What kind of person interviews herself on her own blog?
The kind of person that was recently interviewed for a feature in the Somerville News and spent too much time crafting thoughtful answers but ended up as just a little blip in the article. I am very glad for that little blip and I know that is the way of the press but I am an exceptionally slow typist. I feel if I post the whole interview here, I can justify the hours I spent replying. The questions themselves may be considered the intellectual property of the very nice interviewer so I will ask them in my own way (to make this even more awkward!).
Hi Elise, I don't know much about you so could you give me an idea of where your artistic inspiration comes from and mention some artists that you think are THE BEST?
I have an overabundance of inspiration and more ideas than I could ever realistically pursue because I find inspiration all over the place.
That said, there are definitely artists I admire who make me feel a surge of creative energy. I love Shel Silverstein for his use of humor and the illusion of effortlessness and loose imperfection in his drawing style. I also am dazzled by anything Jon Klassen does. I was first introduced to his simple and spacious fine art that has a cinematic feel and then found his animation and collages. Recently he wrote and illustrated one of the best children's books I've seen in ages called, "I Want My Hat Back". I would love to model my career after these two artists and always express a lightness and fun spirit in what I make that is not limited by artistic medium.
Cool, now that you have the ideas brewing, how do you go about making the goods?
My artistic process is fast and furious. When an idea pops in my head I try to sketch it within the hour or it is probably gone forever! These sketches are then moved to my massive "to be continued" corkboard. Sometimes they linger up there for a year before I play with them again but often I let the idea "marinate" for a few days while I collect the right paper and ink and re-draw the whole thing with a finer touch (my sketches are fairly brutal looking compared to my finished designs). The next step usually involves my small Japanese Gocco silkscreening machine and I will set up a movie and print out a whole edition of small
prints in a single evening. My process is sometimes more involved but I usually like to "strike while the iron is hot" so to speak. A speedy process helps me battle artistic inertia.
TELL ME MORE!
I'm from Connecticut and came to Massachusetts to go to Montserrat College of Art. There I mostly made sculptures and elaborate installations but as soon as I graduated, I flattened out and started drawing. I was never naturally good at drawing but over time, I found it was a good way to get to know things I was already interested in. I started drawing exotic animals as a way to learn more about them and found I was much less inhibited when drawing wildlife versus portraits and still life. I started to sell my drawings printed on stationery, notebooks and small art in my online shop Argyle Whale. My husband and I took in two rabbits and a hedgehog who needed homes and now I always have adorable models! We've settled in Salem and I hope to stay here.
Do you feel committed to your art form or are you pursuing something new?
I appreciate many other art forms and while I am an illustrator and printmaker right now, I used to make sculpture and even before that I was very into photography and singing! I can see a pattern of shifting medium every few years so who knows what I will be next. I like to keep things low tech for my own sanity but I do enjoy multimedia art and would love to collaborate with someone who has the technical know-how to animate my drawings.
What is the deal with this little weirdo (pictured above)?
The bambi-like animal above is actually a teeny tiny african dik dik. They have such long and flirtatious eyelashes that I thought one would be perfect on a love note or valentine. The text on this card is a good example of what started out as tech-phobia becoming an actual interest of mine. When I started making cards, I didn't want to fuss with using the computer to add writing so I did all the lettering by hand. Over time, hand lettering has become as enjoyable as drawing!
Thank you for taking all that time to reply to my questions slowly with your T-Rex style typing.
Oh no no, thank YOU!
Ps. Did you take that unflattering Photobooth picture of yourself on Halloween while waiting for Justin to get ready? maybe