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Art & Art History
University of Mississippi

Q&A with Emmie Wescoat (BFA Graphic Design)

A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder
March 25-28th, 2024

Closing Reception
When: Wednesday, March 27rd, 2024, 4:30–6:00 PM
Where: Gallery 130, Meek Hall

Introduce yourself and tell us where you are from.
Hi! My name is Emmie Wescoat. I am from New Madrid, Missouri.

What attracted you to the Department of Art & Art History?
I have always been interested in art even from a young age. I was excited to realize I could make that into a career for myself and always be able to do something I love.

What type of artwork do you create and can you discuss your process?
I am a graphic designer, so most of the art I make is digital. Currently I am into doing brand design and packaging design, but I am open to doing any type of graphic design project. I love typography and custom lettering as well.

My process almost always starts with research. Research is one of the biggest pieces in my process because it is nice to have inspiration from contemporary designs, but I also want to look back at the past to see what designers were doing then. The next step is working on the actual design of the project. I really like for my pieces to be very original and have their own personalities. The final step of my process is either photographing the piece or putting it onto a mockup. This is my favorite part as I finally get to see my finished work and complete my vision.

Which artists do you look to for inspiration?
Yes! One of my biggest inspirations in graphic design is Jon Contino. His branding studio CONTINO does a lot of creative work that has so much personality. I love his bespoke type and pull so much inspiration from his lettering work. I am also a huge fan of his small illustrations that add life to his brand designs.

Another big inspiration of mine in graphic design is Paula Scher. She is a great inspiration as she thinks outside of the box. The way she is able to make brands so recognizable is amazing to me. I am so inspired by the way she thinks and problem solves.

Which professors inspired you the most?
I had so many great professors here in the Art Department, but the two that shaped my graphic design career the most were Tyler Barnes and Hudd Byard. Mr. Barnes taught me so much about the ethics of design and the do’s and don’ts in graphic design. He was always such a great example for me and my design process. Mr. Byard taught me so much about how graphic design is outside of the classroom, and how working in the job force will be. He has prepared me for professional critique and life outside of class. I am so grateful for these two professors, and I would not have been able to become the designer I am today without them.

What has been your favorite class during your years here?
My favorite class throughout my years at the University of Mississippi is Packaging Design. I thought beforehand that it would be a hard class and make me realize I did not want to do packaging design, but it turned into the opposite! I learned a lot about ethics in graphic design as well through that class. I loved packaging design and would love to do more packaging design in the future.

Do you have a favorite memory here in the department?
I have tons of great memories in the art department, but my favorite memories are the ones that I make with my peers. I love hearing from other designers and artists about their work, whether they are graphic designers, printmakers, ceramicists, or painters. I learn so much from the people around me, and they are so helpful whenever I ask for advice, whether it is in the classroom or during after hours.

Do you have any advice for incoming art students?
Be prepared for constructive criticism! This is not a bad thing, and is not targeted towards you personally. In the long run, this criticism helps you grow as a person and become a better designer/artist.

Do you have any hobbies outside of the art department?
I am an avid reader! I love to read true crime and romance. True crime is my absolute favorite though, and is the reason I based my thesis around a true crime book subscription box.

What is your favorite thing about Oxford or the University?
The robots! They bring me yummy bagels every time I am feeling down! In all seriousness though, the campus is absolutely beautiful and the people around me are always so nice and helpful here in Oxford. My days are always brightened just from being on campus and being around my peers and teachers, who are constantly making me laugh.

Can we find you on social media?
Yes! I have an instagram account for my future in graphic design, which is under the name I hope to expand to other social media platforms using the same name soon and also create a website.

Do you have any plans after graduation?
Job hunting! As of this moment I am not sure which direction I want to go in graphic design, but hope to do freelance work at some point in my life.