Emily Lupita is an American Latina artist & writer. She grew up in rural Monroe County, Iowa, and earned a BA from Central College + MFA from Iowa State University. She writes the Emily Lupita ❤️🔥 Creativity Series on Substack and also publishes books of her artwork + stories for children. Her most recent book, I Believe in Seeds: Affirmations for Rewilding, received a grant from Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation.
Emily Lupita is the winner of the Faulkner-Wisdom Creative Writing Competition Gold Medal in Poetry and the Atlanta Review International Publication Prize. Her poetry has been published in journals including Poetry International, North American Review, Portland Review, The Chattahoochee Review, International Poetry Review, and in the anthology Poetic Voices Without Borders 2.
Emily Lupita was previously an international education professional. She served as a program coordinator on study abroad programs and also taught ESL, Beginning Spanish, and World Literature in multiple countries including Spain, Japan, Ecuador, Mexico, Türkiye, and the United States. She launched Emily Lupita Studio in 2004 and manages an online Gift Shop featuring her Lupita artwork. She is also a Mama + caregiver for her two sons, and writes The Autism 💙 Mother Letters, an illustrated newsletter written in a series of letters to her fellow moms raising Autistic children, and to all who support them.
I paint from my experience in different cultures, including my own Mexican-American + Welsh heritage and rural Iowa roots. I’m a life-long watercolor painter and dedicated myself to my art project, “Portraits of Inner Reality” in 2004 while living in Japan. It was a defining moment in my life, that ceremonial moment of dedication, and it created a pathway for all my artwork yet to come.
The portraits continue to roll out in waves, sometimes in sets of different colors or themes, but so far always with the same vantage point of that inevitable internal existential cliff. It’s a great place to stand and look out with a paintbrush in hand. After all these years of going there, I still feel the need for wings.
About the Artwork
Emily Lupita’s artwork has been influenced by her childhood in rural Iowa, her diverse heritage, and experiences in different countries, including Spain, Turkey, Mexico, Wales, Ecuador, and other inspiring places. Her first art show was in 2004 at the N.A. Gallery while she was living in Japan.
Emily Lupita uses her signature Lupita technique of combining multiple layers of color and pattern to create an environment of controlled chaos within the black lines of the subjects.
Emily Lupita has shown her artwork at festivals & art shows in the United States including the Enchanted Illusions Exhibition at the Polk County Heritage Gallery, the Octagon Center for the Arts Community Artists Exhibit, the Waterloo Center for the Arts Juried Art Show, and the Quincy Center For the Arts Japanese Art Exhibition, among many others. Emily Lupita’s painting, “Three Friends” won the 2022 KPL Art Award and hangs in the Knoxville Public Library.