A passion for graphic design that focuses on art inspired by Nacogdoches and nature is what continuously drives one SFA alumna to prepare to work on her next piece.
Emily Kubisch-Sabrsula of Simonton works as a freelance artist in her spare time, mostly selling stickers on Etsy.
“I originally was going a lot through Facebook and stuff like that, asking friends to share [my] posts, so I would get a lot of business through word of mouth,” Kubisch-Sabrsula said. “[Now] I do a lot of Etsy orders, which is where the bulk of my work comes from.”
Her work reflects her love of nature, especially the Piney Woods of East Texas, and many of her stickers are based off her life as a college student. Her stickers include band-related artwork inspired by her time in the Lumberjack Marching Band and woodland creatures dressed as the lumberjack, to name a few.
Her logo for her Etsy shop reflects her love for the Piney Woods.
“It’s part of my pine bark series. I really love pine trees [and] pine cones; I’m oddly obsessed with them. I have a tattoo of a pine cone on me,” Kubisch-Sabrsula said. “So, I developed this series and I really liked this motif, so I ran with it. And there
was this one in particular shape that I just really liked the shape of it, and the [freckles on my arm] fit really well around it. It’s more of an aesthetic thing honestly.”
When she first came to college, she did not plan on majoring in graphic design.
“I was a forestry major when I came to SFA because I really love being outside and love the outdoors, but I'm not much of a math or science person, and so I've always been kind of creative. So I thought maybe I could make that work," Kubisch-Sabrsula said.
Life as a college graduate is very different from life at college for Kubisch-Sabrsula.
"Don't graduate it's terrible," she said, jokingly. "It's okay, honestly. I really miss college because I felt like I had a day-to-day purpose, and now I’m just kind of off in the world and operating. It’s really just me trying to get by at this point.”
The lack of studying and homework has given Kubisch-Sabrsula more freedom to focus on her own projects and small business.
“I have a full-time job, but I try to keep up with freelance for something to do in my spare time,” Kubisch-Sabrsula said.
“It’s nice because I don’t have to worry about making stuff for classes, but at the same time, I really liked having the direction and stability.”
Kubisch-Sabrsula also is the artist behind two of the SFA Snapchat filters.
“Someone had just come out with the first little Axe ’em, Jacks one. That was okay. [I thought] I could do something better. I went in and sketched up a couple of things, drew up a design and sent it in to Snapchat and a couple of weeks later, it [was] active,” Kubisch- Sabrsula said. “It’s a pretty simple process. I think it’s cool seeing people on Snapchat still use my filter. It’s nice to leave a little mark.”
She advises other artists to push themselves.
“The biggest thing I’ve learned is to really present yourself in a way that you’re like a business, but you want to be relatable still, Kubisch- Sabrsula said.
“You’re selling yourself.”