Emily Kirby produces bold, expressive figurative and wildlife paintings. She is based in London and will be showing her work at the Brighton Art Fair in September.
What was your journey to becoming an artist? I was born into a family of artists in Zambia. It was such an inspiring starting point in life. I spent a year travelling and painting in the horn of Africa in 2009 and have been painting full time ever since.
Is being an artist your only job?
Yes, I only paint.
One favourite living artist? Maggie Hambling. She's brave and passionate and the energy behind her work is incredible
One favourite historical artist?
Picasso. He embodied his work. It was raw and honest. He opened up the art world for people like me.
If you could collaborate with anyone living or dead, who would it be and what would you do?
Maybe Marlene Dumas, I'd love to work on a portrait with her.
Who is your style icon?Nearly all Japanese women, they always look simple but incredibly beautiful
Last book / film that blew your mind?A documentary film on war photographer Don McCullin
Last gig you went to?
How many hours do you waste on the internet each day?
At least one, self promotion and research is really important but I often get side-tracked
If you could live anywhere, where would it be and why?
Ibiza but on the other side of the island to the party scene. It's quite, stunning and extremely magical.
Where and what is your studio?My studio is in a shared converted little warehouse in East London.
Do you have a good work/life balance?Very good, life in London is very stimulating I do long hours in the studio but enjoy myself a lot when I finish a good days painting.
What one word would describe your feeling of doing your work?Energetic
What would your dream commission be? To do a large scale painting for the National Gallery in Lusaka, Zambia's capital
If you could exhibit in any gallery in the world which would it be?
Everard Read Gallery in Johannesburg