Our featured artist today is not your usual muralist. Her art mostly consist of letters. Her style is also not the typical graffiti work that you'll see in the streets because she keeps it elegant, classy, yet still very edgy and bold. There is no denying of the characters and emotions that one could feel from her works.
Every line and curve, every color and shape that she puts into her art speaks positivity and passion. She is only 34 years old but she has been a professional artist for 20 years now. All the way from Toronto, Canada, we give you the talented, Elizabeth Wise, as she shares her life being an artist and why it is awesome to pursue the dream that God has given you.
An Interview with Elizabeth Wise
APA: What is the root/birth/foundation of your creativity… how did you get started?
Elizabeth: When I was growing up, my mum drew graphite portraits of people as a hobby. When I was about 5, I started learning photo-realistic drawing from her. It wasn’t until highschool that I was introduced to Graphic Design, and started creating logos for local businesses shortly after. I also started running a pet portrait company in highschool, creating commissions of mainly horses, cats and dogs. My many years in the graphic design industry fueled my interest in lettering. My husband (also a designer) – who purchased my first lettering tools as birthday and Christmas gifts – was the one who actually nudged me into the lettering world.
APA: What legacy do you want to leave?
Elizabeth: I would love to be known as a recognizable name as a lettering artist. I would like to design book covers with my lettering, paint long-standing wall murals and hand-lettered logos etc.
APA: What do you want people to obtain when they look at your work?
A sense of coherency. I love looking at pieces by other lettering artists and seeing smooth transitions, clever ligatures, relevant flourishes etc. When a piece can convey a feeling not only through the words that are written, but also how those words are created, it is a thing of genius.
APA: In the next decade what do you wish to accomplish with your creative gifts?
Elizabeth: I have recently ventured into painting wall murals and lettering large chalkboards. I would like to be a go-to artist for these sorts of jobs in my community and in the surrounding area. I would love to do another international mural as well, as I completed a 117 sq.ft mural in Atlanta earlier this year. As for lettering, I would love to work with some big-name companies and get into book cover design.
APA: What is one mistake every artist should avoid?
Elizabeth: Trying to be too much like an artist they admire. It’s a fine line between inspiration and copying, so try to pick parts of things other artists do and combine them together to create your own style. If you stick to only one or two artists for inspiration, chances are, you will end up adapting their style instead of your own.
APA: What most often inspires your work?
Elizabeth: Day to day life. I create a new lettering piece almost every day. Most of the time the subject just has to do with something that is currently happening in my life. I have 2 daughters (4.5 and almost 2 years old), so quite often I’m inspired as a parent – both by the good and the bad.
APA: What is the most challenging part about being an artist?
Elizabeth: As a graphic designer and lettering artist by trade, my art is always created for the client. I cater to them, what they like, what they want, and ultimately, it is to create something I can be proud of. The challenging part about this is that I often have to put my own artistic preferences aside to please the client. I love that I can be a full time creative and not have to be a “starving artist”, but since I do work with clients, I rarely am given full creative ability to do exactly what I want.
APA: What do you believe is essential in creating a powerful work of art?
Elizabeth: This might sound cliché, but I think all art is powerful. It is completely subjective, so the power it has over one person might be completely different for the next. As long as your art speaks to somebody, it is powerful.
APA: If you could hang out with one artist, living or dead, who would that be?
Elizabeth: Since I would love to be doing more large scale wall murals, I would love to spend a day with Toronto based mural artist Ben Johnston. His massive perspective-bending pieces are unlike anything else being produced right now and I would love to pick his brain over his process for both concept and actual wall application for such large scales.
APA: If you could switch lives with an artist in history for one day, who would it be?
Elizabeth: I think it would have been pretty fun to be Banksy last week when his $1.4mil auction piece was shredded. It would have been fun to just sit back and watch the internet explode!
Follow Elizabeth on all her social media accounts linked below. You can also visit her website for more updates on her upcoming releases.