Friday Finds... Elissanolan
Interview # 48
I called out to Etsy sellers in the forums a few days ago to see if anyone would be interested in having interviews which is something I havent done in AGES. I normally stumble across people through finding them on my own accord. I thought it would be nice to ask for a change as I know so many of the newer or established sellers are actively searching for ways to promote their work. The first items that I fell in love with are the beautiful accessories from Etsy artist Elissa Nolan. Besides tile jewelry she offers artworks, bags and other jewelry accessories which in a collective look so feminine and bright on her shop homepage. I adore her product photos and I'm so pleased she responded to the interview call as I think she really has a wonderful talent and I'm excited to offer my readers an opportunity to learn more about her and her work :)
(Just click the images to go direct to the listings)
-- Tell me a bit about you! (Name, Age, Location, and give us a random fact whilst you're at it.) Hi! My name is Ellissa Nolan, I’ve just turned forty and I live in Brisbane in Australia. I have a six-year-old son and an amazing husband who supports every aspect of my creativity.
-- What is your business about then? Encaustic Works is about celebrating being an artist in every respect. I want to explore and make and create and scare myself by discovering things I can do that I never imagined possible before. I love to watch people’s reactions to my work and how they love to wear the pieces, or talk about the paintings, and find a bit more about their own subjective taste through this process.
-- How did Etsy come into your life? After moving to Queensland two years ago I started to create necklaces as a hobby to ‘de-stress’ after work. I wondered if people would be interested to buy them so I started to sell them at the Southbank Designer Markets in Brisbane. My friend suggested I also set up an online store on Etsy as an efficient way to handle payments for people that wanted to purchase them online. I got excited about that and set up an Etsy store. I didn’t really focus on putting work up there until May this year, and have slowly started to create a showcase of work. Now that is at a level I feel comfortable with I’m really interested in finding out more about the Etsy community.
-- Are you working a day job too? Yes, I work for QUT Creative Industries as a digital communications officer. I work on the social networks, Faculty website, create videos, take photographs and write news stories. I’ve just finished working with a great team to develop a new mobile website too.
-- How long has the artist in you been 'unleashed' for? I worked in Australian media and communications for a long time as my profession after leaving school at 16. When I was 25 I developed blood clots in my legs and lungs and had to take anti-coagulants for a year after that. During the aftermath I really had to assess what would make me happy as an individual before my inevitable permanent demise. So I thought if I could play classical guitar on a mountain in Spain by myself then that would be a life achievement that I would be content with. But at the time I didn’t know how to play guitar at all! So in around 1999 my friend kindly offered to help me start learning - I then hired a teacher and studied two hours a day for two years. I travelled to Spain and walked across the old Pilgrims trail to Santiago de Compostela. After developing tendonitis in my ankle I bought a guitar in Burgos and found a place to rest for a few days called Villafranca del Bierzo. I climbed to the top of a hill there, overlooking a vineyard and sat under a pear tree and played every Spanish piece I knew by heart. I knew my dream had been realized in that moment.
After that I had the confidence to enrol in University and do a Visual Arts degree. I started when I was four months pregnant. After completing two years of a Bachelors degree the Head of School invited me to undertake a Masters degree in Visual Arts. So I ended up managing a Summer School attracting over 500 people to create their own art in 8 days in the city of Launceston in Tasmania (Tasmanian Creative Arts Summer School). After doing that successfully I was awarded my Masters degree in Contemporary Art and moved to sunny Queensland for new challenges!
-- What has been the inspiration behind your business? During my undergraduate degree I found that my favorite work was creating encaustic abstract paintings. I would love that I could create visual stories with melted beeswax that didn’t have to replicate realism and they could communicate how I was feeling through textures and colours, format and by embedding objects. The business name is derived from that. The work is created by a desire to find and express my own interpretation of a ‘beautiful aesthetic’.
-- If you could describe your products in three words, what would you tell me? Colour, texture, emotion
-- What would an average working day for you be like from dawn til dusk? My usual day starts at around 5.30am. Either my husband or I make each other breakfast in bed with a really strong cup of coffee. I’ll check all of my messages on my phone and check out what’s happening with my friends on facebook. I read the news online on the ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation). I’ll have a shower, get my son ready for school and drop him off. I then go into my office with another big cup of coffee and work on either writing stories, editing photos, concetualising projects, meeting people, writing emails, briefing agencies, editing videos or finding out interesting contemporary developments in the creative economy to share on our social networks. At lunchtime I go to the gym to try and keep healthy. During exercise I visualize which direction to take my projects and stay determined to be a productive creative person in society.
After work I pick up my son, head home for working on homework, bath time, dinner and family time. After dinner I’ll usually spend an hour or so working on my own creative projects. On the weekends I dedicate my time to my family and making my own creative work.
-- What's your favourite material and techniques to work with? At the moment I’m exploring using fabric to make bags, and also working with glass and resin. They are all new materials to me since graduating so I am enjoying the discovery of each one. However, at the end of the day I’ll always be drawn back to the desire to paint.
-- What is your ideal vision for the future for you and your work? I’m happy to create and to keep creating as long as I can, in as many ways as possible. I’m having a very fortunate time in that many of my dreams have been, and are being realized. To be able to continue to learn, grow and share creativity with likeminded people keeps me inspired!
-- Away from work, what do you like to do for fun or to wind down? Well I still like to play my guitar to really wind down. When I play it’s one of the few times that I feel my communication is uninhibited by the limits of language and words. There are sounds that match my feelings that I can’t explain in words. I’m certainly no virtuoso, but enjoy playing simple pieces as well as I can.
I also love to go to the beach with my husband and son. I find the sound of the ocean relaxing and the warm sun on my back makes me feel happy.
-- What are you likely to search for on Etsy? I’m likely to look for gifts for friends and family for birthdays and Christmas. At the moment I’m looking for paintings that I like too. The majority of my suppliers are people I have found on Etsy.
-- Any last words? Thank you for the opportunity to talk with you! Life is short – live your dream!