"Who Am I?" Such a loaded question. It asks you to sum up your entire life, experiences, fears, joys, loves, dislikes into a short, but sweet, paragraph or two. No pressure.

The name is Emily Staller (maiden name "Iacullo"), a Chicago-raised but Michigan-living illustrator. My husband and I have been living and working at a camp in some capacity for the better part of six years. We've done just about everything on the camp, and have been enjoying almost every moment.

Painting and sewing hasn't happened anywhere nearly as much as I would like, or as should be expected from a person calling herself an illustrator and holding a BFA in illustration. Soon, I'll be able to get back into it, once life mellows out a little. Marriage, and working, and figuring out the difficult questions of life have all taken over. Sigh.

I received my BFA in Illustration from the American Academy of Art, located in downtown Chicago. It is a fantastic school, with so many talented peers and teachers and famous names. Before that, I graduated from Lane Tech, the School of Champions. I was never called a champion of anything, but I loved that school and still wear my letter jacket. 

I consider myself an illustrator thanks to my love of stories. It's a rare week or two when I'm not reading a book or haven't watched a movie. Stories are beautiful, in every way. Therefore, the chance to tell a story through my art is one I will try to never pass up. Not too long ago I realized that fashion and costumes were a passion of mine, despite jeans and flannel shirts being my singular fashion statement. I remember drawing princesses and dresses long before anything else. I started attending the Bristol Renaissance Faire and was in awe of the fantastic designs people were wearing. I've got piles and piles of fabric lying around, just waiting to be turned into some sort of costume. Talk to any actor--or listen to the commentary on a DVD--and you'll hear about how they truly felt "in character" when they finally put on their costume. Changing what we wear affects us in every way; we are able to become someone else. Our clothing tells our story. History is documented by textiles and fashion; the changes tell the story of a nation. It fascinates me and I want to do whatever I can to continue to grow that love. 

I'm nowhere near perfect - in any aspect of my life - but I'm willing to keep trying and growing and learning and struggling and overcoming.

 

Should you wish to contact me, please email illustrator.emily@gmail.com.