We had the good fortune of connecting with Emily McGuiness and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Emily, what role has risk played in your life or career?
I feel like I have always managed risk in a responsible way. I still have the urge to “see what happens” but my upbringing has tempered that impulse with practicality. I know how much risk I’m willing to tolerate and I do spool out all of the consequences of my actions, when I want to take a big risk. That doesn’t mean I’m not ready to take huge risks, like moving to Ireland for a year, self publishing a graphic novel, or early in my career – labeling myself a producer and hitting the streets of NYC. The reward can be great, or it can be a failure. You have to be at peace with both outcomes and treat yourself lovingly no matter the result. I see risk as a way to push my career forward. We would all sit still if we didn’t take chances outside our current ability. That extends to our lives and how we love as well. We take a risk every time we’re vulnerable with another human.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I’m most proud of my latest coloring book (inspired by my dog Leg), a companion to the graphic novel my husband and I are producing. I love producing silly, interactive work that people can enjoy. My creative efforts always works in tandem with my other jobs in post production. It was not easy to find a singular path that still paid the bills and yet gave me the time and money to pursue my passion projects. I overcame these roadblock by trying a little bit of everything. I tried to never say ‘no’ and learn from every experience, even those I feel I failed at. I still try to see everything as a learning experience, even the most painful lessons. I try to find meaning in small accomplishments and let the things that are not useful to me go. I would like everyone to know that there is still good storytelling out there, especially in niche genres. The internet has democratized access to creators like me who have something cool to say, but we don’t have the giant amplification platform more established brands do. Take some time to search out cool things. There are jewels waiting for you to discover!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I think Food Halls are a great place to start in any city. They show you what the city thinks of itself. So I would start our week at Grand Central Market where you can also see the historic trolley car – Angels Flight Railway – right outside. From there you can actually take LA’s subway. The train system is not nearly as famous, or popular as New York’s but it’s still an interesting way to see the city. It can take you all the way to Santa Monica and the beach where you can walk for miles on the paths next to the ocean. There are many hotels with rooftop bars that look out over the water. If they ever open soon, this is a great way to watch the sunset. LA also has too many cool neighborhoods to pass up. From Sunset Junction to Eagle Rock to Los Feliz. There are great shops, places to eat, grab a coffee, meet other artist, grab a comic book. Hopefully it’s all open and thriving again. No trip would be complete without going to Masa of Echo Park Bakery & Cafe. Bring your eating pants and your patience for their deep dish pizza. Finish it if you can, or be sure to invite your new artist friends!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Artist Lisa Brugger has been my inspiration and fellow life walker for over 10 years.
All artwork by Emily McGuiness and Pablo Ayala