with Emmett Graham and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Emmett, can you tell us about a book that has had a meaningful impact on you?
A book I read that I enjoyed was Sun TZu’s Art of War. The reason why I liked it so much is that it has a very simple philosophy and way of thinking that can be applied to all encounters one may have in life. The impact it had on me was to realize my own full potential when I focus on what I am good at, to work on areas that I am not and to listen to advice from others who have more success in certain areas and learn from my mistakes as well as mistakes of others.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
The art I create is realism using a renaissance style technique and the subject reference is from Meso American Culture. I am excited about learning and expressing my Meso American and Native American heritage with my artwork. I was able to get where I am today because of my time I served in the U.S. Marine Corps, art lessons I took, going to an Atelier workshop and earning my degree in Painting from Arizona State University. The journey was not easy. Besides learning how to draw, paint and find my technique, I had to overcome medical and personal issues as well. I was able to overcome these challenges by reaching out for help and focusing on creating. The lessons I learned on the way is that creating alone is not enough, you as an individual have to get involved so others will know you and do research where you can display your art work. Stay away from Vanity galleries and other places that you have to pay to display. find galleries or other venues that show work similar to what you do and build from there. Besides my artwork having a reference to Meso American Culture it also deals with duality, this is done to express my own duality of being Mestizo, and how in life duality is all around us, Sun/Moon, Day/Night etc…
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Well if my friend came to visit, we would go to Westgate in Glendale, and enjoy the different restaurants, bars and live music they have available. I would also take them to lake pleasant and do some tubing or even some jet skiing. and we would also go to the Tempe Improv and enjoy a comedy show.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
The organizations that helped me to be where I am today are The United States Marine Corps, The Scottsdale Artist’s School, and Arizona State University. The individuals who are professional artists themselves that I would like to thank for my artist journey are Tim Rees and Anthony Pessler.
all photos of my paintings were taken by me Emmett Graham