Emily Whittemore’s kaleidoscopic palette of colors are orchestrated with fine-tuned chaos. From Twitter to canvas, the Houston born artist – also known as Lil Escher, Sexy Tonya, and Cool Hero Person (to me, anyway) – is a voice that reverberates with knowledge, talent, and a barbed knack for words. Even though my website’s interface needs a makeover and I cant afford it, Whittemore took time to field questions on topics ranging from Michael J. Hudson to Michael J. Hudson in this exclusive interview.
ROB PATRICK: Your tweets not only have a sense of vulnerability and confidence, but they are also crosshatched with acerbic, carefree wit. They are v good. What’s something you look for in a good tweet?
EMILY WHITTEMORE: First of all, thank you! Tweets are universally terrible and so lame always all the time. The fact they’re called tweets really pisses me off. Why am I even participating in this bullshit? Anyway a good tweet for me is usually like, say, a Michael J. Hudson tweet…one that comes from a place of deep resentment or is worded cleverly or like “ahhh yeah dats so me lmao” or like, a picture of someone really feeling themself so they air it online. I like seeing meltdowns on my timeline so I have a lot of meltdowns.
Is “weird twitter” still a thing? And if it is a thing, is it more of a brand than a style at this point? Is this question boring?
Weird twitter is still fucking dead & can’t be stopped! I’m not really weird twitter though. I’m not usually included on those lists? But Michael J. Hudson is? Ok
From Ezra Koenig to Michael J Hudson, you have a lot of impressive celebrity followers. Does that give you a sense of added consequence when you tweet? I have, like, ten followers so I could live tweet “On Golden Pond” and nobody would even be there to unfollow me.
Ok neither of those dudes are more famous than me but, ok. I’ll always remember the day Michael J. Hudson followed me on twitter. What a whirlwind! I was like, oh my god!!! Star of Back at The Future Michael J. Hudson followed me on twitter! That’s so awesome! I’m gonna fucking die! I love my life!! Fuck yes!! Dude! So then when Ezra Koenig followed me it was pretty much no big deal & I just checked right now and yes! He still follows me even though I tweet nothing but libel about his mother so..excellent.. I can still list him as a reference on job applications.
You are an artist that works in many mediums. When did you start painting, and which of your works do you feel most emotionally connected to?
I’ve been drawing since before I could write or talk shit so as a child, painting was just like drawing to me only wetter. My vested interest in it started around age 8 or 9 — that’s when I started painting with fancy acrylic paints on canvas. Then I got into even harder when I was 14 or 15 and I began selling my work. The painting of my grandfather is very emotional to me because I painted it for my father after my grandpa died & it made him cry so I could never sell it. Everything else is totally for sale though $$$$
What’s going on with the ol’ leg cam? I’m looking forward to not explaining this when the interview goes live.
Leg cam is for the fans, baby. They wanna see the legs. Sure I paint, but my legs are the real money makers. The rest of my body is garbage, but my legs baaaaaank.
What’s your favorite movie, and how has it affected you as an artist? No cheating.
Ok my favorite movie is The Opposite Sex or Zoolander. Both of these movies…ya girl loves em. Can’t help it. People say these movies suck even though they’re actually tite, which is probably how my paintings will be received once I get the recognition I deserve. I suck too. Fuck it.
Take me through your process of creating “Champagne Puppy” because it is beautiful.
I went to LA in April to visit the school I’m attending this fall. I planned on staying with Demi the whole time I was there, and to thank him I decided to repay him with a painting. Because it was for Demi, I wanted it to be great. So I painted Drake with a puppy to flex on the whole city and I get it real wet for me for when I return. Fuck it.
If a basketball card company commissioned you to illustrate a set of James Harden cards, what would be three poses that you would present him in?
a) James Harden holding Drake like a puppy b) James Harden dunking the biscuit ball 3) James Harden shaking hands with fellow celeb, Michael J. Hudson
If someone, newly introduced to your work, wants to buy something from you how would they go about it?
You can buy my work by looking at my website emilywhittemoreart.tumblr.com & emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org. It’s uhhhhh easier if you live in Houston because I haven’t 100% figured out the postal system but I’m working on it & I’m desperate for money so I’ll be learning real quick if you tryna buy (100 emoji).
Do you often listen to music while your work on your art? And if you do, what song or album speaks to you the most?
I like to listen to Kanye when I paint because it makes me be like “yaaaaah I’m the best at painting the whole rest of the world can suck my painty dick” or Erykah Badu because she soothes me. I don’t exclusively listen to just them, sometimes I’m happy just to listen to the sound of myself talking to my other self.
What’s good Twitter etiquette to you, and why are people bad at it?
Good twitter etiquette is pretty much keeping bullshit out of mentions. Like I tweet something factual like “i’m hot” ..don’t reply saying I’m not. Who are you? Why you saying that? Just kidding I don’t care. Oh you wouldn’t fuck me? Join the hoards of men I have dated who are sexually dissatisfied with me. Only RT if you agree.
If a band you hated made a concept album about your life, what band would it be? And you cant say The Sea and Cake because Julie Klausner already gave me that answer.
Don’t worry Julie Klausner…. I have no idea who that is.? Anyway. It would probably be Taylor Swift and band. I don’t care for her at all/she is boring to me/her music is boring to me/she sucks/whatever. She could probably write a decent album about my meteoric rise and fall, but I wouldn’t listen to it. People would play it around me & I wouldn’t complain because I don’t want anyone to think I’m a beeyotch, but as soon as they left the room I would put something else on. Fuck Taylor Swift.
Finally, what’s the deal with True Detective this season?
Ok so I haven’t had access to a television in about 5 years & the only shows I watch when I DO have access to a television is Sex & The City, Nathan For You, Broad & The City, & basketball, baby!! I just saw Scarface and Goodfellas for the first time last weekend. Ask me about True Detective in 30 years.