Emily Herr

Photo of Emily Herr painting a mural. She is standing on a yellow scaffolding with a brush on one hand, a cup on the other and she is making a peace sign with her right hand. The wall she is painting shows various colors predominantly blue, green, yellow, white and pink. The painting is abstract with organic, flowing, and curvy shapes.
Photo of Emily Herr painting a mural

Emily Herr creates custom hand-painted murals at home and on the road under the name HerrSuite.

She’s been painting professionally for ten years, specializing in careful context-based design with bright imagery. Self-employed since graduation from VCU, she has worked full-time as a muralist in clients’ homes, businesses, and public spaces.

The co-dependence between an image and everything around it fascinates Herr.

“Painting murals is an avenue for me to explore new settings for illustrative visual art. Illustration has always been my strongest draw in all visual arts.”

She plays with the interaction that may generally happen between words and pictures on a page on the much larger scale of walls, homes, and cities. Mural painting appeals to her as a challenging and curious setting for illustration.

Her studio space is built inside a step-van (like a food truck, but for mural work).

She does her design work at a desk inside, drives onto the mural site, and works from the vehicle like a contractor’s trailer.

Photo of "Fantasia Drive" mural. The background is filled with green and blue hills. In the foreground there's a large tree growing on the side of a cliff.  On this tree there's a little girl with white skin and blonde hair wearing long golden dress while reading a book and a peacock looking at her read from a higher branch on the tree.
Photo of “Fantasia Drive” mural

“Every location for every mural I work on is different, and I enjoy getting to know the layout, the decoration, the view, the inhabitants of each new place.”

Painting sketch for the "Ganesha, Shiva, and Hanuman." The sketch shows two heads, one in front of the other, looking in opposite directions. The back head is looking up to the sky, it has yellow skin and blue hair, wearing a golden crown and earrings. The front head is looking down to the floor, it has blue skin and orange hair tied on a semi bun with a silver moon pin, and it's wearing golden earrings.
Painting sketch for the “Ganesha, Shiva, and Hanuman.”

The setting is everything to her work, and having a mobile space for the process is vital.

The work shown at the A2AC Gallery is one of several murals she painted for a yoga studio in the Capitol Hill neighborhood in Washington, DC.

The owners requested three Hindu gods – Ganesha, Shiva, and Hanuman, and a tree of life, all inspired by the style of Gustav Klimt. She researched Hindu iconography and Klimt’s style and technique to design each god’s mural.

“It’s especially surreal to experience the rhythms of cars and people and animals moving around me as I work there for a few days or weeks”

“- it gives a powerful sense of place, one that I seek for my work to resonate with as I add it to the local visual environment.”

In September, Herr will begin her largest commissioned public mural in her hometown of Richmond, VA.

The 4000 sq ft wall in a fast-developing neighborhood is a monument to the ever-shifting coral reef of DIY efforts, makers, music, projects, etc.

They shape the culture of our community, frequently despite the powers that be who benefit from it.

Photo of a mural for "TomTom Fest 2017." The mural is on a corner of a large warehouse covering an entire surface of the wall, curving around the corner and extending onto the other wall. The painting contains a series of green trees with pink barks and three blue bears strolling through the trees (one giant bear on the right of the wall, one smaller bear on the middle, and one smallest  bear at the left of the wall.
Photo of a mural for “TomTom Fest 2017”

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