Social media sites have brought a host of problems into our world today, and too often, we tend to focus on these negatives. However, it has to be said that sites such as Instagram also have positive uses for young people; an outlet, a memory book, a form of communication- the list goes on.
And for Galway teenager, Emma Harris, Instagram is a means of showcasing her creative work. She draws and uploads interesting, quirky and downright crazy creatures of her own invention.
“I’ve been drawing as long as I can remember,” Emma says. “Since I was a kid, I’ve always had a bump on my ring finger from holding a pencil so much. I kind of stumbled upon pop-surrealism last year.”
On Instagram, Emma operates under the name ‘anemic_bedbug,’ a breed of creature she draws, paints and even sculpts in her work. As seen in the photo beneath, the anemic bedbug looks to be like a character from a Tim Burton style children’s story. Imagination and inspiration play equal roles in what she does.
“I love James Jean, Mark Ryden, Margaret Keane, art magazines like Beautiful Bizarre or High Fructose. Poetry, like James Tate too, his writing is so strange and surreal, it’s great for inspiration.”
Emma recently participated in an online drawing challenge commonly known as Drawtober or Drawlloween. For this, she drew a different spooky-themed piece of art everyday in October. Her Instagram flourished under this time, full of witches, clowns and ghouls, all with her trademark style and spin on it. At the end of the month, her portfolio of scary pictures proved formidable – but she was ‘pumped to get back to her paints.’
Some of Emma’s Drawlloween pieces.
She is currently making a deck of tarot cards. In these, she uses her own mythical creatures to represent the traditional emblems of the tarot, as seen in the below card, ‘The Lovers.’ Another thing she is working on is the creation of an Etsy shop, to sell her artwork from.
“I’m planning on getting a degree in art at second level, then ideally making a living out of it somehow. I’m interested in illustration so that might be something to pursue,” she explains.
Emma Harris’ artistic talent and flair will serve her well, no doubt, and she exists as a reminder to us, that the internet is not all evil. Sometimes, it’s just a means of sharing art.