Meet Emily Ward, an artist based in North Shields...

‘Meet the Maker’ is back!

This is our way to help showcase our many Local Suppliers at The Sill Shop and let them say a little more about themselves and your favourite products brought to you straight from the creators themselves.

This time, meet Emily Ward! An artist based in North Shields creating a wide range of wonderous works! Find out more of what makes her stand out and the story behind each product.

Can you tell us what you make?

My art products are usually produced from original paintings that I have lovingly painted. Products include, framed hand finished ceramic tiles, signed and numbered limited edition prints, tiles with easels, framed prints, cushions, jigsaws, tea towels, bone china cups, keyrings, greeting cards, postcards, bookmarks and fridge magnets. We print and hand press all the tiles, cups, coasters, keyrings and fridge magnets in the studio in North Shields. All prints are printed locally in North Shields.

Where is your business based?

I have my art studio in North Shields, Tyne and Wear. We try to use local independent businesses wherever possible for example our frames for the prints are made in Byker.

What inspired you to become an artisan producer?

I have dedicated 25 years to teaching art in the community after graduating with a BA Hons in Art. I had previously enjoyed working in a Head of Art role empowering and teaching art to disadvantaged groups. I come from a family of artists and live and paint in the North East of England. Following my breast cancer diagnosis in 2010, I returned to painting to help me focus on my recovery. It was a long recovery and with three little children, I rediscovered my passion for painting which helped overturn my fears and anxieties and inspired me to create my business Emily Ward Art.

Can you describe how you started the business?

Whilst I was a patient on the chemotherapy ward, I met with the Rake Lane consultation team, nursing staff and some patients to talk about my artwork. I was asked by the trust to commission an inspiring painting to display in the Oncology department to provide a ray of hope. Emily Ward Art began there….

Can you describe your creative process when developing new products?

I love looking, researching and tinkering with new ideas of themes, landscapes and areas to paint. I spend a lot of time visualizing how my artwork will look on gift products and always ask for feedback from regular customers, friends and families.

What sets your products apart from others in the market?

Emily Ward Art products are uniquely made from original artwork and prepared locally. I hand finish all the canvas prints and framed ceramic tiles, so no two products are the same. And of course, my style is very distinctive, bright colours and lots of splashes.

Can you describe your typical day?

My day usually starts with a cup of tea whilst I go through the many emails, we receive from both the public and trade. I will chat with my team with regards to all the orders, purchasing and admin work that needs doing. I like to make sure all the social media posts are scheduled. I’ll get into my creative mode and spend a couple of hours painting. This could be commissions that customers have requested to new ideas and artwork. specifically requested for a bespoke image for a trade shop. In the afternoon I tend to try and call a lot of the retail outlets we supply to touch base with them. Visitors are always welcome in my studio, so it is nice to show my work off to the many visitors we get. I can spend a lot of time planning for upcoming events and fairs. I love that no two days are the same.

What are the key values that guide your work?

My vision is to share my vast experience and love of art to bring affordable, accessible art suited to most price brackets and taste.

I want everyone to have a splash of colour in their lives and make art that makes you smile.

Emily Ward art tries to support local businesses where I can, we try and recycle all the packaging that we receive with our deliveries and use sustainable sourced products where we can.

How do you market and promote your products?

We tend to market new products through social media, public fairs and trade shows.

Where is your favourite place in Northumberland National Park and why?

My favourite place in Northumberland National Park is Sycamore Gap. I use the Sycamore gap as inspiration for my paintings and have painted the famous tree throughout the seasons.

Has her story interested you or maybe you’d like to see more? You can find out more about Emily Ward and her works on her website here or find her prints in The Sill Shop.