Interview with Emma Rothwell:  Maker, Rothwell Collection


Q:  When did you know that you had a passion for art? 

A:  As a youngin spending quality time in solitude with colored pencils and markers in hand was customary, (paint was far too messy for a kid of my rambunctious nature to wield). Throughout the years this interest continued to grow as I attended various art camps and got involved with art clubs during high school. I deeply enjoyed the comradery of other creative people and working with my handsAlthough, despite being a part of these communities I didn’t yet consider myself an ‘artist'. Often when I made art during that period I would get frustrated that I wasn’t able to replicate a photo-like realism that others were able to achieve. I instead turned to a more cartoony style, casually making colorful watercolor paintings outlined with black ink. As I began to share my pieces the positive feedback received gave me more confidence in my work and I was inspired to become increasingly experimental and produce more. 

Q:  Where do you get your ideas from? 

A:  My art is often inspired by nature, but I also like to project my sense of humor into my pieces as well. Adding an air of goofiness into my doodles allows me to connect with people who may not normally get satisfaction out of ‘fine art’ because comedic relief breaks that barrier. 


Q:  What is the biggest challenge you face with the creative process? 

 A:  The biggest constraint I face with creating is time itself. Often sitting down to work on a project, doodle, etc. for a knowingly limited amount of time feels rushed rather than like a mindful creative practice, so I tend to procrastinate on starting anything. But alas, it's rare to find large stretches of time in the day to solely dedicate to studio time. To combat this, I've started to allot time in each day to going out and sketching my surroundings, working on a small portion of a project, and doodling out rough drafts for future print ideas so I'm developing my skills even if I'm not necessarily inspired to intensely create in that moment. 


Q:  Have you tried other art forms besides printmaking? 

A: Yes! I love creating animations with Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator as well. When I'm not working on my laptop I collect old books, magazines, and newspapers in order to collage. Watercolor is my go-to paint of choice for more of a sketch style, but if I have the time experimenting with the slightly daunting, hard to remove from clothing, slow drying substance that is oil paint gives me thorough satisfaction. I'm pretty well versed in traditional graphite drawing techniques, but usually if I'm drawing I prefer to use micron pens for a less smudgeable line.  My plan, however, is to eventually become a master of relief printing.

Emma photo

Emma's Studio


Q:  When you’re not drawing and painting what do you do for fun? 

A:  I am a collector! or a hoarder, depending who you ask amongst my loved ones. I live for spending hours scouting through thrift stores for unique pieces to take under my wing amidst piles of discarded clothing and furniture. I’m also currently cultivating a jungle in my home. After working several years in a greenhouse, I have an impressive number of house plants I am attempting to not kill. On my days off, I love driving up the north shore, soaking the geological feat that is the Superior coastline, and hiking in the dense forests surrounding the area. As of recent, I’m an amateur climber in the process of getting over my engrained fear of heights. Surprisingly, even during nippy Duluth winters I try to get out of my burrow of blankets occasionally to get out and snowboard as well! 






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