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I have always found that animals provide an interesting variety of shapes, silhouettes, textures, and colors. We may see people every day, but it’s rare that we see tigers or bears. Nature provides an excellent vehicle for me to use in stretching my color palette, implementing patterns, and using a variety of mark-making in my work. My favorite animals to draw are the ones that I create myself. I have a lot of fun inventing creatures that make you scratch your head.

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Emma Cortellessa is an illustrator and designer from South Philadelphia, only about 20 miles south of where she grew up in Norristown, Pennsylvania. Her work focuses on stretching the bounds of nature by playing with color, texture, and form. By utilizing chaotic elements, Cortellessa enjoys injecting humor into her pieces. Although she pulls inspiration from reality, her favorite scenes to create are those that cannot exist in the natural world. While her work focuses on absurdity, Cortellessa also loves children's books and illustration, citing Tomi Ungerer and Jon Klassen as two of her influences. She received her BFA in Illustration at Moore College of Art & Design in May 2020.

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