Hello and welcome! I'm Emma Freeman, a highly sensitive artist, designer, and thrifter living and working in Saint Paul, Minnesota.
I make and collect beautiful, colorful things for people to use and to help them express who they really are. You know when little kids get to dress themselves and pick out eclectic, unique outfits that are totally unexpected and playful but somehow work? I'm inspired by that spirit of creativity and self-expression. That's how I try to live. The things I make and collect are therapy for me, they help connect my inner world to the outer world.
When I was a kid, I thought that I wasn't an artist because I couldn't draw a perfect tree in art class. Up went a mental wall and because of some other factors too, I spent 30+ years trying to put the puzzle pieces of who I was together, restlessly searching for meaning in everything (I studied Philosophy in college, if that tells you anything). I struggled with insecurities, depression, an eating disorder, and unhealthy compulsive behaviors for many years. After a winding road of self-discovery, I now fully embrace myself as an artist, thanks to the encouragement of people in my life. I can look back now and see so clearly that I have always been a creative person, I just had a blind spot on that part of who I really was. I think we tell ourselves things that aren't true sometimes and they can stand in our way of being happy and fulfilled.
In addition to making art and collecting things to sell, I teach art classes around the Twin Cities to kids and adults. Encouraging people to be creative and learn new skills, helping people to push past fears of imperfection and the lies that we tell ourselves and that I hear so often like, "I'm not creative" and "I'm not an artist" and "I'm not good at this." I told myself those things for years too and they just get in the way of us being our true selves. Creativity is innate in all of us. We have to feed it and cultivate it in order for it to thrive though and that's where classes come in (and books and podcasts and conversations). I hope to help people discover the therapeutic qualities that art making can have on us. It can help us work through hard emotions and experiences of anxiety, insecurities, grief, depression, isolation and sadness. It has done that for me over and over again, often without realizing it until after I have created a piece of art and reflected back on it.
I live with my wife, Kelly and our rescue dogs and cats in an old house in Saint Paul, Minnesota. I love being outside and connecting to nature, drinking coffee out of a cute mug, wandering around thrift stores, listening to podcasts, soul music and Whitney Houston, talking about feelings and dreams with people and being sassy and silly. I grew up in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin and love to travel. I hope to go to Italy, Sweden, Japan, Norway, and Scotland next. I dream of wandering around and making art in each of those places.
I have a degree in Philosophy and Studio Art from Alverno College in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Thank you for being here.