Ebi Emporium, also known as Julia Di Sano, creates brightly colored paintings with amazing texture transferring seamlessly to print. Her eye for detail in color as well as type shows us a side of her that we can easily see through her paintings. We just recently interviewed Julia about her start as an artist and how she creates these amazing art pieces.
Kess InHouse : Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you get your start as an artist?
Ebi Emporium : I’m a color-loving, full-time fine art painter who works from my home studio in Vancouver, BC with my 2 Maine Coon fur-babies (cats!) and a whole lot of paint. I’ve always been really passionate about creating art, and in spite of my traditional Italian family leading me down a traditional career path, teaching high school English and Japanese in Canada, I came to realize that pursuing my artwork as a career was really the only way I’d be happy. Since making the leap of faith in 2012 to start my art business, Ebi Emporium, I work incredibly hard each day, and yet, it never quite feels like “work”. From my childhood days of entering coloring contests and local art shows, I knew that making fun and cheerful artistic designs brought me great satisfaction. And now, years later, being able to do this every day, it feels like a real gift.
KI : What is your creative process?
EE : You know, I really don’t have a set creative process I stick to. Rather, I paint when I feel inspired. And that inspiration can come at the most random of times, such as the middle of the night when I wake from a dream, or first thing in the morning when I am still drinking my first coffee of the day. I love listening to music and singing along karaoke-style while I work, and usually stand up while painting, working on a large-surface dining table instead of an easel. And the amount of paint involved in the process is, for lack of a better term, “ridiculous.” Most of my pieces incorporate over 40 colors, with some containing over 100 – not to mention the layering, texture mediums, varnishes and glazes. Each painting is like a journey that I embark on, not knowing the destination until reach it. So exciting!
KI : What is your favorite part of the creative process?
EE : Oddly enough, unlike most artists, I am an A-type personality and am quite rigid in a lot of my daily habits and routines. And when I get creative, it’s the one time that I truly let my inhibitions and hesitations fall to the wayside, and intuition takes over. I try not to overthink my paintings while I’m creating them, and focus more on the feelings I have while working and the color harmonies that genuinely appeal to me. It’s freeing, and in many ways, painting is not only my work but also my entertainment.
KI : What is your favorite piece? How did you develop the composition?
EE : Gosh, it’s hard to pick which my favorite piece is, since I have over 480+ designs and colorways in my artistic portfolio to-date. But I’m really fond of how some of my most recent designs for Kess turned out – In particular, I enjoy the 3-piece “When Land Met Sky” mini-series and “Whispered Song.” These new acrylic paintings are feminine, airy and whimsical, with a freedom in the brushstrokes that makes my heart sing each time I look at them. And as with all my works, these pieces were little more than vague inspirations in my mind before I started to lay them onto canvas and layer the paint. It was like unwrapping Christmas gifts, not sure what I’d end up with until the end – The most exciting type of painting, in my opinion.
KI : What is your work space like?
EE : I live and work in Vancouver, BC, where space is at an extreme premium. Since my entire home is under 1100sf. for myself, my husband and my 2 cats, every area of our home has multiple functions. My studio and work-space also doubles as our sometimes-dining table. I have a large table I work on, bags and bags of paints and brushes, and canvases lined around the wall of our home. It’s usually quite organized, as I clean up after each time I get creative. It’s a fine balance, having an art studio in such a high-traffic area in a small home, but I’m making it work. And hopefully, in the next year or so, we’ll be moving to a larger home with a separate studio I can call my own and decorate until my heart’s content!
KI : Why did you become an artist?
EE : I became an artist because I think, at the core of me, it’s what I was always meant to do. Even after following my parents’ guidance and getting 2 university degrees to become a high school teacher in Canada (the traditional, “safe” career choice), I knew art was what I really wanted to do for a living – Being an artist allows my creative soul to flourish!
KI : What artists inspire you to create your artwork?
EE : A lot of people say my work has a very “Monet” feeling to it – And I do adore Monet’s style. But I really try to inform my own style by looking at a wide range of artists, historically and in the present day, who achieve beautiful, smile-inspiring outcomes. I tend to be inspired by textile and home decor designers, such as Jonathan Adler, who step outside of conventional shapes and colors to express themselves in their own styles. And I subscribe to more than 10 magazines monthly and browse Pinterest regularly, where I find all sorts of inspiration, too. It’s hard to pin-point any single artist that inspires me, really.
KI : What are your top 5 favorite products offered by Kess Inhouse for your artwork?
EE : I’m a huge fan of large-scale products, like duvet covers, shower curtains, window curtains, area rugs, and blankets. I love the idea of bringing fine art from the traditional formats “on the wall” to a more lived-in everyday functional level, allowing art to become a staple in the home.
KI : How did you find Kess Inhouse?
EE : I think Kess InHouse found me, actually. It was quite a while ago, now, but I think I recall Sara reaching out to me about her interest in my work – and I was very happy to discuss all the possibilities of working with Kess!
KI : Would you recommend Kess Inhouse to other artists?
EE : Absolutely~ It’s been a great experience for me, partnering with Kess InHouse. And I think that any artist who takes their work seriously, and who is always aiming to reach the stars, constantly developing their style and artistic brand, would benefit from working with Kess.
Did you find Julia super talented? Did you have anymore questions for her? Please comment below to ask anymore questions about Julia.
If you are also interested in being a Kess artist please feel free to apply on our website.