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Meet Elizabeth Selby in Colorado Springs

Today we’d like to introduce you to Elizabeth Selby.

So, before we jump into specific questions about your art, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
In a nutshell, my (creative) background is everything. As far back as I can remember, my mom was letting me try any creative thing I could get my hands on. This included pottery, sewing, metalworking, woodworking, glass/mosaic, and eventually sketching and painting. It wasn’t until my mid-20s that I started taking painting seriously and learned to work with different mediums, though I had always loved painting as a kid.

Looking back, I would say all of the little projects and crafty things that seemed silly or just a phase when I was young were all cumulative in my learning process. When you spend years learning how to work with your hands, problem-solving, dealing with failure, or just learning to love the process of creating, it has a lasting effect on who you are and how you work.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I would say it’s like any story, where there have been really easy parts and really hard parts. Initially, it was hard for me to explain to people what it is I actually do. I think a lot of people (understandably) imagine that I just sit around and paint and that it isn’t work like any other work. Of course, it is my dream job and I absolutely love what I do, but it involves so much more than actually painting. There are so many things that have to be done before and after executing a piece. For example, promoting myself. I’m still figuring out that (very important) part of this whole job. If all I had to do was paint, and not mess with social media, marketing, web design, photography, scoping out galleries, etc, my life would be a lot simpler.

Please tell us more about what you do, what you are currently focused on and most proud of.
As an artist, I do sort of operate that way since I sell most of my work. I’m most known for my self-portrait paintings and my realist/minimalist style. I think what I’m most proud of is my journey and growth over the past few years. Not just working on my technical skill as a painter (taking classes, going to critiques, etc.), but really honing in my voice; painting what I want to paint and saying what I want to say through my work. Learning who you are and what your style is an equal part of any creatives journey, just as learning the craft itself. You really can’t have compelling art without both, in my opinion.

Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
I had a pretty magical childhood, so it’s really hard to say. That’s probably why I’m so nostalgic and so much of my work is about nostalgia. Some of my best memories, though, was being a teenager and doing hoodrat things with my friends, having zero responsibilities, and living in and enjoying the present.

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