Local artist Elizabeth Person has been gaining recognition for her beautifully illustrated maps, children's books, and other Northwest icons and landmarks. We caught up with her and chatted about her illustrations and how she's staying connected during the pandemic. Read on for our Q&A with Elizabeth:
BDA: How would you describe what you create?
EP: I am an illustrator based in Everett, Washington. Using pen and watercolor, I sketch from life and specialize in map art celebrating Northwest themes and geography. My artwork can be found in more than 50 shops around the Puget Sound, at northwest art festivals and in my children's book debut, To Live in an Island.
BDA: How long have you been practicing your craft?
EP: About eight years ago I discovered the combination of waterproof ink pen and watercolor. The steady and intentional nature of my drawing process allows me to reconcile the unpredictability and excitement of painting with watercolor. Around that same time I started making handmade maps. Maps have always fascinated me and I’ve loved learning more about this specific form of informational art.
BDA: Very cool! Where did you learn or develop your illustrating technique?
EP Ever since I can remember I’ve been creating art! I studied illustration in college and worked as a graphic designer for ten years, before moving to art full time. It’s been a steady process of always creating, always learning, investing in classes and workshops and trial and error.
BDA: Has the COVID-19 pandemic affected you and your artwork?
EP: Usually I’d be outside every weekend, selling my work at art festivals around the Puget Sound - like in Bellevue! But, with most all in-person events canceled I’ve been able to pivot to selling work through my online store and taking on custom work. I recently created a map for a middle reader book called A Whale of the Wild by Rosanne Parry. It came out September 1st!
BDA: Do you have a favorite project or work you especially enjoyed creating?
EP: Last year I illustrated a children’s book set in the San Juan Islands – To Live on an Island by Emma Bland Smith. It was just on the PNW Independent Booksellers List last week! Check it out at an independent bookstore or library near you. It was so fun to illustrate a children’s book that’s set locally.
BDA: Where can people learn more and purchase your illustrations?
EP: Visit my website or follow my work on Instagram or Facebook. I show lots of sneak peeks, works-in-progress, and upcoming events (er, well, none now, but you know what I mean!)
This blog is part of our new blog series: heART of Bellevue. As an alternative to the 6th Street Arts Fair, the BDA – in partnership with Amazon - will feature local artists who would have participated in this year’s festival. Support all of our artists who were going to participate in this year’s fair by browsing their artwork and portfolios on our website.