The artist for this series is Eliza Carver. Eliza is a designer, illustrator, and animator based in the Pacific Northwest. She was born and raised in Vermont and shaped into the person and artist she is today by the rolling hills, rugged trails, and vibrant small communities of the Northeast. Her process is centered around play as she explores her style through different mediums-digital, hand-carving linoprint, painting, and collage. Her work is rooted in the natural world where she spends most of her free time, exploring new trails on bikes and skis or floating rivers. Her lighthearted, loose lines focus on the importance of play in our daily lives and the way we feel when we get out of our heads and interact with our environment.
What was the first thing you recall making/drawing/creating that made you think you wanted art/design to be part of your life?
I’ve always been a tinkerer and a lover of making things. As most kids do I made a lot of forts, many of them outside among the trees or under big blankets in the living room. Drawing was one of those things we did in these imaginative places. My friend and I were always writing stories about our “forest friends” coming up with silly characters who reflected our lives and our love for play. Maybe not much has changed. Later on in high school, I started taking design classes at our career center and everything just kind of clicked, I loved my teacher and everything about my assignments. From then on I knew I could make a life and a career out of art.
What is the most exciting way that cycling/skiing and art have come together in your life?
Right now it’s in the form of drawing on Kinco gloves. This year I’m trying to put energy towards making tangible things. Also making things for the love of making. It’s been wonderful designing something that someone wears while playing in the snow, just feels like the right environment for it all to come together.
Tell us about your connection to cycling. Why is it a part of your lifestyle?
I learned how to ride bikes at a young age it's always been a way for me to spend time in the forest with my friends, hooting and hollering down the mountain. One of my fondest memories of biking was in college when we would ride downtown. I would stick my friend Emily on my handlebars and we would ride down the hill (a very trusting friend haha). I currently live in Bellingham and the mountain biking here is stellar. The interurban trails bring you from the ocean to the mountains in minutes. I feel very lucky to be able to casually find world-class trails right outside my door as well as so many lovely kind folks to explore the trails with. Community is very important to me and biking has allowed me to gather with others in all the ways that feel good.
You're from Vermont and live in Bellingham, both such great places to live! What do you love about living in these places and how do they inspire your art?
Growing up in Vermont, you go outside because it’s fun and you’re hanging with your buds, not because the weather is perfect. This positive outlook towards play has influenced the way I approach life and can be seen in the way the characters I draw experience the world. Hands up having a good old time. I go back to Vermont for a month or two every year to do some canoeing or hiking to connect to my roots. My environment brings me a lot of inspiration - it allows me to get out of my heart and observe nature's more subtle details. Before Bellingham, I spent the last 5 years living in White Salmon. Washington. I learned how to whitewater kayak and spent a lot of time on the river. Now living in Bellingham the ocean has been a place I’ve gravitated towards. I spend a lot of time wing foiling and drawing by the water in my Crazy Creek. I also absolutely love skiing Mt. Baker, the mountainous terrain, mossy forests, and big cedars all inspire bits and pieces of my artwork.
How has art surprised you? What visual memory gets triggered when you think of Art?
Art has always surprised me with the way it allows me to connect with people. Recently, I participated in the Paper Whales Mural Fest during the summer, and it was a wonderful representation of how art can unite people.
Where are your bucket list runs or rides and why?
I want to go on more ski-in-hut trips. I recently visited the Wendy Thompson Hut near Pemberton, and being in the wilderness with friends, skiing, eating yummy food, and laughing was such a fulfilling experience. I also want to explore more trails on Galbraith Mountain, which is right here in Bellingham. There are so many exciting trails that I want to become familiar with.