Welcome to the second installment of 179 + CDICC Artist Spotlight, a 5-month curated art show hosted by Central District Ice Cream Company’s monthly event Ice Cream Thursdaes. Artist Angelina Villalobos aka 179 curated 5 artists through an application process to each show once a month. 179 assists with artist statements, bios, business plans, marketing, and general art goals. Each are then interviewed, allowing us a glimpse into their artistic journey. Finally, their art openings are a great place to meet the artists, check out their work in person, and support their journey with an art purchase.
Miss Elisha Craft Ninja /// ARTIST INTERVIEW
What is your name / artist alias? Does this have any special meaning?
My name is Elisha. My art alias is Miss Elisha – Craft Ninja. The only special part of the alias is the Miss. I wanted to incorporate the fact that I’ve been a teacher for so long into my art alias.
How would you describe your art and where does your inspiration come from?
I would describe my art as abstract/multi-medium chaos. I treat creating art as either this calming spiritual experience, or a visceral outlet of artistic crazy business.
What is your coming of age story for Artist Elisha?
It took a long time for me to consider my creations “art”. I found them to be time consumers. Creating art was just something fun to do. I would draw caricatures of friends during class, or crude comics. Then, my senior year of high school, my art teacher urged me to actually stop goofing around and paint something. My first “real” painting was of Cookie Monster. Lol. I guess I really liked Cookie Monster. After a few years out of high school, I took a break from making art. I began to focus more on my writing and I would perform spoken word at different venues. That eventually fizzled as well. Fast forward five or so years, and I have a kid. My daughter Kayla became the reason why I do almost everything that I do now, including my art.
My daughter’s father passed away when she was about 3. I found myself in a dark place where I was angry and sad at the world and my situation. Nothing seemed fair. The support from my family helped lift my spirits and pull me through. Then, my sister passed. It was a shock for all of us, and I started drowning again. I can still remember tiny details from that day. My heart shattered. That is when I started creating again. My brain seemed to no longer communicate with my heart, and everything was simply broken, so I had to do something. Making art pulled me out of that hole. Painting and beading made it so that I could be a mother again. I could also use my art to honor my sister. She believed in my ability so much, and I think there is a lot to be said in that. She believed more in my art, my writings, and my voice than I did.
You are also multi-talented. You create jewelry, paint, and sing to start, do these ever intermingle?
Totally. I like to put jewelry into my art. I’m big on adding texture and shiny things to accent a piece. You can find lots of shiny things in the jewelry aisle. I will also write poetry to incorporate in my art. It’s rare, but it has happened before.
What is your goal for your art forms?
My goal is to share my art. I want to be able to completely embrace my ability to create, and I want to be able to share my creations with anyone willing to look and listen. I also want my art to help motivate others to create and to heal on their terms.
You talk about art as healing and loss in your bio. If comfortable, may you tell us a little more about this?
Sure. My birthday this year will mark the 3rd anniversary of my sister’s passing. It was sudden and unexpected. I woke up ready to celebrate but was greeted with morose devastation. I remember sitting alone on a bench outside of the hospital and being completely numb. I could hear my aunt in the distance. She was wailing and asking “why” over and over again. All I can really recall feeling was a painful buzz, like when your foot goes to sleep. I felt that all over. My phone rang, and it was one of my best friends calling to wish me a happy birthday. I burst into tears. There was no more up. I fell deeper throughout the day as events progressed, and through the pain people still wished me a happy birthday, when all I really wanted was my sister back. The pain from that day never left me. I still live with it but I use my art as a healing tool. I combine creating art with talk therapy, because I believe it’s important to verbally express how you are feeling. But, my art is my way of getting out the emotions that have yet to be verbalized.
In what way has this affected the energy you put into the world? How did you overcome your loss?
It has changed my energy in many ways. I search for genuine relationships now. Relationships with a purpose that extends beyond time spent. My reason for this is because I want to give all of myself. The relationships we make while we are here linger. They don’t die. They become memories. I want to be a good memory. I want to be colorful and hilarious. I want to be spoken of as the honest and trusting little smart mouthed bitch I’d like to think I am.
Would you recommend art for other people suffering from trauma?
Definitely. I want to motivate others to look into their world, pick out the sour grapes, and throw them against the wall. Frame it and reflect upon it. It’s still a part of who you are. But, now it’s different. It has splattered and runs purple, stains plain surfaces, but now you are in control of the form it takes.
What can the world learn from your art? And in what way will your process help others?
Hopefully the world will learn to eventually embrace chaos while being able to express love. We are all in the middle of it.
If you could have any super power, what would it be?
That’s a really hard question. Maybe I’d like to be psychic. I want to predict behaviors and events, like how they do in the Simpsons.
What is the role of social media and technology in your art process?
It’s not a big role because I’m not the best with technology. But, I’m learning and I know that technology is a great way to get out there more, and get in touch with more people.
Do you think being creative has influenced the way you look at life?
Yah. I see the small things. I notice the tiny details in the smallest moments. I also think it has taught me to appreciate natural beauty a bit more too. I have experienced how imperfect is actually perfect.
What are your goals for 2019?
My goals are to begin my journey into starting my own business. I want to share the healing properties of creating with others, and I would like to lend a hand to others who suffer from anxiety, depression, and ptsd. I want to provide more options for healing, because I believe a lot of people won’t naturally look to creating as a tool to use when suffering from these ailments. I want to be an advocate
What is your advice for up and coming artists?
Don’t question your ability. Even if you have to make art in secret, at the end of the day, do it for you first.
Where can we find your artwork to purchase? What are some important links to follow to keep up with your work?
My blog can be found at Elishacraftninja.com. There I will update options for my works, and how to get a hold of me further. Also, if you search Miss Elisha – Craft Ninja on Facebook, you’ll be transported to my business page. You’ll be able to contact me directly, search through some of my products, and have a good ol’ time.
MARCH ICE CREAM THURSDAE Vol 26
Thursday 03/07 || 6 – 9pm || Free
ARTIST: Elisha Anderson @misselishacraftninja
Kendra Azari @k.azariarts
Elizabeth Seibel @theborreguitacrafts
Chello Collins @chubsydragon
MUSIC: Dayana & Amy LP @day.an.a.marie & @the_real_amylp
DJ Rocryte @djrocryte
Central District Ice Cream Company
509 13th Ave. Seattle, WA98122
FREE EVENT // FAMILY FRIENDLY // COMMUNITY FEELS
Special thanks to Kryse @ Central District Ice Cream Company!