Connect with your audience through illustrations.

Learn how illustration can help you through my newsletter with topics including:

  • Benefits of illustration
  • Ways to include illustration in your business, event, or content
  • Tips for getting started with illustration & Sketchnoting

Hire me to illustrate for your live event, lecture, blog post, or book.

My Story

I didn’t stop drawing after childhood.

If you put a blank space in front of me, be it a wall (sorry, mom), paper, classroom whiteboard, or restaurant napkin, I’d be drawing pictures on it. I wasn’t an athlete, extroverted, or the brightest student, but I could draw better than everyone else. I learned that drawings are great conversation starters. People (no matter their age) are curious about images. As I grew up, my dream job was to be a cartoonist like my heroes Gary Larson (“The Far Side”) and Bill Watterson (“Calvin and Hobbes.”). I drew cartoons for the high school paper and also for 3 years in college (I even got paid!).

I loved illustration, but also knew I needed to make a living and made the rational decision to pursue graphic design instead.

Drawing helped immensely in my design work because I could draw a logo faster than I could render it on a computer. I loved how drawing enabled me to ideate quickly in a sketchbook. I quickly found out that a lot of graphic designers can’t draw and was complimented on having that skill. After 7 years of graphic design work, I started missing drawing.

I decided to get back to my love of illustration.

I started small and drew on my office whiteboard. Then a former coworker asked me to draw for a few videos. Then The Sketch Effect saw those videos and I started working with them. I’ve branched out into illustrating for websites, merchandise, and books to give your audience an immediate connection with your content. I live in Nashville, TN and work with clients both local and non-local.

How I can Help You

Do you write? Do you have a website?

I will illustrate your key points and takeaways for a more memorable and shareable summary of your content.

  • Illustrations help break up your content. A wall of text intimidating to impatient readers.
  • Takeaways in a visual format are more memorable and shareable.

Do you run a conference or live event?

I will take Sketchnotes or do Graphic Recording to document your event and highlight key points.

  • Display Graphic Recording boards in common areas after sessions for attendees to see and share.
  • Receive digital copies to send your attendees and share online.

What Clients Are Saying

Emily Carlton is awesome! We've loved having her represent The Sketch Effect to our Nashville-area clients and they couldn't be happier with her work. Not only is she a talented illustrator, designer, and sketch artist, but she's also a great person and a pleasure to work with--a rare commodity in today's marketplace. Hire Emily--you won't regret it!

William Warren

Founder & Principal, The Sketch Effect

I would recommend (and have recommended…many times) Emily to anyone seeking illustration, design or anything creative, really. She’s a breeze to work with, extremely professional, clear and upfront. We (Film Lab Creative) used emily on a few different projects. We delivered a script and a concept and had her brainstorm specific scenes/characters/images that correspond with a voiceover. Us and our client were blown away with what we got. We’d hire her again in a heartbeat. Plus, she’s a great hang and can make about anyone laugh.

Neil Sandoz

Producer, Film Lab Creative

Emily is obviously a talented artist. But beyond that, she's very responsive and easy to work with: a real professional. Her illustrations have raised our blog to a whole new level.

Barry Harrison

Managing Director, Resolve Digital, LLC

Working with Emily was an absolute delight. As a small business owner I work with many freelancers and to find one with a great personality, incredible design, AND great business integrity is almost impossible to find.  I found them all with Emily.

Carlos Whittaker

Author, Speaker, Disruptor,

Have an illustration project? Tell me more about it!


Let's Get Started

Illustration is for Everyone

Get my free guide "Creating Effective Drawings With 1-3 Lines," and learn about illustration through my newsletter with topics like:

  • Illustration tips for beginners
  • Why you need illustration
  • Illustration & live events (graphic recording, sketchnotes)
  • Best practices, both personal and professional
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