Hi! I’m Emily Mills.

I am a creator that’s passionate about sharing the power of visual communication with the world. I do that in a few ways:

 

  • I’m an artist and illustrator. I love watercolor, acrylic, and ink, and I’m most known for sketchnoting and art journaling.
  • I’m a business owner. I run a studio, Flavor Graphics, with my husband, and I operate an online school called Sketch Academy. I love working for myself and empowering other creatives, too!
  • I’m an author. My book, The Art of Visual Notetaking was published in 2019  by Quarto/Walter Foster and has sold over 14,000 copies worldwide in 2 translations.

Artist Statement

 After working as a commercial artist for over a decade, I needed a personal creative practice to rejuvenate my soul that didn’t have a client contract attached to it. I began signing up for workshops, watching videos, and joining art groups to grow the neglected creative spark within me, practicing around my work schedule.

My artwork is a personal exploration of my capabilities and an expression of my passions. My client work requires a lot of time sitting in front of a screen, so I love getting out to enjoy nature as often as I can. I love traveling, hiking, picnics in the park, mountain biking, kayaking, and birding, which is reflected in my subject matter. The majority of my work has been created from reference photos I took myself.

I chose watercolor to be one of my primary mediums because it is the antithesis of the client work I do during the day. My corporate illustration work is defined, fast, and consumed in moments. Watercolor forces me to slow down, focus on enjoyment and observation, and create with a loose hand. It demands attention for more than a few seconds. 

I love to learn, and I love to share what I learn through teaching. I often host workshops and classes online, inviting others to step into their own creativity.

One of my goals as an artist is to bring the inside out and the outside in:

Inside Out: I want to help people learn to express what’s in their heart, soul, and mind through art. I also think we spend too much time indoors, and I want to host more outdoor art classes in the future.

Outside In: I want to bring the beauty of the outdoors inside through my paintings. Even if someone is trapped behind a desk for 8 hours a day like I often am, I hope people can surround themselves with my artwork to make the indoors just a bit more bearable, and inspire them to have adventures of their own beyond the screen.

My Professional Timeline:

2010

I graduated from the University of Northern Colorado with a Bachelor of Arts degree, majoring in Visual Arts with a focus on graphic design.

2016

I quit my corporate job as a creative director and designer to pursue freelancing full-time and formed my first LLC.

2019

My book, The Art of Visual Notetaking, was published. It has since sold over 14,000 copies in 2 translations. 

2020

Covid hits. I launched an online school called Sketch Academy with a few online courses, plus monthly live workshops over Zoom.

2023

After years of neglecting my fine art skills, I begin creating art for fun again, taking workshops and practicing each morning before work.

Fun Facts:

  • I got into birding during the pandemic. I absolutely love watching and feeding birds at home, and I’ve even been on a few birding trips. My favorite bird in Oregon is the California Quail.
  • I love pine trees. The way they smell, the way they look, the sound of the wind blowing through, how the ground becomes soft with needles and you can walk silently underneath… they’re great!
  • I have moved a lot over my lifetime. I’ve lived in 2 countries and 5 states. My husband Joseph and I grew up about 45 minutes away from each other in Colorado, but we met in Nashville, TN, and now we live in Bend, OR. We love it here! 

Connect with me online

HOW CAN I HELP YOU?

View my Artwork

Fine Art Watercolor & Acrylic paintings

Hire My Studio

Flavor Graphics can help you with illustration and animation projects.

Invite Me to Speak

I have spoken on topics including creativity, being an online creator, burnout, sketchnoting, and drawing.

Read My Book

The Art of Visual Notetaking (2019) is an interactive guide to visual communication and sketchnoting.

Learn to Sketchnote

Take one of my online courses to grow your creativity and technical skills.