“My name is Emma Backer (she/her), and I am in my first year of the Drawing & Painting program at OCAD University. I’m from Vancouver Island, British Columbia, but am currently living in Toronto to work and attend school.
My art consists of drawing with pastels and charcoal, as well as oil painting, focusing primarily on intuitive practice and energetic responses to various external or internal factors, all the while considering colour choices to evoke psychological reactions. I focus, also, on the abstraction of the human form in order to remove its literality and present it as something less complex but still somewhat recognizable.
During my time at OCAD University I hope to develop skills in textile art, digital forms, and video making so that I can round out my artistic practice and have the ability to present my ideas as they come to mind. Having been creating for a while I understand the importance of expanding my knowledge base and expertise so that I might have more opportunities in my career. Although we are working at a distance now, another reason for my attending OCAD U is the community building, something that, in my opinion, is vital for an artist to flourish.
My post-COVID-19 world will involve more opportunities for connecting with fellow artists, to inspire each other and collaborate on our work. I learn from watching and doing, so having that human connection and mutual learning experience will be pivotal in my artistic practice, I think. It is challenging to consider what I am most looking forward to in the future as I am a person who situates herself primarily in the present, but if I were to elaborate on my goals I would say that I am looking forward to learning new languages for art and the social world, engaging with like-minded individuals, and existing on this planet as a professional artist.”