Join us in this insightful interview as we delve into the world of Emily Cate Sabree, a talented artist known for her contemporary realism-meets-vibrant pop art style. Emily's path as an artist has been one of discovery and embracing her passion for creating. From initially resisting the call to pursue art professionally to fully immersing herself in the art world, Emily's journey has been filled with growth, challenges, and milestones.

In this interview, Emily shares valuable insights into her artistic process, the influences that shape her work, and the profound moments that have had a lasting impact on her career.

Emily Cate Sabree

Can you tell us about your journey as an artist and how you discovered your passion for art?

I resisted the call to become a professional artist from a young age. Instead, I pursued a degree in museum studies and worked in museums while continuing my education. It wasn't until my early thirties, after having children, that I fully embraced art. I started painting small studies on my dining table and sold them locally. Moving to New York City with my family in 2017 was a turning point, as I finally allowed myself to fully commit to art.

How would you describe your style, and what influences or inspirations have shaped your work?

My style can be described as contemporary realism meets vibrant pop art. I studied figurative oil painting with Sharon Sprung at the Art Students League of New York, and her teachings greatly influenced my approach. She emphasized capturing the atmosphere and essence of real life, rather than mechanically reproducing a photograph. I aim for realistic renderings while also enhancing colors and adding a pop-art quality to my work. It's a delicate balance that I strive to achieve.

Emily Cate Sabree

What challenges have you encountered throughout your art practice, and how have you overcome them?

The biggest challenge I faced was breaking through internal resistance and fully embracing my artistic calling. Time, money, and space limitations are always present but can be overcome with conviction. Doubt and impatience have also been challenging, especially this year. To overcome these obstacles, I learned to embrace the slowness of working towards big goals, track my progress, and implement systems for managing administrative tasks and studio time. Creating a dedicated studio space also improved my work and overall well-being.

Can you share a memorable moment or experience that had a significant impact on your career as an artist?

Attending the Art Students League of New York accelerated my growth as an artist and expanded my network. Despite my initial inexperience, the feedback and critiques from seasoned artists and instructors were invaluable. Sharon Sprung's critique during my first class was both constructive and encouraging, igniting my determination to improve. The experience made me believe that progress was possible if I persevered.

Emily Cate Sabree

How do you approach the creative process? Could you walk us through the steps you take from idea generation to the final artwork?

My creative process begins with a question or idea, often arising at unexpected times. I maintain a list of concepts on my phone, which I refer to when starting a new painting or seeking inspiration. Daily writing helps keep my ideas focused. For example, my series on deflated balloons stemmed from feelings of parental burnout. I paint in the morning and early afternoon, building layers of paint over time. Multiple works in progress are always present in my studio, allowing each piece to develop naturally.

Have there been any significant milestones or achievements in your artistic career that you are particularly proud of? Please elaborate.

A turning point in my art career was when Treat Gallery invited me to show with them at the Affordable Art Fair last spring. I had long admired Treat Gallery, and I believed my work would resonate with their collectors. However, before taking the Artist Navigation Course, I didn't know how to approach a gallery. I finally caught their attention when I participated in their open call. It was incredibly rewarding to exhibit and sell my work alongside Treat Gallery at the Metropolitan Pavilion, surrounded by so many talented artists and gallerists.

I am also proud of completing my first artist residency and curating my initial exhibition. Engaging in a residency in my home state allowed me to reconnect with my roots and forge a path forward that feels genuine and uniquely my own. Curating my first open call has provided me with a platform to connect with and support other artists while showcasing their work. This year has brought many "firsts," and I take pride in my courage to work hard and figure things out as I go.

Emily Cate Sabree

What advice would you give to aspiring artists who are just starting their artistic journey? Are there any lessons you've learned along the way that you would like to share?

In the beginning, nothing is precious. Create a lot of work. Most of it might not meet your expectations, and that's okay. When you finally produce something objectively good, you might feel the urge to showcase it and say, "LOOK AT ME! I am good!" Celebrate your achievements, but don't stop and settle there. I encourage you not to let the good hinder the pursuit of greatness. Once you realize you can be a good artist, strive to be great. It's alright to wander down the wrong path for a while as long as you find your way back to the right one. Understanding what you don't want is just as important as knowing what you do want. Explore different materials, play, learn, seek classes and community. Don't take yourself so seriously that it stops being fun. In your daily artistic practice, just start. Make mistakes and learn from them. Don't hold yourself back. Be unapologetically yourself.

Emily Cate Sabree

What was your favorite part of the Artist Navigation Course? What was valuable to you?

I appreciated the concrete advice and actionable steps provided in each module of the course. The weekly structure enabled me to set realistic goals and remain accountable for my work in progress. The pace of the course complemented my other weekly and monthly tasks effectively. The diverse group of artists in my cohort inspired and encouraged me. Hearing about the experiences, doubts, successes, and failures of other emerging artists was invaluable. I learned something new every week. I must admit that I took the course twice, and I enjoyed it both times!

After completing the Artist Navigation Course, I felt inspired to set larger goals and explore new avenues to develop my art career. When examining the broader art world landscape, I discovered various income streams. With my focus on creating and exhibiting art, I decided to venture into guest curating. I'm excited to share that I will be curating two group shows with NYC area galleries this year while continuing to paint every day and work on my solo show gallery proposal.

Please share your website and social media handles.

Website: www.emilycatesabree.comInstagram: