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Detail of "The Hermit," one of 79 hand-colored linocuts used to create the Brady Tarot.
Detail of "The Hermit," one of 79 hand-colored linocuts used to create the Brady Tarot.
Emi Brady, The Brady Tarot

100 Colorado Creatives 4: Emi Brady

#16: Emi Brady

Printmaker and artist Emi Brady is known for her beautiful nature-themed album covers and delicate wall installations comprising tiny flights of printed and handcut birds. Now she’s added The Brady Tarot to her repertoire: The stunning deck of work-intensive hand-carved and -colored linocut images of American flora and fauna that started more than a year ago as a crowdfunding project is now in production for imminent release. It’s a big moment for Brady, and the perfect time for her to answer the 100CC questionnaire.

Emi Brady, "Ace of Arrows."
Emi Brady, "Ace of Arrows."
Emi Brady, The Brady Tarot

Westword: What (or who) is your creative muse?

Emi Brady: The creative power of the Earth. I know it's sappy, but biodiversity is a vast source of inspiration for all of us. When I'm connected to it, the images, ideas and stories well up and feel bottomless.

Which three people, dead or alive, would you like to invite to your next party and why?

Sitting Bull to talk religion and politics, Albrecht Dürer to talk technique and Frida Kahlo to talk about whatever she wants to talk about. I would selfishly invite no one else.

Emi Brady, "The 7 of Horns."
Emi Brady, "The 7 of Horns."
Emi Brady, The Brady Tarot

What’s the best thing about the local creative community in your field — and the worst?

The best things are the people making the work. The worst is the inverse relationship between the cost of living and how much we get compensated for doing creative work.

Are trends worth following? What’s one trend you love and one that you hate?

Follow your gut, but know that sometimes your gut overlaps with trends. Love: The general movement toward conservation, consideration and inclusivity. Hate: Dichotomous thinking. It's culturally dangerous, and we need to work on it.

Emi Brady, "The 5 of Roots."
Emi Brady, "The 5 of Roots."
Emi Brady, The Brady Tarot

What’s your best or favorite accomplishment as an artist?

The Brady Tarot. It is by far the largest and most cohesive body of work I've created. Plus, it's a tool that can be used in lots of different ways, which is such a unique and personalized way for a viewer to connect to your work. I've only recently completed it, and all 79 hand-colored linocuts will be on view at Syntax Physic Opera. The opening reception is Friday, July 13. [See below for details.]

You’ve come this far in life. What’s still on your bucket list?

Travel, meeting and connecting to lots of different kinds of people, continued learning. Making a lot more art.

Emi Brady, "The 5 of Feathers."
Emi Brady, "The 5 of Feathers."
Emi Brady

Denver, love it or leave it? What keeps you here — or makes you want to leave?

I lived in a couple cities in the South and a couple in the Northeast for the first twenty-something years of my life. I came to Denver on a gut feeling and immediately found all the people I had been searching for my whole life. This is my home, and I'm in it for the long haul.

Who is your favorite Colorado Creative?

There are so many! You can't force me to pick just one. Ravi Zupa, Theresa Mercado, Esme Patterson, Doug Spencer, Julia LiBassi, Ethan Garton, Jonathan Saiz, Heather Reynolds, Melanie Steinway. So many good people working in so many disciplines.

Emi Brady, "Death."
Emi Brady, "Death."
Emi Brady, The Brady Tarot

What's on your agenda in the coming year?

Doing the work that surrounds getting any project out into the world. Impulsively, I'd like to just rush into another project, but practically, I've got my work cut out for me for a bit. After the practical work, I just want to get back to carving linoleum.

Who do you think will (or should) get noticed in the local arts community in the coming year?

Julia LiBassi. She's been the singer-songwriter of The Raven and the Writing Desk for years, and I feel she has been sitting just under the radar. The work she's doing now speaks of something big, and I can't wait to see what she does. If not this coming year, then once she completes grad school. 2020 Denver needs to watch its back.

Emi Brady launches The Brady Tarot with an opening party and exhibit of the original linocut artwork on Friday, July 13, from 7 p.m. to close at Syntax Physic Opera, 554 South Broadway. In place of the physical deck, which is still in production, Brady will display and sell the original prints along with Brady Tarot merchandise, while Tyto Alba, Bluebook and members of the Raven and the Writing Desk perform on stage. A suggested donation of $7 will be collected at the door. Find details at the Facebook event page.

Learn more about Emi Brady and her work on her website, on Facebook and on Instagram.

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