There were many logistical and creative puzzle pieces that were involved in the successful launch of beyond her years. I am so incredibly thankful for the women who have collaborated with me throughout the process of launching this site. Throughout the coming weeks, I will be sharing some behind the scenes of our launch though our blog posts. Today, I would like to introduce you to Emma Barnard, an LA based artist who graduated from CSUN in 2020 with a degree in illustration. Emma played a major role in the creative process of our launch by designing an artistic logo for beyond her years. Our mission here at beyondheryears.co is to inspire and encourage other women and we want to begin doing that from the very start. I hope this account inspires you to seek out ways you can collaborate with others.
I met Emma about three years ago after a music performance I did. I remember her standing in the back, she was very quiet but had an inviting spirit. I noticed her almost immediately. I walked over to her and asked her if she was a musician. She quickly laughed, saying she was definitely not and that she was only there to support a friend. This stood out to me as it showed her excitement and involvement within art and community. I asked her what she did and at the time she responded that she was in school studying art. I somehow knew at that moment our encounter was not in vain.
Fast forward two years later, we are both seniors. I commissioned Emma to design a promotional flyer for my final music recital at UCLA. Unfortunately, the pandemic was announced a few months later and all events were cancelled. We both immediately got overwhelmed with the sudden changes while also dealing with senioritis, finals and our virtual graduation. I lost contact with Emma….
A year after the pandemic was announced, I began working on the concept for beyond her years and around that same time Emma created an Instagram account @emma_makes_stuff. It was not until after I began working on the beyond her years’ site that I reached out to Emma on IG. We scheduled a Zoom call where I explained more about the concept. When she expressed enthusiasm over resonating with beyond her years’ mission statement, I hired her for the logo design project! I will allow Emma to tell the rest of the story, from her perspective while also providing a little insight to her creative process.
[Emma]: When you first contacted me, and explained what the mission behind your brand was, it really resonated with me. As a Christ follower, I was so excited to see that your objective is for women to help each other pursue wisdom in the Lord. I think especially now that’s so important. On the other end, as a growing artist, one of my passions is to work with other independent creators so we can push each other to succeed. So, from the beginning I felt that this project was a perfect fit.
[Hanna]: How do you initially begin your art, i.e. doodling, looking at photos for inspiration, scripture, did ideas already start flowing immediately after or during our first conversation?
[Emma]: It depends on the project, but I almost always start with a few sketches just to see what works. For this one, I pretty much immediately knew I was going to do a portrait of some kind, but I wanted to keep my head in Scripture so that whatever I ended up making would line up with beyond her years' value statement. I specifically turned to Proverbs 4:7-9 which talks about wisdom being like a garland crown of grace. That's where the idea for the laurel crown in the logo came from.
“The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding. Cherish her, and she will exalt you; embrace her, and she will honor you. She will give you a garland to grace your head and present you with a glorious crown.” -Proverbs 4:7-9
[Emma]: I did a little word game with myself to start this project out. I wrote down everything that comes to my mind when I think of “wisdom”. One of the recurring thoughts I had was that biblical wisdom is gentle, pure, strong. The wise people I personally know are inwardly beautiful and have such peace. So, I chose the women to have happy, serene faces and used delicate lines to create them. I wanted to capture gentleness.
[Hanna]: How did you feel about all the changes that were made in between to finally achieve the final design?
[Emma]: I didn’t mind at all! I wanted you to be completely sold on what was going to be the face (no pun intended) of your brand. I am happy with where the logo ended up, and all those tweaks and suggestions helped me see some blind spots I have that I can consider for future projects. I loved hearing your feedback. Everyone has blind spots. We’re only human! I already had wanted to represent women of different racial backgrounds when we decided the logo should be multiple women instead of one, but I’m glad you pointed out I need to work on hair textures to really have that come across. I want every woman that visits beyondheryears.co to feel represented, if possible. Age is something I rarely consider because I myself am young and primarily draw young people. So, I was so glad you asked me to adjust the ages of a couple of the girls because I hadn’t thought of it!
[Hanna]: Also, what was it like working with me *laughs* ...was it easier that we knew each other before this project, does it help when collaborating?
[Emma]: Haha! I loved working with you, I felt like you were so clear and professional every step of the way. Yes, it always helps to work with people that you know because it makes things way more fun, but that person still should be reasonable and timely for the experience to be pleasant!
[Hanna]: What do you hope people will see, connect with or appreciate about your logo design?
[Emma]: Most of my art is made with the intention to tell a story and hopefully make people smile. I think what I want most for this logo design is for visitors to see themselves represented as a woman and feel encouraged.
You can find Emma Barnard on Instagram @emma_makes_stuff or reach her by email at email@example.com .