Arts Emergency

Emma Cowley


After graduating in 2009 from the University of Westminster with a 2:1 degree in Illustration I was featured in the Association of Illustrators’ Images 34 – the Best of British Illustration 2010. My work then toured the UK with the Images 34 traveling exhibition.
My work appeared in the Half and Half Exhibition in Cork in 2010. In 2011 I exhibited with SORTED London (East Gallery, 214 Brick Lane, London) and in July 2012 exhibited in The Picture Show illustration exhibition (Coningsby Gallery, 30 Tottenham Street, London), which I had also helped to organise. In 2012 I was involved in the Inspiring India project, organised by Leapfrogg Digital Marketing on behalf of Cox and Kings travel agent. The artwork I created for the project was exhibited at the Royal Geographical Society in London. This year I have participated in the Somewhereto_ High Street Heist, which involved having my artwork exhibited in the John Lewis flagship store on Oxford Street.

Since 2012 I have regularly contributed my illustrations to Making Magazine, a monthly craft publication.

My illustrations have also appeared online in Creature Magazine, Illustration Rally, Ten Paces and Draw, Pikaland, and Peculiar Bliss Magazine.

I’ve always enjoyed drawing since I was a child. I loved reading books and was fortunate enough to have lots of them filled with beautiful illustrations, so from that time I liked to create pictures that told stories. At that point I didn’t know that the thing I aspired to be was called an illustrator: the options presented to me were either fine art or graphic design. It wasn’t until I started the visual communication module of my Art Foundation course that I discovered that illustration was an option. There was little advice available to me about pursuing an illustration career at that time, so I would like to offer my own experiences to others in the hope that they might be helpful.