Featured Artist: Elizabeth Reich - Aspiring Surface Pattern Designer
Hey fellow artists and art patrons! I want to introduce our featured artist Elizabeth Reich. (Feel free to watch the video or read through these golden nuggets from a Positive Painter and Painter to Watch!)
All the artwork provided in this article is by Artist Elizabeth Reich.
Question: Tell us a little bit about your history and how you came to be an artist. It wasn't your field in the very beginning, right?
Elizabeth: No, it was not. It was from leaving a partnership where I was in a moment of needing to ask what the next steps were. And I kind of asked my eight-year-old self, 'what would you do? 'And watercolor was the answer. And I grabbed the next class and that was in the fall of 2014.
The rest of the journey started from there.
I am a transplant to Huntsville, Alabama from New England. I received an art history degree at UAH. Graduated from that in 2005.
So my journey is very meandering.
Question: So you've taken up watercolor. What is your favorite subject to paint?
Elizabeth Flowers. Definitely flowers. You can find them in still life and landscaping pattern design, which is something I just started getting into a year ago there. I find that very inspirational and certainly relaxing to look at. I've always been one to study their shapes and their light and shadow play of them, even as a child.
Question: In the day-to-day aspect of being an artist. What advice would you give to an artist who doesn't have a lot of time to commit to their art because of job and family demands?
Elizabeth: At least make the art. Because, without the art, there's no art business. So at least make the art. And then when there is more time to commit, then work on the business side of things and do your best that when you have a business not to let the admin fall behind, because once it falls behind, it's really hard to catch up. And that's the pitfall I recently found myself in as I let the admin fall behind and that becomes a project instead of a day-to-day thing to do.
Question: how do you stay connected? What are some other connections that you've made in the art world that helps you in your career?
Elizabeth: It's belonging to several groups. I mean, belonging to the positive painters is a lot to do with the business side and is kind of a mastermind group that I think all artists need. Belonging to ALWCA is more understanding women in arts and then having a community I can belong to that is a focus on watercolor, so I can kind of keep a sense of what others are doing, what materials might be out their techniques, and whatnot.
Now I'm starting to try to find some pattern design groups because that's an area of interest as well. So it's feeling like a little much because, you know, I've kind of branched out in a couple of different ways, but it's trying to be or I guess you could say it's trying to find all aspects. And finding all these aspects of my business are in multiple communities. So it's just finding each little nugget and trying to fit them into the day for the course of a month.
Question: For other artists who are looking to kind of get into the same realm that you're in with watercolor and perhaps even surface pattern design, what communities are you finding beneficial for those segments?
Elizabeth: The watercolor has been a little bit more difficult because I was part of Angela Fehr community. I stepped out of her paid community and was doing her Facebook, and that has since closed down. So I am kind of searching and seeking out another watercolor community to replace that.
In regards to pattern design, I'm finding Sarah Watts, who does Photoshop to be the community I need at the moment.
Question: Do you have any shows coming up or are you focused solely on social media? What do you have coming in the pipeline to help market your art?
Elizabeth: I'm focusing on social media, and print on demand. Recently I gained the opportunity to have my art featured at the Chocolate Gallery here in southeast Huntsville on Whitesburg Drive, where they're selling some of my greeting cards, notebooks, and stickers. So that is my focus at this point in time.
I am actually trying to figure out how to network locally so I can start finding more boutique or small businesses, and gift shop types that I might be able to do small manufacturing and offer some more of my products. I've been trying to listen to ideas for pitching art.
For licensing my art, I've been going through my notes from Stacey Bloomfield's past creative powerhouse community. I belong to almost two years ago now, kind of digging through some of those notes and trying to figure out what the game plan is. And once I have a feel for it, I think I will be sending emails after I research the different gift shops and boutiques that are around here to see what the response might be. And if I don't get one, then yes, I might hit the pavement and go door to door and show up and say, Hi, how do I get in?
Question: what are your actual long-term goals for your art business?
Elizabeth: The long term is what I view as a three-legged stool of income streams focusing on that:
- print on-demand,
- selling the print on demand to boutiques and gift shops,
- and trying to figure out how I'm going to sell my original art.
That's the big goal in regards to the business side, for the art side, it's continuing to develop my pattern-making skills and bringing in my interest in collage and needlework, and getting back to more floral still-lifes with all of that mixed in. Try to anchor some of those florals into the landscaping I have an interest in as well.
Question: I'm thinking back to when you asked your eight-year-old self. What do you want to do with the rest of your life type of thing?
Stephanie: It sounds like you're marrying your love of art, love of needlework, and the business knowledge that you've gained from working with your husband and looking for. And they don't know this, but for a magazine as well, you're combining all of that history to create this path moving forward.
Elizabeth: Yes. And the magazine work that I, I continue to do, that's what's supporting the art right now. And that kind of goes to another bit of encouragement to other artists. You might have to work a different job. It may or may not be a creative job to support your passion and your dream until there's an income from it. I dedicate about 15 hours a month to being a content coordinator on a magazine. All the skill sets I've learned: anything I grew up with that was creative in my past, my mom's sewing, my needlework, a little bit of printmaking, kind of hobby, printmaking - That all comes into play now that that's all coming back out.
Question: What are you doing to ensure you continue to grow and develop as an artist?
Elizabeth: I Allow myself to explore my curiosity if I'm curious about something.
It's like the needle working and figuring out how to mix that into my watercolors. That's been on the back burner for a couple of years, but it keeps coming back. This summer I went and I explored it. And I'm going to continue exploring it because of discoveries I made about something called black working, but it was needlework on textile and it was a black-on-black kind of needlework. And it's from the 14 to 1500s time frame that kind of ties into the Dutch still lifes.
I've always liked where there's so much allegory and their little bugs and dying flowers and whatnot that you're always exploring. I can see all of that getting tied together as a historic piece.
But also it's dizzying to think about because of how much detail is involved in something like that.
But when things like that come to mind. I allow myself to explore it by visiting art books, art museums, other artists, and what they're doing. It's just giving myself time to explore and then start figuring out how I'm going to pull it all together into a piece. And if it takes me five years to do that, it takes me five years to get around to that.
But exploration is just allowed to happen.
Question: What is the one piece of advice that you would give to an artist that is considering doing this for a living?
Elizabeth: Considering doing this for a living. It takes a while.
It's a long process to get an income from your art. And like I've said before, you might have to embrace working another part-time job to kind of make ends meet. I'm fortunate that my husband is usually patient in regards to me not making an income at this point and we can live off of his. But I know there are many artists trying to live off of just their art, that they work another job and they're hustling to have their art in their life, and that is part of it for many people. And that may be something that you have to embrace. But don't give up because you have something to say. We all have something to say that is meaningful to this world, and we have to find our own way to say it.
Question: Where can find where can people find you? Where can they find your art?
They can find me under the handle. LzbthCreative. And Elizbeth is Elizabeth without any vowels. So my websites. lzbthcreative.com and Pinterest is under lzbthCreative. Instagram. Linkedin, Facebook. And so if you look up lzbth Creative, you'll probably find me.
Thank you for reading and watching The Positive Painters Featured Artist Elizabeth Reich.
Elizabeth Reich's Bio
I am often viewed as 'the juggler'. I am a watercolorist, freelancer, solopreneur, and founder of LZBTH Creative Content (2017).
LZBTH Creative is the integration of my love of watercolor and my freelance work for a local magazine. I am a transplant from New England to Huntsville in 2000 and in 2005 graduated from UAH with an Art History Degree. Then a stint as Office Manager for my husband's business, while homeschooling our son, and guiding our daughter through high school.
2014 I decided it was time to reconsider what I had set aside and dabbled in my entire life—creativity. I asked myself "What would my 8-year-old self want to do?"
The Answer was: WATERCOLOR.
Not to surprising . . . I used to push those Crayola watercolor paints, and the paint with water books, to perform some wonder they were not meant to. I found the next available watercolor class and the journey began.
Between juggling life, freelancing, and solopreneur tasks, you will find me painting. I enjoy partnering with watercolor, it is versatile and magical. My nature art is colorful and painterly, inspired by gardens and the great outdoors.
I am passionate about bringing nature's restorative gifts into your space or on-the-go day with art prints, merchandise, and unique gifts designed around my original watercolor paintings.
You can find more about Elizabeth and view her artist profile at:
Fine Art America: https://fineartamerica.com/profiles/1-elizabeth-reich/shop