|Ohio Illustrator Elisabeth A.R. Davis|
Friday, August 17, 2018
Elisabeth A.R. Davis, Children's Literature Illustrator
Illustrating Myra and Elmyra:
An Interview with Ohio Illustrator, Elisabeth A.R. Davis
On May 4th of this year, Lower Salem, Ohio, illustrator, Elisabeth A.R. Davis, launched her first children’s literature - Myra and Elmyra: The Tale of Two Sisters (written by Tonya L. Davis, Monday Creek Publishing LLC). Elisabeth’s illustrations are soft and pleasant with a folklore spin. I met with Elisabeth yesterday and we talked about her current and future endeavors…
GM: Congratulations on the success of your first children's literature Myra and Elmyra: The Tale of Two Sisters! A beautifully illustrated children's folklore! Your illustrations show a lot of detail and emotion. What inspired your creativity for Myra and Elmyra?
ED: Thank you! It was a lot of fun, as well as a lot of work! Well, a lot of things, I've always been interested in art, and I've had lots of beautifully illustrated books. One of my favorite children's book author is Elsa Beskow who was from Sweden. Also Tasha Tudor, who my mother has always liked. I used both of them as kind of a model.
GM: What has been the best outcome of becoming a published illustrator?
ED: Seeing my work in print has made me realize a lot of things that I need to work on, but also gives a great sense of accomplishment.
GM: Myra and Elmyra is comprised of soft watercolors and vivid details. What mediums do you use?
ED: Watercolor is nice, and I like charcoal. I haven't used oils any, or ink. Learning to use charcoal helped me with drawing and making things more realistic, by realizing how lights and shadows work.
GM: Describe your art space/studio and your art/work environment...
ED: My easel is very old, given to me by an older artist, so it's special because of him, even though the shelf is falling apart. It still works! I have it in my room by the window. I like looking outside, while I draw, and having the natural light. My cat likes to come in and watch birds while I paint, or else bump my hand as I put in the fine details!
GM: You are currently working on (or finished) new children's literature. Can you tell us about the new book and give us a sneak peek into the illustrations and design?
ED: The new book is a Christmas story, so it's neat to add in the details of holiday time and try to express the joy of the season. I use a lot of things that we have around as models, and in this book, I have the memories of our Christmases to think back on. Also, I try to remember what I really enjoyed about Christmas when I was little; things like hanging stockings, lighting candles, baking, and having a fire.
GM: Besides children's literature illustrations, what other art endeavors do you pursue?
ED: Fiber crafts, knitting, spinning, and sewing, which I also include in my illustrations. I did spend awhile learning pottery, and loved it, but I don't have the materials for it right now. It is very expensive! I am enthralled with gardens, and although it's not usually thought of as an art, it is does take skill and dedication.
GM: With a lifetime ahead for creativity and design, where do you see
yourself (art-wise) in the future?
ED: I'm not really sure, I do want to continue painting. I would love it if other authors wanted me to do some illustrating for them, but I guess I'll see what God has in store for me! And I would like to do a calendar, and some other things.
GM: Living in the country with a menagerie of pets, gardening, etc. sounds like an easy-going lifestyle. What do you like best about living in the country and how does it inspire your creativity?
ED: I certainly get lots of inspiration from nature, and surroundings! Some of the animals in the book are ones that we have had. I love the country, and wouldn't ever want to leave it. I'm not sure if I'd call it "easy going" though. It can be tough, like when we had a weasel kill five chickens, but very rewarding and fun too, like having lambs! It's kind of one of those things you love or hate. I love it! The quiet and seclusion are probably the best part, and the beauty.
GM: Do you have advice for novice artists and those looking to find an outlet for their creativity?
ED: I still feel like a novice myself! I guess what has helped me and been most important is just doing what I like, working to get better, and not trying to be perfect. Don't compare yourself to other artists, only yourself. Look at your own work to see what you like, what you don't, and how you have improved. And try something! One of my problems is over thinking things, so just starting something and working it as I go is helpful. And enjoy it!!
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