We had the good fortune of connecting with Elisabeth Sullivan and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Elisabeth, is there something you can share with us that those outside of the industry might not be aware of?
That it’s really, really hard work! Creativity is definitely a precious gift, but it isn’t all just fun and freedom of expression. When you choose to make a living with art, it comes with all the things about it that aren’t always fun or creative. You have to keep producing no matter what, whether you’re feeling inspired at the moment or not. You sometimes have to accept projects that you’re not particularly excited about so you can eat. You have to continuously market yourself and put yourself in view of the public as often as possible, which for me is often very uncomfortable. I think there’s often a misconception that you’re either a “starving artist” or you’ve “made it”. I think the truth for a lot of artists, and myself in particular is somewhere in between the two. It seems to me that there isn’t just one big break and then you’ve made it. There are a lot of ups and downs and you just have to keep at it and work tirelessly. It’s literally like having 5 full time jobs!
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I have always been inspired and fascinated by the incredible forces of nature and the magnificent creatures that inhabit this beautiful planet. That, and my intense desire to protect nature will always be my main inspiration. I have created in many different media over the years, but I’m currently focusing on paintings and murals. My paintings are a visual representation of the impact nature has on my senses fueled by my imagination and dreams. I’m interested in creating a peaceful, happy mood, evoking fond memories of a time or place, and arousing curiosity. I leave the story in my “dreamscapes” open to interpretation, inviting the viewer to experience the scene in their own way. My hope is to write and illustrate a book in the same style and themes as my paintings at some point in the not too distant future. Through my art and books I hope to raise awareness and promote the desire to protect and conserve the beauty and diversity of nature. I am where I am today professionally because I don’t feel like there’s anything else I could do, and I just don’t give up. It’s been really, really hard and sometimes you have to take on some work you’d rather not to keep going, but you have to keep going. The main thing I’d like the world to know about me is my commitment to planet earth and my desire to do everything I can to live sustainably. I’m not perfect, but I try to find ways that I can make a difference, like using bio plastic print sleeves & handmade recycled paper bags for customers and donating when I can to environmental organizations.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
To me, the first and most important place to show off is our beautiful beaches. Children’s Pool in La Jolla for Harbor Seal viewing, South Mission Beach for some Volleyball, Swami’s in Encinitas, and Coronado to see the Hotel Del and visit Emerald C Gallery which not only carries my art, but tons of other fabulous artists! Balboa Park and all the incredible museums, the zoo and Spanish Village Art Center. (Which I am a member of). Little Italy’s fabulous farmer’s market would definitely be on the itinerary. Red House Pizza in University Heights, my favorite Pizza Place, is a must! And I’d definitely want to take my friend on a tour of some of the breweries in San Diego County.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
All the other amazing artists I’ve met along my journey! But if I had to choose just one thing, the book “Starving to Successful” by gallery owner Jason Horejs has been incredibly helpful. I’ve used the advice in this book from everything to pricing my work to writing my bio to approaching galleries. Great advice from cover to cover.
Linkedin: Elisabeth Sullivan