We had the good fortune of connecting with Missy Emerson and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Missy, how does your business help the community?
As a digital artist and graphic designer, my work is driven by a deep commitment to social justice and awareness and amplifying the voices of marginalized communities. I believe in leveraging art as a powerful tool for advocacy and shedding light on the systemic issues that contribute to the suffering of others.

Through my creations, I aim to challenge societal norms, question power structures, and provoke critical conversations about inequality, discrimination, and injustice. Art has the potential to evoke empathy, inspire change, and ignite activism. By visually representing the struggles faced by marginalized groups, I hope to foster a greater understanding of their experiences and stimulate a collective call to action.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
My dual role as a High School World History Teacher and a freelance artist is a unique combination that reflects my passion for both education and the arts. What sets me apart is the integration of these seemingly disparate roles, allowing me to bring a diverse set of skills and perspectives to my professional endeavors.

I take great pride in fostering a dynamic and engaging learning environment for my students, using my background in art to make historical concepts more accessible and captivating. Infusing creativity into the curriculum not only enhances the educational experience but also encourages critical thinking and a deeper understanding of the world’s complexities.

On the artistic front, I’ve found that my experiences in the classroom often inspire my freelance projects. Whether it’s creating educational illustrations or designing visuals that resonate with historical narratives, my dual roles synergize to enrich both aspects of my professional life.

The journey to this point has been anything but easy. Balancing the demands of teaching with the unpredictability of freelance work required careful time management and resilience. Overcoming these challenges involved learning to prioritize effectively and finding a harmonious balance between my two professional identities.

The key lessons I’ve learned along the way include the importance of adaptability and continuous learning. The fields of education and art are ever-evolving, and staying open to new ideas and approaches has been instrumental in my growth. Additionally, building a supportive network of colleagues and fellow artists has provided a valuable source of encouragement and shared experiences.

What I want the world to know about me is that my brand and story are woven together by a deep commitment to global awareness, creativity, and making a meaningful impact. I believe in the power of art and education to inspire positive change, and my journey reflects a dedication to bridging the gap between these two influential realms.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
For the most part, I like to spend my time with loved ones. If I can find a really unknown bookstore or antique store, you might find me there, but outside of that– I am most likely at home or supporting my students at their various events! I will say that I LOVE museums so I try to check out each new exhibit.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Diving into this shoutout with immense gratitude is essential! In my journey as a digital artist and graphic designer, there have been pivotal influences that have shaped my perspective and fueled my passion for using art as a tool for social change.

First and foremost, I want to dedicate this shoutout to my parents and grandparents, who have instilled within me a strong sense of justice and of having a heart of servitude. I also want to dedicate it to the countless activists and advocates whose tireless efforts have inspired my work. Their dedication to justice, equality, and human rights serves as a constant reminder of the importance of using creative expression to amplify marginalized voices. They have come in the forms of Professors, teachers, classmates, and friends over the years.

Furthermore, I would like to acknowledge the influence of certain books that have profoundly impacted my artistic philosophy. Works exploring critical theories, social justice movements, and the intersectionality of art and activism have been instrumental in shaping the conceptual underpinnings of my creations. Works by artists such as Maaza Megniste, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, and Mona Hajjar Halaby..

Last but not least, I extend my appreciation to the organizations and people– like Motaz Azaiza– that tirelessly work on the front lines of social change. Collaborating with these entities has provided me with opportunities to contribute my skills to meaningful causes and amplify their impact.

Instagram: instagram.com/ssinktheshipss

Image Credits
Missy Emerson

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