Click! will launch a Watercolor Artist group show to be featured during June and July. Elizabeth Person is an artist out of Everett, WA and we are excited to see her intricate informational maps in person! Come join us for Art Walk reception on Thurs June 14th to get a chance to chat with her. We asked her a few questions to get some insight:
How would you describe what you make?
I am in illustrator - which is basically visual storytellings/reporting. I specialize in informational art, like maps and illustrative infographics, and use ink and watercolor as my medium. Presenting information in an interesting and beautiful way is always my aim!
What draws you to watercolor?
I love to draw a tight, technical drawing with a black pen. But, it's not until color is added that things get interesting. Watercolor is messy, unpredictable and unforgiving. It's sort of a personal challenge to go at a polished drawing with this contrasting medium. I love the tension. I didn't particularly enjoy using watercolor at first, but I love how it looks, so I've kept with it.
Can you tell us about your favorite piece in the current collection?
I'm really proud of The Cascade Range piece, which is a hypothetical look at the range as if you were floating atop the Olympic Peninsula looking inland (east). It took me longer to do the research prep than to actually make it because there aren't many maps that represent that scope. It has become my bestselling piece - and makes the hours of research, reference gathering, and furrowed brows over Google Earth feel totally worth it.
If you could collaborate with anyone (living or not), who would it be and why?
My mom! She is a talented artist and calligrapher. I got my love of detail and design eye from her. Ever since I was young she's been drawing little maps and illustrating notes and doodling on scraps of paper. I feel really intuitive when I draw and paint. But the real truth is that it's not intuitive - she taught me by example! We often go plein air sketching together and have collaborated on just one piece so far.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
“The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want it badly enough.” ― Randy Pausch, The Last Lecture
Can you describe your favorite part of the process in your work?
My favorite part is when I first splatter a painting with my watercolors (intentionally) to set myself free from the need to have a 'perfect painting.' A splatter could be considered a mistake, yet it really breathes life into a painting. A painting teacher mentioned that years ago so I've incorporated the practice into my process.
When you are in the studio, what are you listening to?
For the past few months, I've been working my way through NPR's 150 greatest albums made by women. It's been awesome to discover new artists, actually listen to the albums that made the legends legends, and appreciate the often underrepresented female songwriting and musicianship that's out there.
What is your most treasured handmade possession?
I am the lucky owner of the most comfortable yellow chair that serves as my thinking chair, reflection chair, reading chair and resting place. It was a $5 find from a thrift store. My mom made a new cover for it and the material cost far more than the chair. I've had multiple people offer to buy it from me (it really is that comfortable), but it's not going anywhere. (-: