We had the good fortune of connecting with Emily Burrowes and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Emily, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
My art line of buildings and map drawings started from me either needing art work to hang for my place or as a hobby during quarantine during my free time. My work gained attention from my friends and soon through social media. Beyond sharing my work for others to see in a picture, I thought it would be great for people to have my work in their own homes, so I turned my original pieces into prints to sell. Since starting my business, I have created an Etsy website, increased my social media presence (Instagram: @bigassmaps), formed partnerships with many local organizations and business, helped put on events, and sold in-person at outdoor art markets. I also have started a new branch of my business making custom pieces for customers.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I have a background in urban planning and architecture, so I have always loved cities. The map art pieces I have created stands out in the sense of the size of the pieces and also how personalized they can be for my clients. I work with them throughout the entire process to make sure I accurately reflect their time in that city. For my building drawings, I think what makes my work stand out from others is how simple, fun, and almost cartoon-like it is for people. People have told me I capture what they love most about the place in a playful form, making it a warm memorable piece for their home or as a gift to a friend. Drawing these places throughout Denver has made me feel part of this city, exploring local businesses and learning history about different parts of Mile High.

While it has been exciting, it definitely has not been easy to get where I am today. It has taken so much drive to not only develop a style I like working with, but also getting my name as an artist and small business out there. I have done a lot of networking to make the connections I have made, which has led me to have an increase following and more opportunities to show and sell my work.

The biggest lessons I have taken away is seeing the how the sense of place is important to everyone. For my brand, I want to help create pieces people can look at and it brings them to back to a place of good memories.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
When it comes to tourist spots: MUST hit up Red Rocks and the mountains, I would probably take them to Breckenridge for them to get the true mountain town experience. For hikes, I would also take them St Marys Glacier since its a pretty easy hike and the views are always amazing. As an artist, I would tell them to go to the new Meow Wolf. Its such an out-there experience with all the immersive art they would not get anywhere else.

For drinks, anywhere along South Broadway is always fun. I love the vibe of it and eclectic it is and its way less crowded than RiNo. And for food, you can’t go wrong anywhere on 32nd Street in the Highlands.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
When it comes to being an artist, my dad has always been very supportive of my creativity. Since I was young, he always encouraged me to explore different forms of art and has given me opportunities to help my artistic skills evolve. Ever since I’ve started Big Ass Maps and became a small business owner, I wanted to give the BIGGEST shoutout to my roommate, Ty McDonnough! Ty has supported me from the very start of this journey. From helping me set up at art markets, hanging pieces in galleries, design opinions, to even looking over my Instagram captions, I could not have gotten as far as I have without him!

Website: https://www.etsy.com/shop/BigAssMapsbyEmily

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/bigassmaps/

Other: Etsy: https://www.etsy.com/shop/BigAssMapsbyEmily

Image Credits
All photos by Emily Burrowes

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