Tour the Minimalist Melbourne Home of Artist Emma Currie
Welcome to The Makers. Each week, we’re celebrating innovators, artisans and crafters of all types, taking you on a private tour of their creative spaces. For this instalment, artist Emma Currie welcomes us into her home.
In her paintings, contemporary artist Emma Currie pays homage to the beauty and strength of the female form. Using vibrant, contrasting colour palettes (think soft creamy apricots and muted blue hues), Emma’s work combines fluid curves with rigid lines to convey the complexities of her forever muse.
Her work features prominently throughout her home in Melbourne, Australia, adding colour and charm to the airy, light-filled abode. In the bedroom, sunlight filters through sheer curtains, where the pièce de résistance is a self-created work that encapsulates the style she’s garnered a following for. There's linen, of course, and vintage conversation-starters here—a theme that continues in each room of the home.
Globe lights, pleated lampshades, limestone vases and stacks of art and design books are thoughtfully styled into the greenery-filled oasis. It's a pared-back, airy space and as with her work, Emma’s home resonates with meaning, with each piece telling a story and filling a purpose beyond its basic functionality.
Hi Emma! This series is called The Makers. What is it that you make?
I make paintings and illustrations that focus on the female form.
How does the act of “making” relate to your personality and who you are?
I’ve always had an innate desire to create things. I was encouraged to explore my creativity when I was young and have felt the pull to make art ever since. Whenever I go through periods where I’m not able to paint or draw, I feel like something is missing. I don’t feel like me when I’m not making.
When did you start creating art and painting? And what inspired you to go down this route with your career?
I studied fine art at uni, majoring in painting. At the time I focused on painting portraits and did a lot of life drawing. Afterwards, when I was making art just for the pleasure of the process, I experimented with abstract, bright shapes and geometric colour blocking. A few years ago I ended up combining the two styles and came to a way of making work that felt true to the themes I had been wanting to explore. I never really intended on making a career out of painting, but I got such an amazing response once I started sharing my work that I felt encouraged to keep going and it just snowballed from there!
Talk us through your creative process. Where do you start?
I start with a rough drawing of the figures and block in shapes in the body. I tend to continue the lines that I find in the forms through to the background to obscure the distinction between positive and negative space. I focus on making balanced and symmetrical designs and stick to a mostly limited colour palette which helps to create balance as well.
What’s been the single most crucial tool or strategy you’ve used to grow your creative business?
Instagram is basically the reason I have a business today. Although I try not to get caught up in it too much, it has definitely provided a platform to find an audience and I’m grateful for it.
What’s been the most challenging lesson learnt since you started your business?
I’ve had to learn to be strategic and organised with my time. I think that working as a creative can take a fair bit of sacrifice and hard work. For me it has often meant juggling a day job with many late nights and weekends spent painting. There have been a few burnouts along the way, but I’m starting to learn how to manage my time more effectively and make sure I’m prioritising self-care and downtime just as much as my work.
What’s been the best thing that’s happened to you since you started your business?
My confidence in myself and my ability to learn and evolve has grown a lot since I started my business. I never thought I could do what I’m doing now and I’m still learning every day. Starting this business has been my biggest teacher and has shown me what I’m capable of and also what I still need to work on.
Do you have a single piece of advice you’d give to your younger self/ someone looking to start their own business/ go out on their own?
Some advice I received recently is to remember that most things in life should be approached like a marathon and not a sprint. Keep chipping away at your goals. Prioritise, practice, plan, and don’t be surprised if you’re not successful straight away. Patience and determination are key.
Now, the home stuff. How long have you lived in your home?
About 3 months.
How did you initially know this was the space for you?
I was drawn to the big windows and the fact that its close to multiple parks. I’ve learnt that natural light and nature are both essential for my mental wellbeing.
Did you do any renovations or make any big changes after moving in?
We’re renting so, unfortunately, there’s a limit to what we can do. It’s not our forever home but we’ve tried to make the space our own as much as possible while we figure out our next move.
What was the thought process behind the way you’ve styled the interior?
I wanted to keep it clean and simple but still comfortable. I’ve always leaned towards a minimalist style and have purposely kept it light and airy to support relaxation as well as to inspire productivity.
What are your favourite pieces in the home?
I love our massive couch. Our last place was tiny and we could barely fit a two-seater so stretching out on our huge couch feels luxurious. I like to watch movies in my downtime so a big comfy L shaped sofa was a must.
Do you have any special décor pieces you’re looking to add?
This year I’d like to start supporting more local artists and makers so I’m keeping an eye out for paintings, drawings and objects to complement the space.
Which is your favourite room in the house?
The lounge room is where I unwind and spend time with my partner and our dogs after a big day. It’s my favourite room because it signifies time for myself.
Tell us about your bedroom.
Having good sleep hygiene is super important in order for me to function well so I’ve kept the room simple and uncluttered to allow for the best possible rest. I like to have soft colours in the bedroom and wake up to muted light coming through the curtains in the morning. It’s very dreamy and ethereal.
What are your top tips for a well-styled bedroom, and home generally?
I guess it’s all about understanding what you need from a space in order to thrive and then styling the room around that. For me, an uncluttered space means an uncluttered mind, so that’s why I’ve gone for a minimal approach.
Do you have any projects coming up you want to talk about?
At the moment I’m focused on working with clients on private commissions so I haven’t locked in any major projects or exhibitions for this half of the year, but I’m excited about a few collaborations in the mix for later on in the year. Watch this space!
Loved this home tour? Tour the Rustic Farmhouse-Style Home of Photographer Marnie Hawson