Liz Long '14

It was a thrilling challenge to pull an entire of body of work together to share with so many people.

Describe a body of work that you have made.
I recently had my first solo show, Keepsakes, at Vestibule 594 in Portland. I painted a series of illustrative acrylic paintings on wood panels and created a mural surrounding the series of work. It was a thrilling challenge to pull an entire of body of work together to share with so many people. I wanted the series to show the intimate and mysterious connections that people have with different creatures and objects.

What’s your background?
I think my marriage to illustration started when I transferred to Philadelphia’s High School for the Creative and Performing Arts my junior year and it continued to solidify ever since. While there I worked with various mediums, but became the most involved with my illustration classes. Ever since then, I’ve come to love the quick problem solving nature that illustration has to offer and the boundaries it can break between fine art and the applied arts.

How has your education at MECA shaped you as an artist?
MECA offered me a very unique education where I was taught by illustrators who are still working in their chosen fields and who really knew what tools I needed as a student. My practice started to change as I got to know some of my past professors better after graduating. Mary Anne Lloyd and Scott Nash have continued to be wonderful outlets of support and seeing Jamie Hogan’s home illustration practice and overall beautiful outlook on life really helped me understand why It’s important to put so much time and honest effort into pursuing illustration full time. I have learned how important it is to make work everyday and to keep making connections with other artists.

What inspires you?
I am so inspired by everything childlike and silly and love collecting children’s books and toys. More so now than ever, I get a lot of ideas from the natural and man made landscapes I live in and have traveled to. I also love to read and have found that the more time I spend with other people’s stories, the more ready I am to make narrative work.

What kind of career are you pursuing after your graduation?
I realized after a year of taking on a lot of different freelance projects that what I really want to pursue is a career in creating children’s books, book covers and projects more closely related to the publishing side of illustration. I just finished a two month residency in Ireland preparing my portfolio in this new light. I also love painting murals and hope to work on more in the future whether they be community related, in homes and children’s rooms, or businesses.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? I can’t recall who the first person was to tell me, but I have taken it to heart to embrace being uncomfortable. I am the most inspired and the best version of myself when I put myself in situations I haven’t been in before. Whether it’s by traveling alone, trying out new painting techniques, or pursuing new relationships, I grow so much from it all.