What does your alternate universe look like? For Digital Artist Emma Rodriguez (founder of Mooncrab), her’s is a world where outer space, the animal kingdom and tropical scenes collide to create bold and vibrant images, that can also be enjoyed as clothing, album artwork and on phone cases. Emma shares how her work has helped people through difficult times with it’s sense of escapism; and how she raised funds to aid the Australian bushfires with her art piece ‘AUSTRALIA’.
My art is about transporting people to another place
I am intrigued by your name “Mooncrab’ – what is the meaning behind this?
My brand is actually named after the animal of the same name. I think they are beautiful creatures. A lot of people think my name is astrology based and ask me If I’m a Cancer (I’m actually a Pisces!), but the name has little to do with it.
You studied drawing and print- making at University, what do you enjoy most about collage?
I enjoyed collage because for me it was an easy way to create worlds I had in my head, unfortunately my tutors at Uni weren’t that big on the idea so I had to create that through other means such as 3D rendering etc.
Your work portrays escapist and surrealist scenes, if you were to travel to an alternate universe what would it look, feel, taste, smell and sound like?
I think it would look like Venice…but in space. But somehow still be warm and sunny. It would smell like tea tree oil (I find it very relaxing).
What is your process for creating new work and how do you like to work?
I usually work on my days off from my full time job. I feel much more in the mood to create when the sun is shining through my living room window and I can hear the birds singing, I don’t often listen to music when I make work. There isn’t really much of a process either, when I’m sourcing image I usually just see something I like and then imagine and build around it. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesnt.
Are there particular parts of the world that inspire your work?
Anywhere tropical. Big banana leaves and palm trees.
What message would you like viewers to receive from your art?
My art is about transporting people to another place. Somewhere to escape from the everyday life. I’ve had messages from people telling me that my art has helped them through low times in their lives and that is beautiful and means so much to me.
THE CALM BEFORE THE STORM
Your art looks beautiful on products, when did you decide to launch this as a business?
I never really intended for it to become a business. I started posting work for fun on my instagram, and just sort of used it as somewhere to share what I was making. Then I had loads of people message me asking if they could buy my art, or if I could make something for their cover art, or If i was going to sell my art on T-Shirts. I never expected any kind of commercial demand from it. If people liked my work that much then I wanted to make it available to them and that’s how I started my own website.
Can you share with us a story behind one or two pieces of your work?
I created the piece called AUSTRALIA because I was so moved by what was happening in the bush fires over there. It really upset me and I wanted to use the platform I had on Instagram to somehow contribute something. I made it available as a digital download for people to download for a £1. All the proceeds were donated to The Koala Hospital in Port Macquarie.
What are your hopes and dreams for the future with your art …
It would be a dream one day to become a full time artist. Although I am quite happy where I am with it now. I never expected it to come this far and I am grateful for that and for the support I have had.
To view more of Emma’s (Mooncrab) work: