We had the good fortune of connecting with Emily Ufer and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Emily, what do you attribute your success to?
As an artist, you are your brand. The person people see interviews, on Instagram, or in person is genuinely me. There is no filter or paraphrasing involved. When someone decides to hang a piece of my art in their home or business, I know that they’re not just hanging something pretty – they’re hanging something that inspires them, evokes a memory or feeling. I cannot plan for the way my art makes people feel, nor should I. I can only plan for my art to be a genuine expression of what inspires me.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
To me, art is much more than aesthetics – it’s a true and genuine form of expression. I spent many years doing art only passively as a hobby, and I found that a piece of me was truly missing. From a young age, I was very independent and self-driven. This led to extensive practice with art, but also a sense of self-reliance and perseverance that drives me to this day. I leaned on my surroundings and environments for inspiration. Landscapes provide powerful imagery for my work, as well as the people that travel through them. The expression and creativity required to create art manifests itself in not only pieces and paintings – it’s also the way I think, talk, work, and generally live my life. I didn’t realize this until I jumped back in a couple years ago. Art is a crucial form of my identity.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
As an artist, I’m very proud of the progress Houston has made in its art community. The Museum of Fine Arts is excellent, but my favorite art museum is the Menil. It’s an inspiring collection that I visit often to continue growing and learning about my craft. The MFAH just opened a new wing and it is truly exceptional. Anyone visiting Houston should prioritize making a visit. Also, Second Saturdays and Third Saturdays at Silver Street Studios. We also really enjoy Houston’s parks! Biking at Eleanor Tinsley Park, golfing at Hermman Park, playing tennis at Memorial Park and walking around the Heights and Rice Village. Besides art and parks, Houston is perhaps best known for its food! You can find nearly every international cuisine here. Whether you want fajitas or falafel, Houston will deliver! Some of our favorite restaurants are Cafe Rabelais, Ninfa’s on Navigation, Zabak’s, Uncle Bean’s Coffee and Sushi Wabi. There is always something fun to do in Houston! Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Seeking guidance is a crucial component of success, whether in business or personally. Running an art business is quite different than creating art for entirely personal reasons. I’ve found invaluable guidance from my mentor Francesca Fuchs, an accomplished artist who I’ve learned from at the Glassell School in Houston for the past several years. Her guidance allows me to not lose sight of the heart of my business: the art itself. I am also grateful to the community at Silver Street Studios where I’ve been working for the past two years. The community holds together and supports its members passionately, especially in the throes of a global pandemic that makes conventional art shopping challenging. Lastly, and always, I thank my husband. We own our successes and challenges together. He is a wonderful man, and his support of my art career is second to none. I am also very blessed with a supportive community of family, friends, my church. Psalm 121:2 “My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.”
Emily Ufer Art