Eagle Uses Visual Art to Aid in Flight Training

Bella Memeo reinforces lessons learned in classes and the flight deck by illustrating new concepts in her notebooks, then reviewing the visuals to make abstract concepts come to life.

Embry-Riddle freshman Bella Memeo is a pilot, artist and Boeing Scholar.
Embry-Riddle freshman Bella Memeo is a pilot, artist, and Boeing Scholar (Photo: Embry-Riddle/Connor McShane)

Bella Memeo, an Aeronautical Science freshman at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s Prescott Campus, kicked off her college career by being named to the 2020 cohort of Boeing Scholars. Academics, however, make up just one half of her multi-disciplinary approach to learning.

The other half is artistic.

“I am a very visual person so, for me, I tend to illustrate anything I am learning about,” said the Spokane, Washington, native. “I have both digital and physical notes that go over aircraft systems and design pretty extensively. I really enjoy being able to understand concepts in this way.”

Student and artist Belle Memeo's illustrated class notes
Bella Memeo reinforces lessons learned in classes and the flight deck by illustrating new concepts in her notebooks, then reviewing the visuals to make abstract concepts come to life. (Photo: Bella Memeo)

Additionally, she plans to incorporate this approach into her own future teachings, when she becomes a flight instructor.

“I hope to be able to educate students about flying with advanced symbology and imagery,” she said.

An illustrator, animator and photographer, Memeo displays her artwork online and on social media, but her lifelong love of aircraft runs just as deeply as her artistic aspirations.

“I’ve always grown up around aviation,” she said, noting that that her grandfather was a fighter and commercial pilot. “I was always at airshows and interested in Aeronautical Engineering from a very young age.”

Then, while participating in Civil Air Patrol about five years ago, she heard about Embry-Riddle and, just like that, her future plans were set. Today, just one year into her college career, both are her passions are already hitting milestones and turning into opportunity.

“I just recently passed my stage check and am about to solo soon,” she said. “And, the game studio I work with part-time is taking me on as a lead art director.”

Memeo was one of 13 high school students chosen to be part of the 2020 Boeing Scholars cohort

 

By Mike Cavaliere