Landmark artist, Laura Elbogen of Laura Ann studio took a chance on Paper Cape in the early days and designed all of the Graphic Tees in our launch collection. We're honored to get to collaborate with our favorite local artist. We asked her to share some behind the scenes intel about her creative process and she treated us to some amazing childhood pictures among other gems...
Describe how you became an illustrator and what you love about it?
I've been drawing and painting for as long as I can remember. My parents could take me to meetings at a young age and give me art supplies and I could stay occupied for hours.
My grandmother was an artist specializing in pen and ink architectural scenes. We would draw together in her studio (I'm pictured below by her side at her easel around age 4) and we would go out drawing "plein air" on the Hanover College campus in southern Indiana where my grandfather was a Spanish professor. I won the Symphony in Color calendar art contest when I was 6 and when the Indianapolis Star wrote a feature article I said I wanted to be an artist when I grew up just like my grandmother. I got my first professional commission when my grandfather translated Spanish novels to English and needed book cover art.
I love communicating ideas and feelings visually, taking a scene from my mind's eye and sharing it with others. I'm nostalgic and hopeful by nature which shines through in an authentic way. Whether its a children's illustration or a watercolor house portrait painting, I find joy in spreading grace and love to the every day and the special days.
What tools do you use?
For children's illustration I start with watercolor colored pencils which give a bold, playful line, and layer from there with water on a fine brush and watercolor paint. I have a set of 6 tubes of watercolor paint that are my bread and butter color palette.
What was the inspiration behind your graphics collection for Paper Cape?
It was so fun to design the Paper Cape graphic tees! I pulled inspiration from the nostalgia of the American childhood, from sports to animals and balloons - classic iconography but with a playful, modern twist. I remember the joy of tying streamers on the handlebars of my own childhood bike for the 4th of July parade. I love the grace of pink flamingos and ballet - put them together and it's really happy and fun!
What is your favorite graphic in the collection and why?
It's hard to choose but I have a soft spot for the pink pearls tee. The illustration gives it a playful and youthful style, but it's still a put together look with the sweet and elegant Peter Pan collar. The painted pearls remind me of how I admired my mom and grandmother's beautiful grown-up pearls, and how much fun I had playing dress-up with layers upon layers of long strands of beaded necklaces!
Do you have a favorite memory of an item of clothing from your childhood?
My red polka dotted frog dress! (picture attached of me beaming) The 4 year old me felt so chic with my coordinating purse, knee high polka dot socks, and white Mary Janes. There's nothing quite like a frog in sunglasses to make a bold fashion statement - thanks, Mom and Dad!
At Paper Cape, we think each of Laura's original drawings is a piece of art in it's own right. Here they are...
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