Emerson Quillin grew up in a small town in the southwestern part of Indiana called Bloomfield. He found out early in his teens that he could do three things well: shoot pool at Elmer Pool Room, hit an accurate 20-foot jump shot and doodle with the best of them. He doodled his way through Bloomfield High School. The doodling became his penchant and he perfected a very casual style of art that he still maintains today.
Upon graduation from Bloomfield High, Emerson entered Indiana State University and majored in art and design. He then enrolled in the Rhode Island School of Design where he obtained a Master Degree in textile design, specializing in screen-printing. While at the Rhode Island School of Design he was awarded a graduate assistantship. Graduating with honors, Emerson spent his next three years as Creative Director for Champion Products of Rochester, NY, who at the time was the world’s largest imprinted apparel company.
His roots in the Midwest were still very strong so he sought a position as Creative Director for Velva Sheen Sportswear of Cincinnati, Ohio. He was involved in sportswear design, new imprint design concepts, and developed the now famous Quillin Script. He took a leave of absence to attend two Illustrator Workshops in Paris, France and Dublin, Ireland. The workshops provided Emerson with innovative design concepts that not only helped to develop new techniques for Velva Sheen but also helped him perfect his own unique style of illustration.
Emerson’s penchant for doodling now manifested itself by compelling Emerson to draw and doodle every spare chance he had. He spent his idle hours drawing and re-drawing characters and ideas, many of which he acquired from the patrons of his mother’s beauty salon. In fact, the "Listen Honey" character is a composite of many of the regular patrons who frequented his mother’s shop. Emerson’s droll sense of humor and his inquisitive mind generate a sense of humor in many situations as documented by his work.
He became serious about his cartoon work and soon was able to license his illustrations for t-shirts, mugs, calendars, greeting cards, etc. The former editor of the Cincinnati Post, Paul Knue, wrote: "Here was a local cartoonist whose stuff clearly was popular, yet wasn’t cartooning on a regular basis."This all changed when on November 12, 1984 the Cincinnati Post published the first "Listen Honey" cartoon. The cartoon still appears in the Post six days a week and has been published in 3 books, one distributed in Europe.
In 1998, Emerson exhibited at a one-man show on Martha’s Vineyard in the Court at Fourway and was a rousing success. His work is now exhibited in both private and public collections all over the island. He works daily at his studio creating ideas for his newest business venture, Emerson Street, a multi faceted product line of merchandise for resorts and gift shops. Through Emerson Street, Emerson will be renewing his licensing endeavors as well as developing a theme store concept, creating an advertising campaign for a major brand, and developing new artwork for other projects.
View Emerson's website at: Emerson's Humor.com
To order: A limited selection of prints may be procured by contacting The Framery. First caller gets first right of refusal. Please make inquiries by phone 513.871.9393 or fax 513.871.7373. Note gallery hours: Tues-Sat 10-5. Subject and date of publication will expedite the process.
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