Meet the Artist | Emily Luyk

Have you ever wondered who draws the beautiful covers on KDL's Kaleidoscope magazines? Well, meet Emily Luyk, the artist behind the Winter edition (available now at a branch near you!). Just look at that adorable St. Bernard bringing books to the yeti and jackalope. We can't get enough of Emily's talent!

What can you tell us about yourself?

I grew up in Byron Center, Michigan and spent my high school years taking as many art classes as they'd allow me. I've also always had a serious thirst for travel and new experiences, so I moved to San Francisco, California for a couple of years when I was just 19, before returning to West Michigan and finding my current home here in Grand Rapids. In 2017 I graduated from Kendall College of Art & Design with my BFA in Illustration, determined to make it as a freelance artist despite the uphill battle I knew I'd undoubtedly endure. That dream has finally blossomed into reality over the last couple of years as I am now working full-time as an illustrator, fine artist, and muralist. My partner, Collin, and I are also both metalsmiths working on opening up our own business, selling handmade metal goods and jewelry. Art has always played a major role in my life, as far back as I can remember, and that role has only strengthened with time!

Where are some of the places you gather inspiration?

The most inspiring places for me are both natural and remote; quiet moments experiencing the outdoors, stopping to look at a moss patch or tiny mushroom, and soaking in the rare solitude you can only feel deep in the woods. I enjoy traveling to, hiking through, and exploring different ecosystems and comparing their varied flora and fauna. I'm a bit of a nerd for biology and science in general— the mystery and beauty and time to reflect are priceless. I can feel similar inspiration alone reading a book that really springs to life vividly and creates its own tiny world in that way.

Describe the perfect winter day.

The perfect winter day for me is being stuck at home, watching massive amounts of snow fall gently and quietly outside, trapping me in. I like to wear cozy clothes and drink something hot, and settle in with a book or an art project up in my little home studio.

What does the library mean to you?

When I first moved to Grand Rapids and didn't know many people, I spent SO much time at the library. There is something so special and magical about it, and I was really able to realize the vital role it plays in a community. As a child I was lucky enough that the local library was only a block from my house and I'd go once or twice a week with my mom. I participated in all the summer reading contests and actually won a small savings bond one year! I would check out new books frequently and was always excited for a library visit. Having a place that is accessible to all, filled with nearly endless knowledge and literature at your disposal, is just so important for every age.

Emily's art can be found on her website & shop at emilyluyk.com

We welcome your respectful and on-topic comments and questions in this limited public forum. To find out more, please see Appropriate Use When Posting Content. Community-contributed content represents the views of the user, not those of Kent District Library