Interview: Artist Elizabeth St. Hilaire

By March 22, 2017Uncategorized

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Cozy on up in your favorite arm chair and enjoy a look into the colorful world of Elizabeth St. Hilaire collage artist extraordinaire!

Meticulously torn bits of hand-painted papers, delicately put together, form the exceptionally vibrant collages created by Elizabeth. Richard Colvin, executive director of the Lake Eustis Museum of Art says, “Elizabeth St. Hilaire’s artworks have a fresh quality that belies the way they are constructed.” St. Hilaire published her book Painted Paper Art Workshop internationally with North Light Books in August (2016). Elizabeth’s work has also been published in Acrylic Works 3: Celebrating Texture (2015) and Incite 2; Color Passions (2014), both by North Light. A feature article on her work appeared in the April, 2014 issue of The Artists Magazine, she was also a finalist in The Artist’s Magazine Annual Art Competition (2014 and 2015) and took first place in the category of Collage/Mixed Media for The Artist’s Magazine All Media Competition (2010). St. Hilaire was an award winner in the National Collage Society’s Signature Members Exhibition at the Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum, in Mesa AZ (2013). Online, Elizabeth was a Finalist in The Richeson 75 Annual Art Contest (2013). She holds a B.F.A. in Advertising Design from Syracuse University, which prepared her for a dual identity as both communication designer and a painter–these days she’s a full-time fine artist who’s only graphic design client is herself. Elizabeth has earned Signature Member status with the National Collage Society and crisscrosses the country several times a year to take her painted paper tidbits on the road.

Teaching and sharing her collage techniques has become a passion and we are excited to have Elizabeth traveling and sharing her passions with us in two amazing locations in 2017!   PaperPaintings: Greece and Paper Paintings: Quebec!

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Q: What are some of your earliest creative memories? What first ignited your passion for art?

A: My earliest creative memory is from kindergarten. We were brought out of the classroom to paint at an easel set up in the hallway, under the stairwell. I remember the smell of the paint, the size of the brushes, the trash bag smock. I still have the painting.

Q: Tell us about a day in the life – or a day in the studio, to be precise! What does it look like (and feel like) to be creative every day? What can you share about your process or routines?

A: My job involves travel to teach Paper Paintings Collage Workshops, marketing, fulfilling online sales, and painting (in that order). Any given day can include all or none of those tasks, there is nothing predictable about being a self employed artist!

Q: Where does the magic happen? What does your creative space look like? 

A: My studio space is in my house, adjacent to my kitchen. I enjoy working from home, being able to spend time with my dogs and prepare dinner so that my son has nourishment when he returns home from a long day at school and crew practice.

Q: What piece of equipment, tool or color could you not live without?

A: My easel, it’s about 10 years old, covered in glue, and a workhorse.

Q: Where do you derive inspiration? Do you have any routines or rituals that get you into the creative zone?

A: I listen to good music, I get myself a cup of coffee and I remember to be grateful every day that I love my job.

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Q: Does your creativity ever stall? Do you ever get artist’s block? What do you do when that happens?

A: YES! it does happen, or I lose my motivation. When that happens, I go shopping. I get out of the house/studio and just put my mind on something else.

Q: How does travel inspire your work?

A: I love to travel, I travel to teach every month. New people that I meet inspire me, new scenery and climates inspire me, the photography that I take along the way continues to inspire me after I return home.

Q: What do you love most about teaching workshops?

A: I love meeting like minded people, new people, and sharing the creative process

From a workshop leader standpoint, what are you most looking forward to during this workshop?

A: I am really looking forward to the excitement that is bubbling over from the students, not only for my class, but also for such an ADVENTURE in travel.

Q: At Arts & Cultural Travel, we believe in the creative power of sketchbooks and journaling. Do you journal or sketch? 

A: What I do when I travel is blog. I love to take beautiful photos and share about my travel adventures. You can find my writing at PaperPaintings.com, scroll all the way to the bottom.

Q: If you could take only five creative items with you on vacation (not necessarily a workshop – any vacation), what would they be? 

A: My computer, my camera, watercolor sketching supplies, music & headphones, walking shoes

Q: So many of us believe our art can only ever be a hobby. How did you make the leap from passion to profession?

A: I earned a degree in Fine ART, and art has always been my profession in one form or another. I started out as a graphic artist for over 20 years (self employed) during that time I made a gradual transition over to full time fine artist when I was earning enough money to do so.

Q:  What creative medium would you like to pursue but haven’t yet?

A: welding/sculpture

Q: Any tips for balancing creative time and administrative duties?

A: Don’t get sucked into social media! Use the computer for the marketing duties you need to, and then get off.

Q: If you could spend an afternoon with any artist, dead or alive, who would that be?

A: Klimt, Gustav Klimt

Q: Where can we find you and your work?

A: PaperPaintings.com

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Interested in joining Elizabeth in the spectacular city of Napfolio, Greece or the incredibly charming city of Quebec?   Contact us here or send us an email, give us a ring… we love chatting it up about our artists and destinations!

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