HACKENSACK, NJ -- Hackensack High School Senior Emily Mogollon was recently named winner of Congressman Josh Gottheimer's 2018 "Fifth District Congressional Art Competition," for her painting "Insomniac Nights," TAPinto Hackensack staff reached out to the artist directly to learn about her method and approach to art.

The following interview was conducted over email. 

Q:How would you define your artistic style?

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-My artistic style is a mix of different mediums and techniques. I️ always enjoy learning new things and try to weave into what I️ know. However I️ tend to lean towards watercolor, drawing, and colored pencils more than anything for instance this painting that won has all three. 

Q:What and who are your artistic influences?

-My influences don’t come from one person but various people I️ find on Instagram or online from all over the world for example Kristina Webb, an Australian color pencil artist. My biggest influences have to be my past and present art teachers throughout the years because without them I️ wouldn’t have gotten to where I️ am today. Currently I️ influence kids volunteering for the past 3 years teaching arts and crafts.

Q: What do you and your fellow young artists at HHS do to hone your skills?

-My fellow artists at school from the start the year creating a goal to find his or her “artistic style”, so as we learn new things and test new mediums, we develop a preference and pattern of what we use and enjoy best.


On the origin of "Insomniac Nights," Mogollon also added that "this artwork represents the running thoughts one has at night, although one feels lonely the stars are always there to bring some calmness during the restless night," and "the piece took a week to make so the colors would blend naturally. The background was a mix of black and blue watercolor layers and later included hints of green, red, purple, and lighter blue. The stars themselves were splattered with a paintbrush, then some dotted one by one for depth using white tempera paint. The girl was drawn with many colored pencils especially the skin tone which included shades of purple, orange, browns and red. I’m honored to showcase my biggest passion and represent the fifth district of New Jersey. This is an experience I’ll never forget."

Mogollon's "Insomniac Nights" will hang in the Capitol Building for the next year.