Visiting the illustrator Rebecca Elfast in her studio/home in Gothenburg to talk about pigments, wallpaper and how she maintains her creative flow.
Rebecca Elfast mostly work with watercolors and ink or digitally. In her new wallpaper collection for Rebel Walls, her watercolor and ink work is in the spotlight. A series of eight wallpaper designs with different themes but all done in Rebecca’s artistic style, whether she’s picturing abstract landscapes, portraits or bursting color bubbles.
“It´s my tribute to watercolors. I like it when the papery feeling is shown, when you can tell that the paper has been wet and that the pigments has been flowing over the paper and dried up.”
With a lot of different kinds of clients, Rebecca´s work can be seen both here and there, in everything from magazines and art galleries to the fashion and interior business. She was really meant to be an architect, and graduated as one from Chalmers University Of Technology 2001, but since some years back the illustrating and art has taken her full-time attention. Although architecture continue to be a great source of inspiration to her work.
She lives together with her boyfriend in an apartment practically made for creative work. The apartment is divided by a spiral staircase into two floors, with Rebecca’s studio up stairs. Cleverly separating work from everyday life. Even though she admits that she spends a lot of her work time down stairs, especially when she has the company of Zeb, the enormous Rhodesian Ridgeback that she dog-sits while Zeb’s owner is at work. Even though he’s not a direct source of inspiration, their forest walks and his company has a calming effect. Not hard to believe, even though he weighs 50-something kilos (and is of a breed that originally was used for hunting lions) his mellow mood makes him seem almost small and very un-intimidating. Zeb spends most of his time curled up sleeping on his bed under the spiral staircase.
“When you’re squeezed between two deadlines you can listen to his deep breathing for a while and then you’re ready to go again.”
Finding inspiration in pigments
Besides her wallpaper collection she also have a small collection of interior products. Cutting boards, bags and coasters, all based on her art and illustrations. A lot of her work is on assignment, therefor it was extra important to her to make her own products and wallpaper collection. Created for the sole purpose that she wanted too. And created exactly like she wanted them to be.
The willful pigments of ink and watercolor is a common thread in most of Rebecca’s work. Even when she works digitally she often adds watercolor surfaces to her illustrations.
“Pigments are so very different and individual. Some are have grainy textures and floats quickly over the paper. But others are heavy and clumps up. Some holds on tight to any surface and build ridges. It’s fun to consciously use different pigments to create those effects.”
Inspiration comes quite easily for Rebecca. She always carries her sketchbook if something where to trigger her inspiration. But if the inspiration ever is in need of some help on the way, she thinks the easiest way is to feed yourself with inspiring pictures. On the question “what is the easiest way to keep the creative flow going?” the answer comes instantly.
“The best way to keep it up is to always have something unfinished lying around, so it stares at you until you get going. Never stop when you’re done with a piece. Always start the first layer of something new. Always.”
Rebeccas other products -> [/well]