Meet-a-Member | Emma Allman

April 13, 2017 | Branden Schwab

allman_emma_ex2I first met Emma at the Spring SGFC Portfolio Review held at the eFactory this past February.

At the review, a number of talented students and young professionals offered up their work to the altar of constructive critique, and Emma’s work was an instant stand-out. Exquisitely funky color harmonies, a witty edginess, thoughtful organization and a serious reverence for line work, flow and balance are just some of the memorable things you’ll notice about her art. Clicking through her digital portfolio, its easy to be delighted and intrigued by her illustrations and the heedfull referencing of iconic and obscure styles. When talking about her work, Emma is collected and enthusiastic; so when she agreed to do this interview I couldn’t wait to learn more about her backstory and inspirations.

allman_emma_ex4Below, Emma tells us how she got to this point in her education and career, and expresses some of her key goals and ambitions:

“I am from Liberty, Missouri, just a little north of Kansas City. I called it home for 18 years until I moved to Springfield where I came for Missouri State University. I might have been the most nonchalant person about choosing a college. My brother had gone here, I was familiar with it, so I applied and just came without a second thought. Obviously my “I don’t care” attitude worked because I can’t imagine being anywhere else.

allman_emma_ex6I had always known I was going to be doing something creative, I really would refer to it as a “life-calling”. For the longest time I planned on doing acting and comedy, and I still like to do improv and stand up when I can. However, when it came down to choosing a major, I got scared. Being an acting major was too risky for me. People laughed at me when I decided to do art instead, but something about it felt right and secure. I knew Missouri State had great programs for both design and acting, so I planned to come here and just decided on a whim. I guess one could say graphic design was my plan b, but it certainly isn’t anymore.

allman_emma_ex5My mom is a graphic designer and my biggest influence. I had a tiny child’s size table in her office while growing up that I would sit at and color while watching her work. I think all those years of just witnessing her create and being around all her friends who worked at Hallmark really played a big part. It wasn’t ’til high school that I took a crack at graphic design. I was fortunate enough to go to a school that not only offered graphic design classes, but had a great teacher too. He taught me how to properly use the pen tool, and I’m forever indebted to him for that. I flew through those classes never thinking design would turn into a career for me. When I came to college though, I fell in love with it. Maybe it was maturing or change of environment, but something really clicked when I got to Springfield. I think because I had lived in the same place all my life and had never traveled out of the country, I felt really static and a new place sparked this urge to learn and meet more people. That was a huge realization for me; that I had been around the same people for 18 years.

allman_emma_ex1Moving to Springfield presented me with this desire to communicate with as many people as possible. Once I figured out that I could do that visually, that’s when design really clicked. From there it was just figuring out the best way for me to work and getting good at it. I’m very thankful for professors like Marrie Yvonne Ochieng who really encourages all her students to have worldly mindsets. Marrie taught me that what we learn should not be exclusive to the field we are in and that inspiration stems from knowledge. I have her to thank for sparking my interests in history, politics, and other cultures. Her classes were where I figured out what really inspires me.

I’m also extremely thankful for professors like Masha Gerasimchuk-Djordjevic and Brian Norris, who have challenged me and even with just one semester, taught me so much. I really believe I would have not gotten my first job [at the MSU Office of Publications] if it wasn’t for these professors.

Working at the Office of Publications has been incredible. Getting to work on projects for MSU Showcase, Collaborative Diversity Conference, iELT-Ozarks Project, Staff Service Awards, Symphony Orchestra, Be A Bear contest for the Emergency Scholarship Funds, and Real L.I.F.E. have been extremely rewarding. I’m so thankful I’ve had the opportunity to expand my portfolio while simultaneously giving back to a university that has given me so much.

I’m really excited to start my internship at Mostly Serious and work with their incredible team! I am thrilled to start exploring more forms of design such as web, branding, and packaging. I am sure these next few years will include lots of fun problem-solving, and I’m hopeful that new experiences, people, and places will inspire me even more.

As Emma points out, from the Portfolio Review, it didn’t take long for word of Emma’s talent, ability and ambitions to reach other Creatives. After applying for an internship at Mostly Serious and meeting with Jarad Johnson, Spencer Harris, and Jessica Spencer, Emma accepted her current position. We reconnected after her first month or so in the position and she was excited about the creative freedom and learning opportunities afforded to her in the new position:

“People have been incredible! I’ve had the privilege to play around with their brand with internal marketing projects, and am really looking forward to starting web projects soon! I’m so lucky and fortunate to be able to work with such an incredible company this early on in my career.”

To learn more or to reach out to Emma, visit her SGFC profile.

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