ArtistCrush#1: Emily McDowell

I need to begin with apologies for the extended gap between posts. I’m still trying to get to grips with this Blogging thing. I swing between thinking it’s the best idea ever, creating a forum to share what inspires me and discuss new projects, tell stories and chat about (an edited version of) the shit in my head. And then berating myself for ever getting into it! It’s scary and exposing putting your thoughts out there, and I feel like I must be some kind of narcissist for thinking people would ever be interested in what I have to say! But after talking myself down from all the convincing myself of my own insanity I always come to this conclusion: I’m only at the beginning and the only way is up. I’m gonna stick at it, because quietly sneaking out the back door is far too easy. I really do want to talk about the cool stuff I’ve done, or wonderful person I’ve met, or beautiful treasure I’ve found in a skip!

I started a blog a few days ago about the first vibrations of Spring being upon us. Nice topic I guess, but it clearly didn’t feel right. I decided on a completely different angle. Today I really want to do my first Share/Recommendation/ArtistCrush Blog. I think I’d like to do more of them too, but today there was an obvious place to start.

About two years ago I discovered the most amazing Artist, Emily Mcdowell. Like where you would find many other clever types it was in a good old Frankie mag. It was an article about a series of empathy cards she had created for difficult situations such as serious illness and loss. Emily herself had been diagnosed with Cancer at only 24 years old and was therefore equipped with knowing exactly how it feels when people don’t know what to say in such a difficult and heartbreaking situation. The cards she had created were so beautifully worded, both sad and funny, with each quote somehow bringing a tiny little right to an almighty wrong.

When I went to find more of Emily’s work I found that she made greetings cards for all kinds of situations, usually slightly out of the ordinary situations (or perhaps a lot more ordinary than the mainstream greeting cards industry would have you think.) Parenting support cards, friendship cards, “just because” cards, and some hilarious valentines Day cards. They are all brilliant and on point, and from the day I found her she has been my go-to for every one of life’s card worthy events, which are now more frequent than before. Just because.

When I first knew of her it was difficult to get hold of her work. At first the only way I could buy any cards was by ordering in bulk directly from her Californian based business. Soon after, I discovered that a shop in Taupo stocked Emily McDowell and I ordered a bunch from there. All of a sudden I noticed her cards popping up in local gift and art shops. And by now I would be surprised if most people I know had not come across her stuff. But whether you have hear of Emily or not, I would love to share with you some of my favourites.

This was the first E. McDowell card I ever sent, it seemed so beyond perfect I could hardly believe it!


I received this one from my best friend in New Zealand when I was living back in London, it arrived at just the time when I needed it.



This one makes me laugh every time.


I know exactly who I’m giving this one to on her next birthday.


This is one of my absolute favourites. This can happen all too often and I salute Emily for recognizing it and making something to help heal it.


Perfect for new parents.



This is from Emily’s latest collection of empathy cards, I know my parents would have really appreciated getting this one last year.



This one is soooooooooo relevant to myself and so many of my friends!!!


This. Just perfect.


And I couldn’t not include these ones too, they’re just all so great!

And I’d like to say to Emily (if you were to ever magically read this), I may not know you, but thank you. Your cards rock.

To see all of Emily McDowell’s work check out her website

Images taken from

3 thoughts on “ArtistCrush#1: Emily McDowell”

  1. Having received a couple of her cards I can out myself as big fan too. Thanks for sharing her with a wider audience in your beautifully written blog xxx


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s