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Artist Feature: Emma SanCartier - OddFauna

We are delighted to host Emma SanCartier, owner and creator of OddFauna, for two in-person workshops at our Seattle headquarters this June!

Emma SanCartier is an Illustrator and sculptor living in Seattle. Working as a professional artist for 10+ years, Emma has been building a body of work that focuses on fantastical representations of the natural world. Often playing with opposites, Emma’s work can be playful and dark, humorous and emotional.

While illustrating for a diverse range of clients, she has also participated in conventions and gallery shows all over the country. She is currently art directing an indie game based on her OddFauna creatures where each character in the game is hand sculpted.

Emma will be teaching how to create whimsical plants & flowers in 'A Garden in Miniature,' June 3rd & 4th, and fantastical creatures in the class 'Finding Your Familiar' on June 4th & 5th. To give you an inside look into Emma's inspirations, and a taste of what you'll learn in the workshops, we conducted a little interview below.

How did you first form the world of OddFauna?

I started making little one of a kind creature sculptures over 10 years ago to sell alongside my illustration work at shows. A friend of mine showed me how to make a simple one-part mold, and things kind of took off from there. I taught myself different mold-making and casting techniques and, through lots of trial and error and playing around with different materials, I was able to expand what this little one person shop was capable of creating.

Inspired and influenced by many things that I’ve loved since childhood, I feel like the seed of OddFauna has existed in one way or another for as long as I can remember. This beastly world grew organically over the years as I painted and sculpted different characters and stories. Often playing with opposites, this strange world of mischievous beasts can be dark and funny, beautiful and unusual.

When creating your fantastical creatures & flora, do you draw inspiration from the natural world? 

Definitely! I’m kind of obsessed with watching nature documentaries and find a lot of inspiration in the natural world. There are so many strange creatures that exist, and bizarre animal behaviors to draw from. A new creature idea can stem from some widely unknown animal or plant, or can simply be inspired by a leaf or lichen that I come across on a forest walk in my neighborhood. The OddFauna world that I’ve been creating is really a mixture of all the things that I love. I also find a lot of inspiration in mythological creatures and cryptids, often combining elements of different creatures (real and imaginary) to come up with something that is unique in itself.

Do you have a favorite part of your creative process?

Oh boy, that’s hard to say! I kind of love all the stages, but it depends what sort of mood I’m in. It’s always exciting to start a new big creature sculpture. I love the challenge of translating my 2D work into 3D, especially when an image has a lot of flowy movement to it. It’s kind of like a puzzle to solve. Trying to bring the lightness and energy of a watercolor painting to a solid form is tricky, and I am always playing around with different techniques to try to achieve the right balance which keeps things interesting.

Painting a sculpture is a little more meditative for me which I love in a different way. I like to throw on a podcast and just get lost in the details.

Without giving too much away, what are you most excited to share in your upcoming in-person workshops at Moth & Myth?

Besides sharing some of my favorite techniques, (and hopefully without sounding too cheesy) I think that just sharing the joy of sculpting with others is going to be a real treat. One of the reasons I love sculpting is that a part of me feels like a little kid who gets to play with clay all day. No matter what your skill level is, making things is fun, and I’m so excited to see what adorable tiny things everyone in class comes up with.

To enroll in the classes, visit the Realms Classes site, and to see more of Emma's work, please visit & follow @oddfauna.