Arts and Baking

Junior Margaret Brown and her mother, Emily Brown, are both local Oxford artists, and sophomore Grace Brown is an independent baker.

Arts and Baking

Kendall Kipping, staff writer

The Brown family, consisting of Brooks and Emily Brown and their daughters, Margaret, Grace, and Lucy Brown, is a family filled with creative and imaginative minds. This family moved to Oxford in recent years from Charleston, South Carolina. Emily and Margaret are independent artists who sell their work around Oxford, and Grace is a baker who makes and sells a wide variety of desserts. All of these women have their own successful businesses that help them promote and grow their talents, as well as spread their work around Oxford and beyond. The three of them do their own self-promotion, take care of their customers, and most importantly only work for themselves.

Emily Brown is a professional artist who started her career around 11 years ago in 2012. She has earned a Bachelor of Arts degree with an emphasis on graphic design from Mississippi State University, and worked as a graphic designer before beginning to focus on her painting career as an abstract artist.

“I began painting for myself. We needed art for our home. Eventually, painting evolved into a career. Our daughters were young and it was something I could do at home. It turned into more than I could have ever imagined,” Brown said.

Much like her daughters, she has always loved making art and participating in different types of hands-on crafts, which helped curate her love for making artwork as a young girl.

“I have always loved making things with my hands. Drawing, cooking, painting. The process of creating something that didn’t exist before is both rewarding and challenging at the same time. I find I’m more inspired the more I work on a piece. I think Picasso said it best, ‘Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working’,” Brown said.

Emily uses a variety of mediums, colors, lines, texture and works to balance positive and negative spaces to make abstract, mixed media pieces of art.

The oldest daughter in the Brown family is Margaret Brown, a 17 year old junior at Oxford High School, who does realistic animal portraits on commission and is also an active player for the Oxford High School Tennis Team. She has been drawing ever since she was a little kid, learning from her mother and often doodling in her notebooks as a kid in elementary school.

“My favorite part about making art is the joy I get to bring others. I draw people’s pets so I get to create something personal for people to have. I’ve been able to draw pets that have passed away for people and it’s very rewarding to be able to bring people happiness through my art,” Brown said.

Margarets animal portraits usually tend to be different breeds of dogs and horses, as she is an equestrian herself. Her art also often reflects her religious beliefs and she enjoys sharing these drawings in hopes of helping other people the way it has helped her through tough times.

“Sometimes I draw small pieces for fun that focus on Christianity. It’s a way that I’ve found that helps me relax while also growing in my faith. I usually post those pieces on my art story on Instagram for others to see in hopes that maybe it could help someone else too,” Brown said.

Her realistic animal portraits usually sell for around $200, and she uses her art-focused instagram account to contact clients and promote her art. Grace Brown, a 15 year old sophomore at Oxford High School who is on the Oxford High School Golf Team, is a baker who started her business around a year and a half ago, but has been baking and selling her treats ever since she was four years old in her hometown of Charleston. She bakes all kinds of different desserts, but puts special focus on her amazing ability to bake and ice cookies.

“I love the reward baking brings me. It makes me feel proud to see what I have done and to see people’s happy faces when they see what I created,” Brown said.

Grace often spends her weekends and nights working on her desserts so that everything will look just as she envisioned it, and to give her customers something they will truly love. Her baking is promoted around the town of Oxford by her friends and family which is enough to get her tons of orders for a variety of desserts for different occasions, but balancing baking with her schoolwork, horse-riding, and golf obligations can be rather stressful.

“Baking has been very stressful at points, battling school and extracurricular activities along with it. I have to set time aside to bake which can take away from me doing what I want to do. It is also hard because it is not something you can do way in advance but must only do a few days before the due date. The biggest hardship I face is getting stressed when something doesn’t look how I envisioned it to be,” Brown said.

With all of them having their own independent business that they built, they are allowed to express themselves however they wish and have the ability to grow their skills each and every day. These talented women bring a lot to the table, whether that be a delicious dessert or an amazing piece of art. Each of them has come a long way since beginning their careers and the start of their businesses, and more amazing things are sure to come from them as they truly grow their talents, skills, and specialties.

“My hope for my daughters is to pursue any dream they have,” Brown said. “Talent will only get you so far. You also have to have the drive and be willing to do the work. It’s not always easy, but it is definitely always worth it.”