“I’m enjoying being cheeky and challenging. “

Image:  Ivan Otis

What country are you from and where do you live?

From Canada, Living in Toronto Ontario.

Education background (Hair school, art school, no school)?

Self Taught

What is your signature style/artistic expression and how did you come up with it?

I guess I would say I’ve been more consistently a line work artist.  And I mainly draw bodies and expressions in one way or another.

For a long time I’ve been exploring concepts of feminine sensuality, identity and its relationship with feminism. My pattern-based pieces look at the complicated relationship many of us have with space and much of my earlier work itself didn’t take up much space at all (moleskins, am I right?). I’ve often focused on dense patterns on a tiny scale, so my interest in developing patterns was an obvious next step. 

Through this reflection, my “No Talent” sculptures have been more of a focus lately. Still in line with my favourite idea of nuanced repetition, I’ve been developing this series of one hundred similar but unique sculptures, each existing within a mini-series of four or five pieces each. Each is 15” and cast in resin. I’m grateful to have the help of Greatbeard Productions.

I feel like I’m giving more life to what has usually been a drawing. For a long time I’ve been trying to expand my comfort with larger spaces and the sculpture series has been a really important journey for me so far. I’m enjoying being cheeky and challenging. 

Do you have a career turning point/your big break?

As far as “big breaks” go, it’s hard to name anything specific. I was fortunate to be working with a small art collective out of New York years ago and through that I’v been able to sell pieces all over the world. One Mixed media piece hangs in a school somewhere in Tokyo. A pattern I have called Orgy became wallpaper in a restaurant downtown Toronto. There are whole collections that have been purchased privately.

What advice would you give to someone starting out in your business?

If I could suggest anything (at least to myself!), keep working and keep sharing your progress with friends and fans. The feedback is helpful; especially when I feel stuck or uninspired. Keep moving, creating and growing!

Instagram @elyse_saunders