“art. therapy.”


Oh boy. The work of Brooklyn based artist Emily Barletta blows my mind, and has for years! She is a very talented woman, with an incredible story that I really want to share. Emily was diagnosed with a rare spinal disease when she was in her early teens, and was in a huge amount of pain for years – both because of her back, and because of the bullying she experienced. We’re talking about alllll of that today, but I will slip in a spoiler – yes, she used art to push herself through to the other side. She’s incredibly inspiring, just like her work. If you are a teenager, or if you have a teenager, I think this is a really important episode. You can listen right up there under that insanely beautiful embroidered mound, or you can subscribe on iTunes.

Alright, let’s take a peek at the work we talked about. Here are some of Emily’s crochet pieces from a few years ago {this is the work I discovered her through}:


That first piece is “Pelt” which we mentioned. Isn’t it all so amazing? Art and science falling madly in love!

And then one day she decided to embroider on paper. Excellent decision, Emily:


So beautiful! Still mainly red, still mainly hump-like. And her work continued to evolve from there. Brace yourself because these are crazy amazing:


Whoa. I wish I could show you how stunning these are in person. Yes, the photos are lovely, but in person, my goodness! I happen to know this because out of nowhere, Emily sent this to my house:


Oh. I love it so much! She mentioned how crazy the back of her work is so I took a photo so you could see. And that final image is the pin she has for sale in her shop that totally reminds me of my gorgeous piece [pause in writing] Ok, I just popped over there and got one! YAY!

And finally, her latest work. She talked about “drawn white lines”… they’re kinda drawn, but then embroidered around leaving her lines as un-embroidered negative space. Here are a few final pieces, closeups, and in-progress pieces so you can see her process in action:


Stun. Ning.

And finally, Emily herself! Here she is with a brand new pixie cut, working on her couch {probably watching bad TV as she creates}, with one of her two tiny pooches by her side, and her “block blanket” behind her. The “block blanket” is one of the most brilliant things I’ve ever heard of! Whenever she was stuck/not feeling it when working on something, she’d take a break and go crochet a few rows of this giant, colorful blanket until she worked her way through the block. LOVE. I may have to take up crochet just for that!


Thank you so much to Emily for sharing her story. I added a little bit of our “post-interview” conversation in there because she talked about the bullying she suffered through in high school, and the fantastic way she handled it – I just had to share. I know there are teenagers out there who feel alone, but just know that it does get better. Emily is proof.

Thanks to Saatchi Art for supporting this episode, and thanks to you for listening {high fives to everyone who has left a rating or review over on iTunes… I appreciate those so much!} There will be more art for your ear next weekend.

Other links:

  1. Stumpkins {My craft obsession as a kid}
  2. John Cage’s “Some Rules for Students and Teachers”
  3. True Blood {TV show}
  4. “Mind Over Matter” {Emily’s upcoming show in Florida}
  5. ps. sorry for all of the chip talk – I must have been hungry!


comments (30)

  1. Sabine S. from Germany /// 07.30.2016 /// 2:43am

    Thank u so much for sharing – I love her work for a long time. Too bad for not having an iphone 🙁
    many ♡ ly greetings sent by
    Sabine from WO(rms) in Germany

  2. roza /// 07.30.2016 /// 8:18am

    Finally! A show that’s not on the west coast AND is in driving distance in Florida. Looking forward to seeing Emily’s work in person this Fall in St Petersburg.

    Love the podcast. Now can’t read your website without hearing your voice in my head. : )

  3. Rachel Linnemeier /// 07.30.2016 /// 4:27pm

    Another great episode! And you are not crazy about the movie thing Danielle! I am also always reminded of what I was watching/listening to when I look back at my work! <3

  4. the jealous curator /// 07.30.2016 /// 11:51pm

    oh thank goodness… i thought i was the only one! ; )

  5. Pippa /// 07.31.2016 /// 12:16am

    This is the 4th episode I’ve listened to and I’m obsessed!! Emily sounds like such a sweetie! Also would like to add that I do the movie thing too Danielle. Like, down to the specific parts of the painting reminding me of the corresponding parts of the movie I’m watching at that moment. Can’t wait to listen to the rest of the 55+ episodes!

  6. Julie /// 07.31.2016 /// 8:32am

    Emilys stunning work… I love the close-up detail!
    and OMG My name is Julie and I am a potato chips addict!!
    And YOU completely got us hooked on The Americans. We are up to season 3 and find it so hard to watch only one episode at a time! x

  7. the jealous curator /// 07.31.2016 /// 8:48am

    haha! chips and the americans… my work here is done ; )

  8. Julie /// 07.31.2016 /// 9:03am


  9. Shannon /// 08.01.2016 /// 9:02am

    A really great and informal interview. Thank you for sharing and helping to profile one of my favourite artists! ❤️

  10. Cecile Vidican /// 08.01.2016 /// 11:03am

    There are two of us Danielle… Every piece I make will remind me of the show I watched while making it!

  11. leigh hannan /// 08.01.2016 /// 11:12am

    while listening to this podcast I was working on a tree skeleton, and forever more, when I look at that skelly, I will be reminded of what I heard in this podcast 🙂

  12. Lina Mullins /// 08.01.2016 /// 11:43am

    What beautiful work. Simply amazing. I really enjoyed this podcast. Bravo!

  13. the jealous curator /// 08.01.2016 /// 10:16pm

    thanks lina – i loved it too! so happy to have emily share her story : ) … and that’s good to know, leigh… i was beginning to feel crazy!

  14. Pattern Pulp - Friday Quick Links! /// 08.05.2016 /// 2:01pm

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  15. Joann Tomsche /// 08.05.2016 /// 2:46pm

    The stitching and color palettes are so gorgeous. The piece Emily sent to you is amazing! I find myself wondering what size these wonderful lovelies are….
    Listen to the podcast OFTEN while working in the studio. Such a great connection to the big world out there even while I’m pleasantly isolated in my studio.

  16. Melissa Arendt /// 08.07.2016 /// 10:30am

    You aren’t crazy Danielle! I had a whole series that was created while listening to David Bowie and now that’s what the series reminds me of. I even named each piece after a Bowie song, even though the series had NOTHING to do with the glam rock god.

    Great episode by the way.

  17. val lord /// 08.09.2016 /// 3:59pm

    LOVE this interview and Emily’s work. Would you be willing to share the materials used? I’m always looking for new and better fibers. What type of needle is best for working with watercolor paper? I’ve used needle tool in the past for something similar and didn’t love it.

  18. Suzan Shutan /// 08.13.2016 /// 3:51am

    Congrats Emily such amazing and inspiring work!!

  19. Katie Wells /// 08.14.2016 /// 11:46am

    Ok first of all I would like to say that you are not the only one who looks back at your artwork and is reminded of the things you were watching or listening to… I often listen to audio books while I embroider, and when I look back at my work, certain colours or textures remind me of characters or places in the books, so I’m completely with you there!

    Secondly, amazing podcast! Emily is such an incredible artist, I was lucky enough to speak to her recently and feature her on my blog, and she really is inspiring. I enjoyed getting to know a bit more about her during this podcast.

    Thanks for sharing!

    The Fiber Studio

  20. Virginia Romo /// 08.17.2016 /// 7:31am

    I was listening to this while eating chips! Excellent interview again. Thanks.

  21. the jealous curator /// 08.17.2016 /// 7:38am

    haha! YAY!

  22. “cheesiness aside, art gave me purpose” | Beholdamerica the blog /// 08.27.2016 /// 10:06pm

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  25. edie Omlie /// 01.03.2017 /// 4:34pm

    I love the “Pelt” my personal favorite of Emily’s work. The sewn paper work is full of movement and fluidity, light and airy. I enjoy the vibrant colors, positive and negative space shown in “Drawn White Lines.”

    Titles…yes the title situation….it’s hard to title a feeling, the momentum and the final conclusion of any piece. Art is an (artist’s) expression, what one feels at that moment…I think the viewer can feel a personal “title” That is all that is needed.
    I love Emily’s work.

  26. zeynab /// 02.09.2017 /// 10:54pm

    I love your stitches

  27. Lenoir Benedicte /// 03.17.2017 /// 4:58pm

    Bravo, votre travail est magnifique !!!!!

  28. Dani tambour /// 03.18.2017 /// 1:41am

    Bravo !
    C’est un superbe travail.
    Bon week-end !

  29. Vivien /// 03.08.2019 /// 10:11am

    OMG, I ADORED this conversation!! Just finished listening….it was another one of your podcasts where I felt like I was in the room with you guys. I always listen in the car, and I’m laughing out loud while I’m driving. Anyways, damn you’re both good!! Many thanks.

  30. the jealous curator /// 03.08.2019 /// 8:39pm

    thank YOU for listening (and laughing!) 😉

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