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Emily May Rose

Emily May Rose

Emily May Rose is a Toronto based illustrator, best known for her recurring cast of fun and curvy animals. 

Emily May Rosephoto by Will Gaydos

As a child, she had her eyes on Hollywood stardom – a dream inspired by her father, who is a voice actor and radio host. However, real life does real life things and Emily decided to follow her passion of art and illustration. An obsession that started by doodling the rabbits that littered her home town of Grimsby, ON.

Finding Her Style

A graduate of OCAD University, Emily cultivated her style under the tutelage of Gary Taxali. In her second year, Emily was handed a “very open” assignment. Having spent hours putting together a number of pieces, struggling to come up with something that she thought Taxali would appreciate, she thought it may be fun to submit a last minute piece.

An assembly of rabbits, each one carefully placed with a lone red bunny. Half submitted as a joke, Taxali urged Emily to use the piece as her final submission. It was then that Emily had found her style. What had started as a pastime, became her calling card. The uniqueness that Emily had been searching for, had been filling the margins of her notebooks since childhood.

Those bunnies went on to achieve many accolades including being picked for American Illustration 32, and to this day is one of her favourite pieces. 

Emily uses a variety of different mediums to express her art, including hand-painted signs, editorial pieces, murals, comics, gallery shows and apparel designs. All of which can be seen at Northern Contemporary, which is a gallery located in the Parkdale neighbourhood of Toronto. Owned and run by Emily, the gallery focuses on illustration,  representational, urban, lowbrow, comic, pop art, and experimental work. At Northern Contemporary they aim to show at least 50 percent female artists. 

As well as her own gallery, Emily has shown at a host of spaces across Canada and the United States including; “Digital Dreams” at Arch Enemy Arts, Philadelphia and “You’ve Got Mail” Ground Floor Gallery, Brooklyn, NY. However it’s not just galleries in which you can gaze upon Emily’s possy of critters, across Toronto she has completed a number of murals. The first of which came through winning the Career Launchers Award from OCAD University, where - along side Heidi Berton – Emily was given to opportunity to paint a 470 sq. ft. mural at the University Triangle (University Ave, Front St and York St) in Toronto.

What's Next?

Having fun is the aim as far as the future goes for Emily. She’ll tell you that her expectations within art have already been passed. But we feel that couldn’t be further from the truth. Join in with thousands of others and keep up to date with Emily and her fury friends, everything you need is listed below.

Twitter – - @emilymayrose

Instagram - - @emilymayrose

Facebook –

Limited Edition Collaboration T-Shirts

Emily's shirts with Waves Apparel will only be available from February 1st - 14th online, at the Art Gallery of Ontario Shop and Spacing Store. Each shirt comes with a 5x7" print of Emily's and includes a 10% donation to SKETCH Toronto, supporting homeless and at risk Toronto youth through the arts. Get yours here.

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  • February 01, 2017
  • James Blackmore
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