{the interview series} Elizabeth Mayville

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

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Hoje estou à conversa com Elizabeth Mayville, uma artista americana de sorriso doce e traço expressivo. Ter sido mamã há pouco tempo pode ter-lhe tirado o sono, mas não lhe tirou a inspiração... sejam naturezas mortas ou retratos de mulheres misteriosas, a sua arte parece natural como o ar que respiramos - acalma, intriga, reconforta.
Apreciem o seu trabalho, o seu sentido de humor e as suas palavras sinceras ao longo desta entrevista.

Today I'm talking with Elizabeth Mayville, an American artist with a sweet smile and expressive brushstrokes. Being a new mom may have taken away her sleep, but not her inspiration... whether still lifes or portraits of mysterious women, her art seems natural as the air we breathe - it's soothing, intriguing, comforting.
Enjoy her work, her sense of humor and her heartfelt words throughout this interview.

Elizabeth Mayville

Tell us...
1. who is Elizabeth Mayville?
I’m an artist who lives in the state of Michigan in the United States. I’m also a new mother, which means I’m currently less of full time artist and more of a blissed out zombie who paints.

2. have you become what you wanted to be when you grew up?
Absolutely! I’m right in the thick of it, which completely blows my mind. My mother recently pulled out a drawing that I made as a child and it depicted future-me as a painter. We both cried.

3. what inspires you to create?
People who know what they want to do and do it. Sometimes my goals seem impossible and then I’ll read about or meet someone who is actively pursuing their goals. It makes me feel lazy and inspires me to get to work.

Share with us...
4. your artistic media of choice.
I love gouache because of the quick drying time that forces you to make very quick decisions. Oil paint does the exact opposite, and I love it for that reason.

5. the favorite corner of your workspace.
My workspace is a tiny bedroom in my home, but I am able to keep about one square foot of workspace clear of supplies and paintings in progress. That has to be my favorite spot because clutter drives me crazy, though you wouldn’t know it from looking at my studio. I would like to mention that before I had my son it was the definition of organization and cleanliness. Maybe someday it will get back to its former state.

6. a day at work.
I get up at 4 AM or so for my son’s night feeding and then head to the studio after he falls back to sleep. I drink a cup of coffee and work on some of my more quiet tasks like painting or answering e-mails. My son wakes up again at around 6 AM and from then on I focus on playing with him and working while he’s taking naps. Sometime around 3 PM we both get pretty tired and cranky so we take a nap together, which is my favorite part of the day. I look forward to a less crazy schedule in the future, but for now this is the one that works the best.

7. a business tip.
If you are a painter, sell prints of your paintings. I put off doing so for a very long time but once I took the plunge and bought a high quality printer, it completely changed the structure of my business in an amazing way.

8. an advice to your younger you.
Don’t be embarrassed about your college degree in painting. It wasn’t a waste of time and it will give you the tools to be exactly who you want to be, even if it doesn’t get you a job right out of college.

9. a plan to the future.
I would love to do illustrations for books or magazines. My big goal is to write and illustrate my own book.

Let us know...
10. a personality that influences you.
Wayne White. I saw Beauty is Embarrassing a few months ago and I fell in love with his life and personality.

11. a book you think everyone should read.  
My Name is Asher Lev.

12. an unforgettable movie.
I have notoriously bad taste in movies (excluding Beauty is Embarrassing), so a movie that I love isn’t necessarily a movie that is good. I watch movies to give my brain a breather, so the less it requires of me, the better. For that reason I’m going to say Step Up 2: The Streets, which I have seen probably a dozen times. I like the bit when they have a dance-off on trampolines.

13. a music that couldn't miss in the perfect playlist.
Unfortunately I’m also a pretty bad source for music recommendations. I listen mostly to the news or comedy podcasts while I work, but I checked my iTunes music library and I listen to Tin Man by Future Islands a ton.

14. a city to fall in love with.
Barcelona! I went there for a few days about ten years ago and loved it. Truthfully I think any city by the sea is lovable.

15. a favorite food and drink.
My favorite food is a big bowl of mussels in white wine sauce and my favorite drink is Bell’s Oberon Ale.

16. a guilty pleasure.
People magazine. I don’t know what’s wrong with me.


  1. love love love this! Very inspiring! I´d love to work like this and have a baby, too.


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