Dave Ember

An award winning designer and illustrator, Dave Ember began his freelance career at the age of eight, getting paid $1 for each drawing published in the local newspaper. "I didn't have an agent at the time, or I'm sure I could have gotten at least $2.” He has been making art ever since. After graduating from Tyler School of Art, he moved west to work as a staff artist for the Oakland Tribune and San Francisco Examiner. As a news artist he created everything from logos and infographics to editorial illustration. "I learned to work quickly, and in various styles to accommodate a wide variety of subject matter.” Ember quit the paper business in 1994 and has been freelancing since that time. When not in his studio, you can find him cycling, skiing, or practicing his free-throws.


Graphic Organic is Ember’s attempt to combine extreme graphic iconography with the organic nature of abstraction. Drawn with ballpoint and Sharpie pens, the series might be defined as Abstract Folk-art, a fusion of genres which are ordinarily strangers. Growing up in Pennsylvania, surrounded by folk-art and the iconography of hex signs, may have been an influence. The drawings start with neither concept of an end product nor preliminary sketches. Ember puts pen to paper, creates a basic skeleton of line, and fills it in. Sometimes they remain abstract, and sometimes a path is suggested which leads to representation of known imagery. The goal is to explore and have fun.