ELISE WINDSOR

CH.89: If you were to categorize or describe the style of your artwork, what would it be and why?
EW: My work tends to bounce between painting, sculpture and photography. The style is rooted in traditional forms of photography, like product photographs, and aesthetically it’s postmodern.
CH.89: Where do you draw your inspiration from?

EW: Mostly it stems from these conversations I’m trying to have with some form of art history. I love using techniques like Cyanotype, one of the original ways of image-making to create abstract, pop or kitsch work. I am forever influenced by the Memphis Group, who were an Italian collective of architects and designers from the 80s that designed postmodern objects.CH.89: Can you talk a little bit about what your creative thought process is like when starting a new project/ piece of artwork?

EW: I’m a bit of a collector. I am constantly thinking of ways to rework objects and shapes that I find out in the world, my inspiration comes from the objects I find in thrift shops, sporting goods stores and even IKEA. So it starts with a thing, even just a small idea, and it expands from there.

CH.89: Is there anything in particular that you would want people to take from your artwork?

EW: It’s a little bit all over the place, just like me. It’s colorful, bright, big, a little bit feminist and sometimes a little bit funny.

CH.89: Can you talk a little bit about your lifestyle as an artist and what that is like?

EW: It’s a bit like a roller coaster, and at this very moment, I am teaching a sessional class at Memorial University in Newfoundland. It’s an incredibly fruitful and rewarding experience. Last semester I was teaching at NSCAD in Halifax. I love being in these different creative environments and, with respect to the Maritimes, it’s hard to not be influenced by the landscapes as well.

CH.89: When starting out an artistic task, do you think it is better to have a particular direction/set plan guiding your way? Or, is it better to act on impulse and go from there?

EW: I love using calendars. I used to treat them like journals and to-do lists. I’ve made the switch to digital calendars, but I still love making paper to-do lists. Even a small task that gets to be crossed off is great. Once I start with a simple planned task, it’s easier to make impromptu decisions.

CH.89: What is one major lesson you’ve learned as an artist thus far?

EW: Trust your instinct! Gut feelings are the most important.

CH.89: Do you regard personal style & taste to be of highest importance?

EW: It’s important but not the most important. Style is something that is both so personal and manufactured. You can’t help but be influenced by images we all see online.

CH.89: What do you consider to be the hardest thing about being an artist?

EW: Balance. Working or finding work and making work are very different things. I’ve had amazing contracts that creatively satisfy my need to make things and other more traditional jobs where it crushed me. That balance is so important.

CH.89: What is one thing you love about being an artist?

EW: Being creative!

CH.89: Is there anyone in particular, any artist’s that inspire you in any way?

EW: I love so many. Anyone from the Memphis Group: Ettore Sottsass, Nathalie Du Pasquier. Current favorites are Jessica Eaton and Sarah Crowner. I also will always be inspired by David Hockney and Matisse.

CH.89: What do you think of technology in terms of being a useful tool for artists today?

EW: I am all for it. I spend the most amount of time on Instagram – it’s a great way to show what you’re working on #wip or promoting shows, or just being you and posting cute pictures of things you like. I have an Instagram account dedicated to the breakfast food I eat, it’s a fun way for my partner and myself to make something silly. He cooks, while I style and set up the photos. @regularbreakfast

   CH.89: Do you think being an artist allows you to view the world differently from those who don’t follow creative paths?

EW: Totally. I think about how I can change or create things all the time. I set myself up with rules when it comes to buying objects, otherwise, my apartment and studio would be overflowing.

CH.89: Do you enjoy travelling? If so, do you have a favorite city?

EW: I try to go on some sort of trip whenever I can, these past few months have been like extended vacations between Atlantic Canada. A year ago I went to Japan, and I fell in love with Tokyo. It’s a city like no other.

CH.89: Do you have a favorite author or book?

EW: My current obsession is cookbooks, I recently got Le Courbuffet by Esther Choi and Nothing Fancy by Alison Roman.

CH.89: Any future goals or plans for your artwork?

EW: I’m applying to some residencies where the environment will dictate the work being made. I love continuing these bigger threads from past work into new work, so it’s always evolving and changing to whatever space I’m in.

CH.89: What does being an artist mean to you?

EW: I love making things. Anytime I get to solve puzzles and use my brain in that way is so rewarding.

CH.89: What’s the last song you listened to?

EW: The new Caribou album, Suddenly, came out on Friday, and I’ve been listening to that non-stop.

CH.89: Any last words on the aesthetic of your artwork?

EW: It’s always better in matte.

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