Quarto Creates | 26 February 2021Meet Elise Young Share article facebook twitter google pinterest Elise Young is a creator and printmaker living and working in Toronto, Canada, and the author of Inspired Artist: Block Print for Beginners from Walter Foster. Her work is mainly inspired by nature, especially florals and botanical elements. You can find her recent work on Instagram @bloomingprint. We asked Elise a few question about her artistic process. Quarto Creates: How did you first become interested in block printing? Elise Young: Since I was a child, I have always been engaged in artistic activities. I was particularly fascinated by the use of various mediums for arts and crafts. For instance, before I start carving, I spent some time with wood working for miniature furniture and paper quilling. Then I came across an artwork of some unknown printmaker. The unique texture and bold expression suddenly sparked my desire to learn about the technique and to try it out myself. Besides, it was attractive that I could start even without professional knowledge or skills. So I went for it by myself for the first time and I immediately fell in love with the whole process of printmaking. Since then, I kept carving without looking back. QC: What is the biggest challenge you face while working on an art project? EY: The biggest challenge is time management. As a mother of two children, there are many things that I am in charge at home. Especially when children were young, it was not easy for me to make time for my own work. Over the years, I learned how to manage and separate my work time and other things in a reasonable and balanced way, and it improved a lot. I think it’s absolutely important to have some space and time dedicated for your own work for solely focused energy. QC: Have your finished products ever turned out different than your expectation, and how do you deal with that? EY: During the block printing process, final results are always produced at the last step through the medium of blocks. So, it is rather the nature of block printing that your end results may come out differently from what you thought to be. This is one of the most attractive aspects of block printing, and in most cases, the result was much better than I expected. In block printing, little textures or details reveal only when they are printed out on a paper or surface. These are some subtleties with little inconsistencies that cannot be planned or designed. Even when undesirable results come out, there is always something to learn in the process. So if you put a value on that part, you can avoid repeating similar mistakes. Through trial and error, you will gain more valuable ideas to improve your work . QC: What artists do you look to for inspiration? EY: It is difficult to choose only a few names because there are so many great artists who inspire me. In terms of sources of inspiration, especially, I love to look over traditional fine arts, old master pieces, children’s illustration picture books, traditional and cultural craft inspiration work from various sources. All these works give me a pure joy of observation and I could learn a lot from them. Also, there are so many great artists that I look to. When I have time, my favorite places are museums, libraries, and bookstores. The artists’ paintings and books available at these places are one of the greatest sources of inspiration, especially the works of artists in fine art. QC: What is the most important lesson you’ve learned from creating? EY: The joy someone feels through creation hardly compares to anything else. There are many important lessons for me during my few years working in the printmaking, but I can pick two of them that I find the most important for me. First, I discovered my own voice. In fact, I’m still in the process of finding my own style and voice (I think it will be an endless journey), but I think creating the things that I want to express through my own way is the same as the process of discovering myself. It is a really meditative process to find my unique voice that is different from anyone else and just being me. The second lesson is, while the outcome of the creative activities is important, what I also find very important is the process itself. In the process of constantly creating new things, I realized that there are always lessons, big or small, to learn from each process. Throughout my several years of working on print making, I realized that the pieces after pieces obtained in the process itself become the driving force to continue the work of the next stage. Learn more about Elise’s work on Instagram @bloomingprint. Be sure to get your copy of Inspired Artist: Block Print for Beginners, available March 2021! Block Print for Beginners $21.99$14.99 Buy in UK / Europe Buy in US / Canada Share article facebook twitter google pinterest If you have any comments on this article please contact us or get in touch via social media.