Emily Spikes is a painter born, raised, and working in Lafayette, Louisiana. Her work is influenced primarily by the sights, sounds, and traditions of Louisiana culture. Her biggest goal with her work is to remind the viewer that even the most simple elements of our culture are filled with beauty and intrigue.
She spends most days creating new paintings in her home studio and documenting the process on social media. Some of her special projects include 30 original paintings commissioned for Children’s Hospital in New Orleans, as well as a children’s book, “Rise and Shine, Sweet Child,” by local author Taylor Curry. You can find all of her paintings on her website or at various locations around town.
Who makes up your art circle?
Any and everyone in my life! I have the most incredible support system of both family and friends; my parents have encouraged me to make art since I was a child and have always fully supported all of my artistic endeavors. My husband is my #1 fan and cheerleader, always giving me words of encouragement and endless inspiration. My fellow BARE Walls artists and other local artists I’ve met in the community are a great source of inspiration and guidance. I’d also say that the Lafayette community as a whole with its unique sense of culture and identity is an integral part of my art circle, because it inspires such a great portion of my work!
How do you expand your art circle?
Working on expanding my art circle is actually one of the things I struggle with the most; as an introvert by nature, I tend to shy away from striking up conversations with new people, especially those whose work I admire. I’m also primarily self-taught so I get incredibly self-conscious talking about the more technical aspects of making art. I will say, social media has made a world of a difference for me in this regard as it allows me to observe and interact with other artists in a less nerve-racking way.
What value do you see in having a creative community?
What’s that cheesy saying? “The Earth without Art is just Eh.” I’d say that about sums it up. I think a lot of people tend to overlook or underestimate the importance of art, when in reality art is everywhere, so I think it’s vital that artists have a space to meet and grow and learn from one another.
How does your artistic approach contribute to your community?
So much of my art- especially my work in the last year or so- has been a way to showcase the beauty of South Louisiana; we are so lucky to live in a place with its own unique culture! The most simple, everyday things to us can be exotic and interesting to other people from other places. I think it’s easy to take the Cajun culture for granted, especially if it’s all you know, but hopefully through my work I can reframe these simple little things to showcase the unique beauty of our community!