Emmy Lovik's paintings have helped raise more than $12,000 for local nonprofits. Photos via Eryn Lovik
Written by Ben Hensley
For many, the pandemic has meant long days home alone, feeling helpless. During this time, it’s difficult to find a passion, much less turn that passion into positivity on a local and even national scale.
Eryn Lovik, 32, and her daughter Emmy, 4, are a mother-daughter pair from Fresno who have helped raise more than $12,000 for various local charities, even gaining enough attention and momentum for a 2021 appearance on The Kelly Clarkson Show.
Eryn has painted since she was very young, and is active in the local art scene in the Valley, participating in galleries and art shows locally. As a graphic design and art studio graduate of UC Davis, when it came to entertaining Emmy, the answer was right in front of Eryn — let Emmy paint.
Working from home, Eryn set up the painter’s easel and introduced Emmy to the world of art. After a while, she had dozens of paintings piling up.
One of the paintings featuring a heart is now the cover of The Business Journal’s 2022 Book of Lists, unveiled at an event Jan. 25.
As the pandemic continued, Eryn was inspired to see if Emmy’s creations could build a positive influence among a struggling group of essential workers.
“We have a lot of close friends that she calls aunts and uncles and they’re frontline workers,” Eryn said. “I wanted to show her we all can play our part in a unique way.”
Eryn and Emmy began fundraising with the hopes of the profits going to medical charities. Initially, Eryn didn’t expect more than a couple hundred dollars to be donated, with the paintings going to donors.
After setting a goal of $500, and not expecting much more than that, Eryn was shocked when the goal was met in only two days. Eventually it caught the attention of local media, and as luck would have it, national media, highlighted by the duo making an appearance on The Kelly Clarkson Show on Feb. 3, 2021.
Community Regional first broke the news to Eryn that her story had made it out of the Valley and all the way to the ears of the producers of The Kelly Clarkson Show.
“When they said, ‘Hey, your story reached Los Angeles and Philadelphia and all these different spots, I guess that’s how The Kelly Clarkson Show saw it,” Eryn said. “They reached out to us in the end of December 2020.”
Following the appearance on national television, the mother-daughter pair became recognizable locally.
“We would be at the grocery store, and people would be like, ‘Oh my gosh! You’re the little girl that paints!’” Eryn said.
Locally, donations took off following the show. People donated on Facebook and, in one case, even in person.
“I expected our family and friends to be excited, but when the entire community decided to help support this little girl, it’s just really cool,” Eryn said. “I know she will not fully understand the full magnitude of what she’s done in two years, or three years, but one day she’ll go back and say ‘Wow! I really did do something special there.”
Emmy has even had the chance to paint on film on several occasions for fundraising and has even reached the point of producing multiple paintings at once, completing several in one hour most of the time.
Emmy paints on canvas with acrylic paint with the assistance of her mom. “I get painter’s tape and create the symbol,” Eryn said. “She uses a brush and she uses her hands and whatever she feels like at this point.”
“In the beginning, the reason she kept doing so many is because I’d lay them out like one big canvas,” Eryn said. She added that as Emmy matures in her art skills, she has even begun to select and prepare her own colors.
Emmy says her favorite things to paint are hearts and peace signs, and she’s learning as she continues to paint.
“She’s got a little method at this point,” Eryn said.
Eryn feels the Valley is one of the best places for an underdog to feel supported, praising the Valley’s ability to grasp on locally and support its fellow residents.
“If someone is the underdog, I feel like they just uplift you. Not that she [Emmy] was an underdog, but just an unexpected source to support and feed all this love to,” Eryn said.
Emmy’s most recent fundraiser was, in fact, her own idea — Homemade Holiday cards for Community Regional Medical Center, delivered to pediatric patients by Santa Claus himself.
Emmy says her favorite part of the entire process is being able to help people.
“I’m going to keep doing this with her as long as she’ll have it,” Eryn said. “There’s definitely more to come in the future.”