Today we’d like to introduce you to Emily Mulvey.
Emily, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
As a kid, I was drawing constantly. In pre-school, I had a little notebook with Goofy on the cover that I brought everywhere, and still look back on to laugh at my first “masterpieces”. In elementary school, I was either glued to Microsoft Paint or chalking my entire driveway, sometimes my neighbor’s if I ran out of space. I should have known I was going to become a graphic designer in middle school when I spent hours at a time designing my AIM profile with coordinating color palettes and typefaces instead of doing my math homework. Throughout high school, I took every photography and graphic design elective offered. When it came time to apply to colleges, I had already spent years doing something I loved (not well, but… I was still doing it), and the rest fell into place.
I attended Endicott College in Beverly, MA where I got a BFA in Visual Communications. As part of the curriculum, I completed three internships over the four-year period, the best of which was at JSGD (link to www.jsgd.com) my senior year. It was there that I discovered my love for working in a studio/agency setting, where you work on everything from branding to photography to packaging. I currently work at Sprout Studios (link to www.sproutstudios.cc) in Downtown Boston doing exactly that.
Can you give our readers some background on your art?
By day, I am a graphic designer at a small studio in Boston, working on projects ranging from a website for a 3D printing company, to branding and packaging for a local dispensary, to an on-site video and photoshoot for a client. By night, I’m a freelance designer who works on all those types of projects, but I also have a personal illustration project called XPLR Studios, which can be found on Instagram at @xplrstudios.
My favorite thing in this world is exploring. Whether that means going to a new sandwich shop at lunch or hiking Half Dome in Yosemite, I pull a lot of my personal inspiration from my adventures. I’ve been to 21 countries and have recently been spending a lot of time exploring the Western US, so you’ll see nods to those travels in most of my personal work.
I’m also a huge believer that design is and should be a vehicle for positive change. My undergraduate thesis was on activism through design, and I try to incorporate that idea into as much of my work as possible. As designers we have the ability to influence people all over the world and I don’t think that’s a responsibility that should be taken lightly.
Any advice for aspiring or new artists?
I could probably talk about this for days, but I’ll keep it as simple as possible:
- Work your ass off. No one is going to hand you that internship, or that first job after school, or that freelance project you really want. You have to fight for it – and there are a lot of competitors out there who are going to do exactly that.
- Get a sketchbook. Use it. Until my Junior year of college, I rarely hand-sketched. I would go straight to the computer and focus on flushing out 1 or 2 ideas instead of roughly sketching out everything I could think of, whether or not it was the best solution. I missed a lot of opportunities, and probably some “best solutions” by not doing that.
- Be yourself when talking to people! No one wants to receive an email saying “Dear Sir or Madam”. No one wants to read something that has clearly been copy and pasted to 12 other companies. Inject some personality into your applications – tell a fun fact about yourself, make an (appropriate) joke, etc. – that’s how I’ve gotten every job I’ve ever had.
- Work on projects that make you happy. Life’s too short to have a job or client that makes you miserable.
What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
I’m currently in the process of updating my portfolio – it’s been about a year since I added new work (oops) – but you can view it at www.emilymulvey.com. Some of my more recent work is shared on Dribble, at www.dribbble.com/enmulv. For my personal illustrations, check out @xplrstudios on Instagram. I also occasionally post design work + my process on my personal Instagram account, @enmulv (ok so I have a bigger Internet presence than I thought).
- Website: www.emilymulvey.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/xplrstudios
- Facebook: www.instagram.com/enmulv
- Other: www.dribbble.com/enmulv
Beach photos shot by Nicholas Wainer