If you have ever been walking around Lewis & Clark and seen a student with curly hair and a colorful outfit sketching, you may have witnessed part of the creative process of Emily Brandridge ’24.
Brandridge has been creating art ever since she can remember. As a child, she would zone out in class and draw invisible figures on her leg with her finger. Her style and command of other mediums have expanded since then.
In middle school, Brandridge was preoccupied with realism and naturalism and often worked in black and white. High school gave her the opportunity to take three drawing classes and a ceramics class. She continued to work in black and white, this time using charcoal. She honed her realism and naturalism skills with the help of the more formal art instruction that her high school offered. Around her senior year, Brandridge’s art became more colorful and expressive as she began to favor painting as her medium of choice.
At LC she has taken Painting I, Sculpture I and is currently taking Painting II. Sculpture has been particularly eye-opening for her since it was out of her comfort zone, but it challenged her in a way that helped her grow as an artist.
“You can translate a lot of your 2D knowledge to 3D art and a lot of 3D knowledge to 2D art, so developing all sides of your artistic spectrum is really important if you want to have more impactful art.” Brandridge said.
While painting is her forte, Brandrige loves to try out different mediums or delve deeper into past favorites. Currently, she is exploring collage, charcoal and oil painting.
“I switch mediums constantly, I can never stay at one medium for longer than a couple weeks,” Brandridge said.
Brandridge also began selling her art during quarantine. Currently, she is only selling originals, which customers can bid on via her Instagram direct messages, and anyone is welcome to message her to ask about her price range.
In the future, Brandridge hopes to make prints.
“I can’t get to any printing space right now, but I would be selling prints of my art which is so much more accessible and what I like to do for people,” Brandridge said.
Brandridge also began selling painted clothing during quarantine, where the customer would give her the garment and she would add colorful designs. As her way of contributing to the Black Lives Matter (BLM) protests in the summer, Brandridge donated 100% of the proceeds from the painted clothing to BLM-related organizations.
“People would give me T-shirts that they had and I would do some type of design with the names of Black lives taken by police,” Brandridge said.
Brandridge is majoring in studio art and potentially minoring in sociology and anthropology.
“I just realized I wanna be an artist since coming to college,” Brandridge said.
Brandridge recognizes that her creative goals have evolved over the years, and that they will likely change again, but she sees this uncertainty as exciting. However, using her art for good has been a constant goal of Brandridge’s, and she aims to continue this in the future.
Brandridge’s art is important to her own mental health. But it is important to her that she strikes a balance by making art equally for herself and for others. Creating for an art class or for a customer not only pushes her to grow as an artist, but also brings happiness to others, or actual money towards a social justice cause such as BLM.
“(I) want to be happy with my life but also feel like I’ve made a difference in others,” Brandridge said.
To view or purchase Brandridge’s work you can check out her Instagram account, @eeb_art.