Emily Kolar: Part of two artistic worlds
Meeting the Rising Writer No. 32
It’s incredible how multi-talented some people are, able to form unique things from inspiration in different mediums. Emily Kolar is a great example of that type of person. As a writer, artist, and more, Emily has a lot to offer and share with writers and even people who love handcrafted masterpieces. Her story is in her words, and it’s also in her creations. All photos are courtesy of Emily Kolar, as well as what is pictured, all of which she said she made herself.
What is your name and what do you go by as a writer?
My real name is Michelle H., but I prefer to go by Emily Kolar as a writer. I currently live in Aiken, South Carolina, and have been here for a good 10 years, with a couple of those years in Virginia. I was born in St. Paul, Minnesota in March 1954. Yes, I finally made it to the ripe age of 62. My mother was a stay-at-home mom and my dad was a highly decorated Marine war hero in WWII and Korea. I have
traveled around the world but most I don’t remember as I was too young, but I have seen me in pictures in some really beautiful places. I have two younger sisters. I was married for 25 years to my high school sweetheart, became divorced, and have been single ever since. I have two children and four grand kids, ages 5 through 22.
What is your greatest passion and how did you find it?
My greatest passion, I have several so it’s hard to say. I enjoy life and all that it offers. I’m a very passionate person. I get passionate about everything I do. Sometimes I amaze myself that with everything I have going on in my life right now—and it’s a lot—my plate is overflowing so to speak. I still manage to keep everything in context and straight. How I do it and how I find the strength sometimes to keep going, I have no earthly answers. But I do, giving up or quitting is not in my vocabulary.
What do you do when you’re not writing?
I am currently busy with becoming an advocate for inmates’ rights of county jail systems. On any given day I am dealing with lawyers and doctors. Writing letters and making phone calls to everyone from the Governor down to the Lieutenants of the county jails in South Carolina.
I am also helping raise my 5-year-old grandson, maintaining a home, and trying to remodel my 95 Class C Motorhome. I am also a mixed media artist. I create drawings or etchings from a media called Scratch-board and have also created portraits out of a solid piece of wood. I would like to get back to finishing this one particular novel at some point and would like to get it published. It stays in the back of my head screaming to get done.
What medium do you use for your art?
The main medium I use is called scratchboard or clay board black. It’s basically a composite board with a layer of Koilin white clay with a thin layer of black ink on top. To make the design, you make scratches. Every mark is a “scratch.” How you make your scratches is how your design will look and then shade it or color it with either colored inks, watercolor paints, markers—even oil paints can be used. The amount of detail using this type of medium is amazing to me. With the carving, a nice, flat, thick piece of hard wood, like oak, gives me a good base to carve a highly 3-D detailed face, right down to eyeglasses on their nose. For my heart-shaped jewelry boxes, I like a block of cedar. Everything I make is a one-of-a-kind, hand-carved from a solid piece of wood making the lid to match the bottom exactly. I love to create to work with my hands.
What are you currently writing?
I say I am currently working on, but it has been a 10-year “currently working on” sci-fi fantasy novel The Sun Stone. It’s about a stone that holds the gift of life and supreme power and how it came to be. The story revolves around the creatures in a world that was created by the sacred stone; the world they live in, fought for, and died protecting the stone and the world that was given to them by this sacred stone and the great ancient ones. It is a love story of young lovers, of characters finding strength they never knew they had. Of a nation of creatures facing an enemy stronger than any they had faced before and overcoming them. It contains life, death, drama, comedy, friendships, suspense, greed, the horrors of war, and the brutality of battle.
I have several main characters as the story begins in an ancient universe and moves the reader through three stages of the world that was created by the sacred stone, and the ancient ones who created it for this world to come into being.
Where did you come up with the idea for this story?
The idea came after I had a very vivid dream about all powerful beings, White Eagles, an Owl, and a stone; as well as, from one of my drawing/etchings I had created. I started writing it down and as I wrote, it just kept coming—the characters, their names, the world they lived in. I just kept writing it all down then went back and edited it. I am thinking of turning it into three novels, turning each “world” into its own novel. Making the whole thing a “Trilogy of The Sun Stone.”
Where do you draw more inspiration, drawing or writing?
What emanates from my work be it drawing or writing? A piece of time standing still and an adventure shared through the written word. What I perceive as something of beauty. The amount of detail. I want my artwork, be it a carving out of wood or a drawing/etching, or a story I’ve written, to step back and say, “Wow, it feels as if I am really there. As if I’m looking at it in front of my eyes and it’s real.” No matter what I make or try to create, I put a piece of me into it. I have always given 100% in everything I do. It’s the way I was raised.
What advice would you give other writers?
As far as any advice to give other writers, just sit and put words down. Be it any medium or genre they chose. Try to let the words flow. In any order, in any way, just open your mind and they will come. Sometimes faster than your hands and fingertips can get them to the page.
Anything else you’d like to add?
Last thought, I try to live by the Golden Rule, treat others how you want to be treated, and most importantly, no matter how bad things may seem, never give up never give in never lose hope, for without hope, even a glimmer, there is nothing. You never know how strong you are till inner strength is all you have left.
Where can people find your work?