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.


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.


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.


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.


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.