Hello, friends! My name is Emily Coy. I am a painter, drawer, printmaker, and illustrator. In my work, I focus on place, memory, and time. I have found that it is important to me to try to authentically grasp the details of life around me before I forget them. While I am aware that forgetting parts of life is inevitable, there is still a yearning to record normalcy. I try to focus on capturing the normal day-to-day because it can be easier to forget. When looking at my art, I want it to be a place of rest and reminiscence for the mind.
I was privileged enough to be able to take Whitworth’s printmaking class. There I had access to the equipment needed to learn of my love for printmaking. I specifically grew attached to the linocut process. Each step is therapeutic in its intentional nature. I have also learned that I prefer bold colors, shapes and lines in my work because of their permanent and stable feel. The linocut process lends itself well to creating this aesthetic. The ability to repeat an image satisfies my creative soul in ways I cannot fully understand. Through printmaking, I can create patterns that correlate tothe patterns I find in my life. The peaceful process, the boldness and the ability to create repetition are why I gravitate towards linocut printmaking.
This piece was created over the Fall of 2020. It was the first school year that started with COVID-19 and all of itsrestrictions. I was learning what it meant to slow down, to pay attention and to breath. I have experienced a whole array of emotions being contained within a space. No one argues with the fact that being kept in one place for months on end comes with its challenges. There were some interesting things I learned about myself and those living with me as well. Living with seven other roommates during the fall, there would be plenty of times where we would gather in the living room, watching Harry Potter, doing homework, catching up, and I would be embroidering on this piece of printed fabric. Each section that is embroidered has a different memory attached to it. I remember a certain mood I was feeling while working on a certain area. This fabric is my diary for the Fall of 2020, stuck in my house, full of good, bad and in-betweens.
While I have always sketched little cartoons in the margins of every one of my notebooks, illustration is an area where I have been wanting to truly grow for a while. I had plans to study abroad at The University of Plymouth in the UK and enroll in their Illustration track in the Fall of 2020. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 restrictions, I was unable to attend. Since then, I have been determined to develop my illustration style by practicing on a program called Procreate, watching hours of instructional videos, and researching illustrators on my own.
One of my core values in artmaking is to create from an authentic inner place. Authentic artmaking results in work that reflects snippets from life around me, in every medium. Some of these illustrations are still-life’s, and others are adaptations from my memory. I illustrate with a mix of bold and soft colors, flat color planes, slightly distorted proportions, and the utilization of negative space in the image overall. Illustration and children’s books are intertwined in my mind, so I often create while channeling my childlike nature. This is why I am hoping to one day illustrate children’s books.
Out of all of the media I currently work with, I have been painting for the longest amount of time, mainly acrylic and oil but more recently watercolor as well. Throughout high school and the first couple of years of college, I would strive for realism in my paintings. I wanted to capture accuracy in color, proportion, texture, and space. As my content developed, I have allowed myself to move away from realism in visual representation and focus more on composition. I wanted to elevate the “normal” parts of life and to do this, I decided to begin experimenting with cropping. I believe there is a connection between the visual aspect of cropping an image and the concept of being present to the small details surrounding me. In the process of creating my composition, I decide what to include and what to crop out. I think there is truth in snippets. All we have is our limited perspective but there is validity in our experiences. This is what I hope to convey.
Over the past four years, I have been so excited to exhibit my work but was also scared that I wouldn’t “find my style” by the time I would show my work as a senior. This was an unsaid pressure that I put on myself. As I worked through what it meant to have a style and the importance (or unimportance) of that, I was told by multiple professors to “just keep making!”. At the time, I would nod and smile but secretly be confused and tired because I was making and showing up to the studio. Showing up is a huge part of being an artist, but another part is gently setting aside worries consisting of what will come of the art. I was afraid to make something that people I respected didn’t like. Once I started putting in long studio hours, setting aside worries, reflecting on what I made and continuing to make more, I gained confidence not solely in my artwork but in myself as an artist. This installation is something I am truly proud of because of the process it took to get here. I stayed true, accepted my mistakes along the way, and continuously checked in with myself in my making. I was made to make. This installation is me stepping into this identity.
In My Space is about quarantine this Fall in my home with my college roomies. This installation is directly inspired by my printed and embroidered piece, Quarantined. So, like Quarantined, it is my diary of the months of slowing down and being present to myself, my space and my relationships with my housemates. There was a heightened awareness of the physical space around me as well as the emotional and spiritual space within and around me. My world was put under a microscope due to external circumstances. I was able to notice bobby pins stuck in the carpet, and how quickly I went through a gallon of milk, and words printed on the bread tie. I learned so much about what it means to slow down with a community. It is very intimate. I already considered myself to be very close with my housemates, but this strange time has pushed us to a new level of closeness. Unlike Quarantined, this installation is 8×10 feet. The abstract symbols and shapes that are embroidered on my fabric in Quarantined, are painted on the gallery wall in In My Space. For the objects being represented, I use wood cutouts that I was able to make throughout the semester with a laser cutter. Shoutout to my Professor, Rob Fifield for spending hours helping me cut every single piece at least a few times. Mounting these wood cutouts in my installation created a representation of the peculiar but sacred space I had experienced this Fall.