Emmi, an intern at Shields Design, is Mary’s niece and a student at Notre Dame Academy in Hingham, MA. For many, and in so many ways, this past year has been very challenging. This interview is an inspiring look at how Emmi found strength and encouragement, and continues to grow, through her art.

Q: Do you have an interest in graphic design or just fine art?

A: I was always strictly interested in just the fine arts because I had the easiest access to it and come naturally to me. But now looking at how graphic design is becoming a huge part of businesses and in the art world in general, I feel like it’s something I should work on and dive deeper into.

Q: What mediums do you prefer?

A: when I first became interested in creating art, pencils were my go-to. I loved creating graphite drawings and using blenders because again, it was easy for me to find and use. Eventually over time when I got the hang of pencil drawing, I decided to dive more into painting. I started with acrylics and eventually made my way to oils. At this moment in time, I love all of those mediums and would use them based on how I’m feeling that particular day.

Q: Covid has had a tough toll on many, how did you deal with it?

A: COVID was such a different time for me and my artwork. During this time, I fell into a deep depression that resulted in me losing interest in art or creating dark pieces unlike the ones I create now. Once I received the help I needed, I turned to art to help me recover. At that moment in time, art had a new meaning to me personally. It was something I knew I needed in life to keep me going.

Q: Can you explain your thoughts behind your clothing line MEMERSONS?

A: My original idea for Memersons started when I wanted to do something else with my art. I felt like it belonged somewhere else rather than just [on] a piece of paper or canvas. For a while, I used to have this deep interest in fashion and thought I should consider pursuing that idea.

Along the same lines, I took environmental science in school and I learned all about fast fashion and how it’s a toxic industry for the environment. I wanted to possibly create pieces of clothing that were affordable and eco-friendly. On top of all of that, I feel like creating clothing with custom art on it could be unique and possibly inspiring.

Q: We noticed you only paint with primary colors for the most part, why?

A: I have recently decided with my acrylic paintings to only paint with the primary colors, mainly because it was a shift in the color I had used during my depression. When I was going through that, I would stick to dark and cool tones and never create anything bright or happy. I feel like when I paint with primary colors, the pieces light up and feel bright and are not consumed with too much darkness. I also find it easier to only work with the primary’s cause in my brain, the colors each have a purpose and bring across my message in the piece.

Q: What are your future plans?

A: That’s something that has been on my mind a lot because I am a senior in high school and college is my next step in life. My plan is to go to art school like RISD or the Art Institute of Chicago. For my career though, I am still thinking it over to see what comes up for me.