Another year that’s moving along at a rapid pace. Seems like 2017 brings with it some exciting stuff. Before it gets too crazy, lets re-visit our December 2016 Spotlight Feature.
Elegance and feminine grace is what you’ll find in Elaine Stephenson and her work. A very talented artist, she designs logos for businesses and websites as well as amazing calligraphy and art. Her work has an impressionistic air with a soft and airy feel. Pastels and whimsical themes surround her designs welcoming the viewer to a positive and happy world.
She has a great ETSY shop where she offers her beautiful calligraphy work.
Keep reading below for more on this talented southern artist, but make sure to follow her on social media before head on out.
An Atlanta native, Elaine Stephenson is an artist, designer and calligrapher working out of Roswell, GA. Her mission is to lead a creative and fulfilling life everyday with art as her chosen avenue. Elaine decided to pursue art as a career path and holds a BFA in Art with a concentration in Graphic Design from the University of Georgia. Studying graphic design ignited her love for typography and lettering by hand, which led to her discovery of calligraphy. When she is not creating art or lettering everyday, she is often practicing yoga, exploring Atlanta with her boyfriend and stealing cuddles from her black rescue kitty Merlin.
1. When and how did you get involved with art?
– I’ve been creating art and painting since I was young. I probably got started because my grandmother was a talented painter so she always encouraged me to create art. I continued creating art throughout school and ended up majoring in graphic design in college. Design introduced me to my love of typography, which has evolved into hand lettering and calligraphy and that is one of my biggest focuses today!
2. Which art style do you most identify with?
– I guess I most identify with a painterly abstract style; I like seeing brushstrokes within my canvas and have been working more towards abstraction lately. Also, I favor using bright colors and modern compositions.
3. How would you best describe your work? Please let us know why you are passionate about it.
– My work is usually fairly feminine, pretty, colorful and light. I think beautiful artwork can bring a lot of joy to the viewer, whether it is a landscape painting or a hand lettered phrase. I try to inspire the same joy and excitement I get out of creating my work, into the people who purchase it.
4. How did you develop your style?
– Developing my style is something I’m constantly working on. I do that by testing different techniques and subject matter and trying to tune in to what really brings me joy. I also take note of the work of others that I admire and try to pinpoint what I most love about their work, like bold colors and I try that in my work for awhile.
5. Which other artists inspire you and why?
– I’m inspired by many different kinds of artists. Painters like Van Gogh because of his use of color and visible brushstrokes, as well as by artists in my local community. The work of Britt Bass Turner is so colorful and abstract, with lots of energy and movement. Another favorite is Teil Duncan who is known for her colorful, abstract beach scenes. I think I’m drawn to artists whose work is very colorful and bright!
6. What is your favorite art work done by another artist? What is your favorite art work done by you?
– My favorite work of art is probably Van Gogh’s Sunflowers. I got to see it last year in person at the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam. It was so much bigger than I realized! I just love the texture, brushwork and color.
– Favorite artwork done by me…man that’s like choosing your favorite child! Haha. Each time I create a new work it tends to be my latest favorite. But one of my favorites is a calligraphic painting I did because it combines my love of typography, painting and design. It is a fun and heart warming reminder of how sweet home is. (Title: Home Sweet Home)
7. Is your craft your full time Job?
– Yes, right now I’m a full time graphic designer, artist and calligrapher! It’s a fairly new business even though I’ve been doing all of these things on the side of full-time jobs for awhile now.
8. What does your daily routine involve? And what time of day is the best time for you to work on your craft?
– My routine so far is pretty organic and it always starts with sleeping in until I’m rested. I’m a night owl, so I’m sometimes up late creating, so I sleep in to get my Z’s. I usually start the day with admin work and social media before my brain wakes up. Then after I’ve had a meal, I’m usually ready to start creating, so around the afternoon. I also get a second wind late at night usually when I don’t want to go to sleep!
In the Studio
9. What are your favorite art supplies?
– I love getting new supplies for lettering, like different colored pens, inks and markers. I always have to test them out as soon as I come home!
10. How is your studio or art space organized?
– I have a fairly large desk which has a lot of space for some supplies on top as well as my laptop; I move some things out of the way when I’m ready to create. The space I have is small, so it is mostly my desk and a few side tables filled with art supplies and drying racks to hold my finished pieces.
11. What do you do before you start a piece?
– It depends what kind of art I’m creating, but most of the time I will start with sketching. This is a vital step in my art process as it helps me work out the visual problems before I get to a point where it would be hard to correct them. Sometimes I transfer the sketch onto the board or paper I’m working on, or I’ll paint in a light underpainting.
12. How has your work changed over time?
– My painting started off fairly realistic due to the way college courses are taught. I didn’t get much instruction on abstraction so it has only been in the more recent years that I’ve been exploring abstract work.
13. If and/or when you feel frustrated with a piece, what do you do to get out of that funk?
– I usually start by taking a break and stepping away from the artwork. I’ll go and do something different for awhile before coming back to it. I may even go looking for other art inspiration to help me solve whatever issue I’m having. But mostly I just force myself to keep working on it, trusting that it will eventually come together.
14. What do you most love about your work? Is there something you don’t like about it?
– I love the process and starting a painting without really knowing where it will end up. It takes the pressure off and just allows me to create and figure it out as I go along. If I am happy with the outcome in the end, then it’s a success! I don’t like trying to price my work…it’s hard to put a number on a painting!
15. What advice would you give to a young artist aspiring for a career in art?
– Don’t let anyone discourage you from going after your dream. Take constructive criticism well and know that listening to it will only help you get better. Also, find a job that pays if you can’t support yourself just on your art alone. There’s no shame in that! Then hopefully when you’re ready, you can move on from it. Constantly be learning from things and the people around you.
16. What is the biggest obstacle you face when it comes to your work?
– The biggest obstacle is self doubt. It’s easy to get into a comparison trap with other artists you see online, but I try to remember that everyone has different styles that will appeal to different customers. I believe there is a space for everyone who wants to create art and you just have to work to find your niche or sweet spot.
17. Any advice for the creative entrepreneur?
– Just go for it! There will never be a perfect time to pursue your dream. If you’re passionate about it, you just have to work to make it happen, whether that is on the side of a full-time job to support yourself or breaking out on your own. Don’t give up! Take each failure as an opportunity to learn and grow from.
What’s Coming Up
18. What do you feel is the biggest accomplishment of your career thus far?
– Wow, that’s a tough question! My biggest accomplishment may have been having my hand lettering website Typeosketch featured on HOW Designs Top Websites of the month a few years ago. I got so much great feedback from that project where I sketched a word everyday for 100 days in a row in order to improve my hand lettering skills and compile as many different type treatments as I could.
19. Where are you headed? What are your plans for the future with regard to your
– I have just recently launched my Etsy shop to start selling my fine art painting and calligraphic paintings. The next step for me is touring around my local artist markets and selling my art in public. It will be fun to connect with my community more in person!
20. What is your favorite color and why?
– My favorite color is turquoise! To me it is just the prettiest color and reminds me of a clear blue sea. My obsession can get a little out of hand, as whenever I see something in my favorite shade of turquoise, I usually have to buy it! Ha
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Special Thanks to Elaine Stephenson for participating in this month’s Spotlight Feature!
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