San Francisco, California

What would best describe your vibe?


I am drawn to minimal, clean and bright imagery. I am also really intrigued by imagery that instills a thirst for adventure, inspiration to create, or a curiosity/mystery behind it’s meaning/conception. If my imagery can create any of those vibes I’m happy with it.


What is your online and offline go-to place for inspiration?


I look at Instagram for fashion, style, and photo inspiration. For off-line, I am a painter and my inspiration comes from art books, seeing shows, and reading. Also cinema, there is so much to be said for the power of film.


Where is your home away from home?


I feel at home in my relationships. Friendships, and family are home. No matter where you go or how very very foreign a place may seem, I always find great comfort in the company of others.


What is your next destination?


Austin! Only for a few days though, I am actually going on a trip with some friends to celebrate my birthday.


“There is a meditative quality to the repetition of waves crashing and the sound they make. The fog adds a dream-like mystery that makes me feel all kinds of magic inside."

Describe your favorite view.


The ocean on a foggy day. It’s a view I grew up with and it’s something that has always given me great peace and satisfaction. There is a meditative quality to the repetition of waves crashing and the sound they make. The fog adds a dream-like mystery that makes me feel all kinds of magic inside. It’s fresh, and relaxing.


Travel ritual?


Lack of research. I know that sounds really really crazy and like horrible advice, but the worst thing to take with you when you travel is expectation. Part of the joy I get from travel comes from seeing things with virgin eyes. The more you see the harder it is to have that experience, but not knowing what to expect when traveling really helps. This also requires a great deal of patience and tolerance for uncertainty, but if you can master that, the reward of surprise is totally worth it. I’m all about a same day plan. Although I will say, recommendations are everything, so receive them with a smile.


Do you paint to travel or travel to paint?


Both actually. I fund my travel through the sale of my work, however the majority of the travel that I do is with the purpose of making work, often times at artist residencies. Travel provides a unique shift in perspective. Painting, as is true in most art forms, is a game of problem solving, how do I tackle this canvas? What do I make and how? Sometimes (most always) a shift in routine, atmosphere, and perspective can be the perfect solution to a block in creativity.


Painter. Maker. Picture Taker. This Californian artist has inspired us to appreciate beauty in unusual places. While often times we look to sand and sun for inspiration and retreat, Emma Fineman has shown us that a cloudy day is just as a special as a sunny one. Emma is based in Oakland but constantly travels for artist residencies to places such as Turkey, Sicily, and Iceland.

Browse more Instagram Highlights


By Published on Jul 13 2015