DECATUR/RIPLEY COUNTY – Local artist Tyler Emery uses his creativity and passion to imagine new possibilities in art form. He hopes to break free from the confines of normality when it comes to creating and he often does so at the local cafe, The Branch.
“My mom said she knew I was going to be an artist because the first thing I drew was a little map, and I drew a volcano spewing lava and a palm tree on fire,” said Emery. “It was a lot for a 5-year-old, and she said she knew I would be an artist then.”
The son of Chris and Tiffany Emery, Tyler’s specialties include spray painting on canvas or masonite board, jewelry making (particularly pendants), pencil sketching, and using acrylics, graphite and paint. ‘oil. His inspirations include Tim Burton, Bob Ross and Thomas Kinkade.
Above and Beyond Art is Emery’s trademark, but he is also known as The Alchemist.
A person who cuts, polishes or engraves gemstones is known as a lapidary. Emery usually quits her job as a hairstylist at Great Clips in Greensburg and heads to the local coffee shop to work on her jewelry. He buys wiring and an abundance of stones and creates pendants that speak to him or respond to a customer’s requests. He said he doesn’t actively market himself, but instead relies on word of mouth to drive his jewelry sales – and they sell out as quickly as he can create.
While discussing his process, Emery explained how he oxidizes silver on some of his pendants.
He got a small cup of boiling water from the barista and dropped a pendant with shiny silver twisted around the stone into the water. He mixed liver with sulfur and stirred the liquid. An aroma of rotten eggs filled the 15 feet surrounding the screen before he poured out the mixture, revealing an almost blackened coil of previously bright and shiny silver.
“It’s how fast it oxidizes,” Emery said. “Pretty nice, huh?
The 30-year-old artist started spray painting in 2014 in his hometown of Holton. For the past few years, he has been sponsored by Spraycasso Studios, which is owned by an artist he admires.
An average painting takes between 3 and 20 hours. A spray painter uses more than just a can of paint. From newspaper to poster board to coffee cans, Emery uses many tools to create the shapes and textures he desires in his paintings.
“Details can be from sea sponges, paint brushes, torn billboards — they can be from anything,” Emery said. “If I was out of state and you said, ‘I want a piece of art, let’s get some supplies. I would say let’s go to Walmart, let’s go to Lowe’s and let’s go to Goodwill… I can create wherever I go.
After receiving a grant from the Indiana Arts Commission, the 2018 On-Ramp Grant, Emery received $2,000 and three days of entrepreneurial training. He has no plans to move, but hopes to travel in the future. His dream is a trip to Japan.
“I’m going to follow this wherever it naturally takes me,” Emery said. “Right now, I love doing my hair… For me, it’s always been, manifest it, pursue it, achieve it.”