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Conversations with the Inspiring Emily Hoerdemann

Today we’d like to introduce you to Emily Hoerdemann.

Emily, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
Born in Peoria, Illinois, by an artist Mother and a mechanic Father, I grew up with a paintbrush in one hand and a hammer in the other. Both of these mentalities have shaped me into who I am today – a handy creative who prefers to build it myself based on vision and design. In undergrad, I concentrated on painting and photography, graduating in 2008 with a double BFA. I left my hometown in 2011 with big city dreams and landed in New York for a Master’s degree in Contemporary Art from Sotheby’s Institute of Art. During my time in New York, I worked for several collections and artists, most notably a private collection of contemporary art that ranks in the Top 200 in the world. After seven years in New York, I moved to LA and dove straight to Echo Park. I live and work in a 1920s bungalow and am completely inspired by the sunshine and energy of East LA. At home, I maintain a studio practice where I work in photography, painting, illustration and collage mediums.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
I took time off between my undergrad and graduate studies, which was not by choice. However, entering the workforce right out of school forced me to evaluate what I thought my career path was and make the necessary moves to change it. Although I’ve been creating all of my life, being an artist exists next to my career as an archivist and art collection Director. My advice for those pursuing a creative path, know that it takes time, sometimes immense planning, and the biggest tool in your arsenal: patience.

Please tell us more about your work, what you are currently focused on and most proud of.
I’m an Artist! Collage and photography are my main loves. I’m currently working on two bodies of work in addition to my exploration into illustration:

The collage works are a breakdown of the female as object and symbols of femininity.  Collage elements are culled from fashion magazines, advertisements, and contemporary art auction catalogs.  The fragmented photographs, absent of their identity, paired with anthropomorphic objects, organic cascading elements, and abstracted artworks by other artists are meant to address authorship, cultural curation, and sexual objectification.  Without being overly sentimental, the collages capture the feeling of both glamour and despair, while maintaining tenderness and composure.

The Text Photograph series melds my own photography with found or conceived words and phrases used to connect to the audience with either universal frustrations or affirmations. Text choices are carefully selected and adjusted in size and opacity in order to appropriately be paired with their image. The font Futura is used because of its geometric design, which adds a contrast to the natural elements of the photographs the font is obscuring. Images taken are typically landscapes or skyscapes absent of humans or animals in order to give attention to the overlaid pink block letters.

Also, my recent Photo Interventions series was selected by Artspace to be included in Samsung’s The Frame TV which came out last year.

It would be great to hear about any apps, books, podcasts or other resources that you’ve used and would recommend to others.
I love the ‘How I Built This with Guy Raz’ podcast! It’s so inspiring to hear how others started their businesses. WorkParty and Girlboss have also been inspiring resources. It sounds cheesy, but reading ‘Big Magic’ by Elizabeth Gilbert was a turning point for me to start referring to myself as an Artist with a capital A. I’ve also found endless inspiration taking classes on Skillshare!

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Julian Pollack, Emily Hoerdemann

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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