Maker Stories

Cloudy Mountainscape for the Win

May 9, 2013

I actually couldn’t wait to sit down to this year’s Art Contest judging-and not because I’m an uber fan of the Jealous Curator. I knew it was going to be a really close contest with every one of the top five voted pieces being so special and so unique.

And I was right. It came down to two paintings but eventually Katie, Danielle and Matthew arrived at a consensus–Elise Wehle’s Cloudy Mountainscape was too exceptional to pass up and its paper cut texture would make an incredible print. So meet Elise, the winner of our latest design challenge and help us welcome her into our artist family!

What is one uncommon fact about you?
I’m still an avid Mario Kart racer for the Nintendo 64.

When did you first realize you’re an artist?
As a kid I used to love to draw animals. Everyone, including myself, thought I was going to grow up to be a zoologist. It wasn’t until middle school that I branched out and started drawing Star Wars characters (yeah, I was pretty nerdy). However, my nerdiness worked towards my benefit, and I realized I just loved drawing and making art more than even the subject matter. Soon after I decided I wanted to be an artist.

Where do you get inspiration for your art?
I definitely find inspiration from city walls covered in old and new posters. I can almost see the history of the wall when I tear off one poster only to discover another one underneath. I love when all the different layers of posters turns into one giant collage. I think the way time weathers and tears the paper is very beautiful. I try to copy that look in a lot of my work.

Describe your artistic process.
I usually start an artwork by finding an image or a photograph that I really love online. I like the idea of taking something that only exists as bits and pixels and turning it into something real and tangible again. I materialize the image by creating a transfer of the photo. Sometimes this is done through intaglio, a printmaking process I learned while in college, or sometimes I use gel medium and transfer the photo directly to paper. I then try to incorporate some type of hand-intensive technique into the artwork, usually in the form of weaving, paper cutting, or embroidery.

Describe your work space.
Oh boy, my work space is nothing fancy. Right now my studio is a small corner of my bedroom. In that corner I have a desk, a lamp, and a little stool, all three of which are covered in art supplies. Usually and inevitably, my creative process begins to spread all across the bedroom until the bed and floor are covered. Luckily, my husband has the patience of a saint and hasn’t complained about all the little pieces of paper we end up tracking across the house.

What advice would you give to another artist interested in entering one of our design challenges?
My first bit of advice would simply be to enter the competition. Don’t prevent yourself from taking advantage of such an awesome opportunity by worrying about whether your art is good enough. Just enter it and see what happens. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Those circumstances are not very common and should always be ventured.

My second piece of advice goes hand in hand with my first. I think Andy Warhol summed it up perfectly. He said, “Don’t think about making art. Just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it’s good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.” Whatever the outcome of this competition or any other artistic venture you attempt, don’t worry too much about the results. Just keep making more art. If you’re consistent, you’ll eventually stumble upon a great artistic breakthrough that someone will notice and adore.

Check out The Jealous Curator‘s post about Elise’s art!

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5 Comments

  • Reply Smee May 9, 2013 at 11:20 am

    I knew Elise as a child and young adult, and yes, she was both nerdy and creative. For me, however, the best way to know an artist is by seeing what they create, by doing this you get into their soul. It should be obvious to everyone who sees her work that she is way into details, tactile, humourous, beautiful, and lovely. I cannot wait to see how far she goes, because, she’s also amazing.

  • Reply David May 9, 2013 at 3:19 pm

    I love the textures she employs in her artwork. The fact that she likes Star Wars and N64 makes her even cooler!

  • Reply MG Stout May 14, 2013 at 10:58 pm

    Amazing piece & huge fan of the Jealous Curator! Happy to have lost to such an amazing piece. Love this painting. Congrats!!!!

  • Reply Advice from our Design Challenge Winners | UncommonGoods June 18, 2013 at 9:02 am

    […] Elise Wehle, 2013 Art Contest […]

  • Reply Elise Wehle | Georgia Rose-Garside January 31, 2014 at 6:53 am

    […] Wehle. I came across her work for the first time a few weeks ago when I was judging the UncommonGoods art contest… one look at her portfolio and we knew we had a winner!  You can see why, right?!  She’ll be […]

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