A Conversation with

Hallie Elizabeth

Hallie Elizabeth spent her childhood surrounded by art. Although she found an early knack for sketching and painting, it wasn抰 until she was diagnosed with Lupus that art became her one and only calling. We asked the California native to join our Artist Series and reinterpret the Oribe goddess into one of her dreamlike illustrations, and the result is an affirmation of her artistic aesthetic: whimsical, powerful and imaginative. We asked the self-taught artist about her inspirations, her passion for Frida Kahlo and what exciting projects are in store.

Tell us a little about your background in art. When did you know that it was your calling?
My background in art goes back all the way back to when I was just a little girl. My mama went to art school and she had such a passion for painting...a lot of my early memories revolve around sitting on the floor of the apartment with her, looking through art history books together. Because of her, some of my best friends as a young girl were artists who had died a century before I was even born.

When I was younger, I would sketch and paint every now and then, but it wasn't until I was diagnosed with a chronic illness called Lupus and was confined to my bed that I began escaping through my artwork. Art was my sanity and became my one and only calling.

How would you describe your artistic aesthetic?
My aesthetic comes from my femininity. The power and beauty that women hold within them is so captivating...that beauty drives my work. I also value the dichotomy of nature that effortlessly harmonizes simplicity and complexity. This duality is reflected in my work as well.

Describe your artistic process. Where do you typically find inspiration?
My inspiration comes from my emotions, my life experiences and my Sicilian, Irish and Native American background. Come to think of it, I really admire all cultures and all ways of life. The world has so much beauty to offer. I suppose I take the painful experiences I have been through and then meld them with the beauty I know exists out in the world, and that's how my pieces come to be.

If there's any artist you could collaborate with, living or dead, who would it be and what would you do together?
It would have to be Frida Kahlo. We would commiserate about our broken bodies and drink while we painted.

What's the best advice you've ever received?
"What would Frida do?"

How would you describe your personal style?
My style is very romantic and bohemian. I love anything that is soft and flowing, lacy or has fringe. I love earth tones and flowers. You can usually find me layered in a couple of oversized tank tops with different patterns, jean shorts and my moccasins.

How do you normally wear your hair?
I keep my hair as long as possible and with a heavy fringe. I typically wash it and let it dry on it's own. From there, it dries mostly straight with a little bit of a wave. If I am not wearing my hair down, it's usually up in some sort of braid.

Why did you decide to design the Oribe logo the way you did?
I wanted to focus on the face of the goddess, since I aspire to make all the women I paint much like goddesses themselves: strong, beautiful and unique. When looking at the Oribe logo, all I could envision was what she might look like if we could see her face in detail. I took that idea and then built around it like I usually do, adding organic elements and, of course, having a lot of fun sketching out her hair.

What抯 your greatest talent outside of art?
I don't think that I have one. I don't even know if I would say art is a talent of mine...I just do it because I love it and am compelled to do it.

Are you working on any upcoming projects that you're particularly excited about?
I am actually in the process of doing a few illustrations and cover art for a book.

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