We had the good fortune of connecting with Emma Gilbert and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Emma, how does your business help the community?
My art work is aimed to help spread awareness of mental health but to also bring an uplifting and vibrant mural to communities that lack the resources to purchasing their own art. In todays world, our society is battling depression and anxiety like never before. With social media being the main cause of self doubt, harmful thoughts, and body dis-morphia, my art aims to help someone feel understood when they leave my social media page(s).
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
My art seeks to evoke emotions, spread mental health awareness and create conversation. I use oil paints to create portraiture and hands to express my past mental health struggles in a beautiful and precise way. I feature a particular color pallet and accurately depict light and dark values. As a child, I struggled to express myself in any way other than art. Painting, for me, is a place to speak my truth. My art aims to uplift the people who feel voiceless and find a community in which my art can create conversation. Living in Alabama, I experienced a lack of art culture and appreciation; I now travel the country in my tiny home on wheels to discover new places and bring murals and canvas art to new communities.
I am most proud of my drive and determination to beat all odds of becoming successful in a town where I was told no one would buy my art. My parents are the driving force of my success and continued to push me to make it out of that town to further grow my career. It was not easy but with their help of moral and financial support, I was able to save the money I made from my art to put it towards a tiny home on wheels to travel the world and bring my art to new communities. The biggest lesson I’ve learned traveling the country and making art is to establish a community of artists and like-minded creatives. Without a solid foundation, it is almost impossible to build anything on top of it.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Since I live in a home that can be driven, I’d take someone to Wyoming where there are mountains in every direction, plenty of hikes, and beautiful, majestic animals. We’d stay in the wilderness for a few weeks enjoying no responsibilities and exploring new things. This state has been by far my favorite place I’ve traveled to. Within 30 miles of the city, there are hot springs with incredible views of nature where I find it easy to relax and find a sense of inner peace. I want someone else to experience this state and its abundance of beauty, calm, and serenity.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I’d like to dedicate my success to my parents. As a child, they allowed me the freedom to be creative and explore expressive outlets. I was homeschooled in 3rd grade and during this year, my mom didn’t know it at the time but she changed my life. She forced my siblings and I to make a painting at least once a week and little did she know how much impact this had on me. She even put us in a class to grow our portfolios and to grow and nourish our creativity. Throughout my childhood, my parents provided a space in my room with a desk and paint brushes, paint, etc. at the age of 10 and continued to allow this space to be anything I wanted. They even allowed me to draw on my walls, which in hindsight is the number one reason I found a passion for murals. As I started to get older, I needed space for my paintings and materials as my bedroom was no longer big enough to store everything I needed. In 10th grade, my dad opened up an empty space next to his business which was then used as my studio. I stayed in this studio for 3 years where I flourished and so did my business. I would not be where I am today without the creative freedom and love my parents gave me.
Facebook: Emma Gilbert Art
Youtube: Willow On Wheels
Other: Tik Tok: @emmagilbertart