Emma Edwards is a graphic designer from central New Jersey working towards her BFA. As a child Emma would constantly see mundane objects and think, “That could look so much cooler.” Since then, she has been dedicated to thoughtfully designing and customizing as many aspects of life as possible to prove that some things aren’t boring — they’re just missing some pizzazz. Through her work, Emma strives to advocate for the voices of oppressed groups, specifically other queer women of color. Much of her work discusses complex topics such as racism and queer representation. She is attracted to design related to music, with a focus on print and photography. When Emma isn’t doing design work or skateboarding, she’s attempting to master the elusive art of knitting the perfect oversized sweater.
WHAT MAKES YOU FEEL INSPIRED?
I love looking at anything that isn’t related directly to graphic design. I can get very fixated on trying to be new and inventive, and sometimes looking at the amazing monolithic work of other designers only keeps me in that headspace. I love looking at work by people who make rugs, clothing, tattoos, jewelry, music, and anything else I enjoy. It puts me in a headspace where I’m not thinking about being a “creative competitor,” but another contributor the amalgamation of fascinating things out in the world.
WHAT AREA OR AREAS OF DESIGN ARE YOU HOPING TO WORK IN OR SPECIALIZE IN?
I hope to specialize in print and photography, but I’ve recently found a lot of enjoyment in design related to music.
WHAT IS ONE THING THAT DESIGN SCHOOL HAS TAUGHT YOU THAT YOU DID NOT EXPECT?
Studying design has definitely taught me that even mistakes are helpful. Growing up, my teachers didn’t tolerate making mistakes. However, design school has shown me that even mistakes or unsuccessful risktaking can push you into the right direction by showing you paths that don’t work. I no longer feel as afraid to make a mistake because I know that even the wrong choices can lead you to the right one.