At the end of 2019, artist Emilio Wroth embarked on an enormous audiovisual project in Copperdollar Studios with the renowned art supplies retailer, Cass Art. The videos demonstrate various products in use and offer useful advice on certain artistic techniques. Since the footage from the shoots has been released online, we caught up with Emilio on his experiences in the studio and what’s next for the multimedia artist.
Hi Emilio! Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I’m an English/Italian multimedia artist based in Brighton. I work as a freelance filmmaker and designer, doing everything from adverts to logos and websites. I’ve travelled around quite a bit, studying and working both home and abroad, but there really is no place like Brighton.
The majority of my personal pieces are brush-pen illustrations or made combining acrylic paints and markers with various mediums. In my own video projects, I enjoy the liberty of experimenting free from predetermined structures. Particularly finding narrative themes within the footage through the composition of soundtracks, often a combination of melodic motifs and musique concrète.
What project were you working on at Copperdollar Studios?
I used the Hayloft space upstairs at Copperdollar Studios to film a series of tutorial videos for UK nationwide art supply retailer Cass Art.
Over the space of a couple of months, my camera operator Iain Lauder and I shot 23 tutorials, each an introduction to using a different artistic medium. We would shoot footage of the products themselves, as well as myself demonstrating their use.
Where did you first hear about the studios?
Word of mouth really. We had done a lot of online research and had been to see a few different studios around town, but they all felt a bit too sterile and pristinely white. Not quite the sort of thing we were after. But by talking to a few creative Brighton locals I got more than one recommendation to check out Copperdollar. Once I came to visit the studio I knew I had struck gold!
What is your favourite aspect bout Copperdollar Studios and why is it different from other creative spaces you have used previously?
Ooooh, so much to choose from! The Hayloft was exactly the aesthetic that we wanted for the videos. A combination of the rustic charm from the wooden structure, the high ceilings and the sheer size of the room. There’s so much space to play within there, which gave such nice depth to shots.
The enormous south-facing windows, give wonderful natural lighting. The ability to move the ceiling lighting to different positions, and the big black-out curtains, gave a nice degree of flexibility in regards to where best to position different shots.
And of course KT and Louisa’s amazing hospitality!
When did you first start working for Cass Art?
I first joined the Brighton branch of Cass Art as a Christmas temp while studying an MA at the University of Brighton. Since then I’ve stayed there part-time while working freelance on projects for my own clients. So when head office had the idea of developing a “How to… with Cass Art” series of tutorials, I was ideally placed within the company all ready to take on the project.
Working at Cass isn’t really like working in retail, as it’s more focussed on helping each individual client with the specific project they’re working on, giving specialist advice on whichever material they’re using. Each team member is specialised in a different artistic medium, so there’s always someone to learn from. Cass Art also runs in-store workshops and support a wide range of art clubs and studios around the county.
You have a broad creative skillset. How did you come to learn all these artistic pursuits?
Thanks! I was always drawing as a kid, and Mum used to sing opera, so there was a lot of music around the house while I was growing up too. Dad used to be a bit of a whizz with Microsoft Paint (haha) back in the early ’90s, and he got me playing on that from an early age, which I guess planted he seed for my work in graphic design.
Once I finished college I moved to Italy to study Artistic Production at Università Degli Studi Di Perugia, before then returning to the UK to study a BA in Music, Technology & Innovation at DeMontfort University. After a few years working as a freelancer graphic designer, I decided to return to further education and study a Masters Degree at the University of Brighton in Sequential Design / Illustration.
As well as studying, I joined a few artistic and musical collectives along the way, where I gained a lot from collaborating with other like-minded people. I think sometimes you can learn just as much from working alongside another creative person as you can in a lecture hall.
What projects have you got lined up for this year?
Of course, 2020’s been a very bizarre and disruptive year for many people, but I was lucky to have had a few projects already on the go before we were put into lockdown. These included developing a couple of clients’ websites and producing an advert for a Swedish recording studio – thankfully I had already filmed all the footage pre-lockdown for that one!
As for what I’ve got lined up for the rest of the year, I have various images and footage that I took backstage during an opera recital at Carnegie Hall back in February, which I’m going to be putting together as a short collection. I’m also looking at illustrating a few short stories, and might possibly turn one or two of them into animations too.
Where can we see more of your work?
You can keep up to date with my works on my Instagram account @emiliowroth, while examples of larger personal and professional projects can be viewed on my portfolio website – www.emiliowroth.com