Prolific and driven: Elizabeth Wise

1. ​What’s your name and title/business name? ​Where are you located, city, ​state, country location?

My name is Elizabeth Wise, I’m the Design Director of Wise Idea, a graphic design and communications company operating out of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

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2. What’s your educational and professional background, i.e., college, professional school, high school, apprenticeship, etc.?

I only started hand lettering 3 months ago, but have completed over 200 pieces in that time. I graduated from The University of Western Ontario in 2006 with a combined honours degree in Visual Arts and Media. I’ve been designing for 20 years, but since graduating 12 years ago, I have worked at a magazine, boutique design firm in Toronto and as an in-house designer. My husband and I formed our own firm, Wise Idea, 5 years ago. He is the one who pushed me towards hand lettering as he knew it combined my fine arts skills and my designer brain.

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3. Preferred tool(s) and medium?

I work with anything I can get my hands on including brush pens, graphite pencils, calligraphy,  chalk, etc. I am currently studying the art of sign painting and ultimately would love to get into large mural painting. I have a commission in April down in Atlanta for a 13’ x 9’ wall, and hope to continue working in large format as much as possible.

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4. Where or how do you “recharge your creative battery,” i.e., books, blogs, music, art, exercise, meditation, prayer, hobbies, interests, etc.?

I’m not sure my creative battery ever had a chance to run out since I’m surrounded by inspiration in my house. With 2 girls (1.5 years old and 4 years old) and a husband who is just as creative as me, I never seem to run out of things I want to letter. I do find so much inspiration on Instagram though, which is saturated with amazing artists from around the world who are constantly coming up with new and innovative concepts. I unwind by going to ride my horse, Kahlua.

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5. Tell us something about you that might surprise or delight us.

I’m colourblind. And yes, girls can be colourblind, and yes I’m still a professional artist. It’s extremely rare (0.5% of girls vs 8% of guys), but my dad is colourblind, and my mum carries the gene, so voila! Here I am.

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