We are very excited to welcome to our PWS family, the world-famous artists Elizabeth Olwen. She is best known for her colourful patterns and designs that can brighten up anyone’s day.
We’ve sat down with her this week to find out more about her life, inspirations and future plans. So read along to find out more.
Tell us a bit about yourself and your business.
Hi! I’m Elizabeth. I’m a Canadian print and pattern designer living in Lisbon, Portugal. I collaborate with companies I admire from all around the globe, on feel-good, intentional products from home decor to stationery, from fabric to bedding, from swimwear to jewellery, and so much more. I’ve always been a seeker and curious about the world around me, which led me to move abroad and couldn’t have chosen a more beautiful and abundant place than Portugal. If I’m not creating and collaborating, I’m swimming in the ocean or exploring nature.
What inspires you (your work)?
My work is driven by the desire to spread beauty and amplify joy. Working on myself and my own inner journey has led me to create the kind of rich, encouraging and positive artwork that I want to see in the world, and I hope brings joy into the lives of others.
What does your art mean to you?
My art is everything to me. It is my joy, my saviour, my place to express myself and work out my feelings about life and the world around me. It is what brings me sunshine on a cloudy day. It is how I connect with other people. It is a blessing that I am so grateful for.
What materials and techniques do you predominantly use in making your designs?
For me, the idea always starts with a sense of play, a pen and some paper. I always start with sketching out my ideas on paper, as a quick way to get them from inside my mind to expressing themselves outwardly. Then I take those drawings and recreate and refine them digitally using my drawing tablet. Sometimes they take shape there or find new directions but it’s always important for me to start with a feeling or a c concept that I want to express and I trust that it will take shape in the best form possible if I show up to do the work.
What has been your favorite artistic experience over the last 12 months?
It’s so hard to choose! This year has been rich with collaborations but perhaps my favourite experience was developing a footwear collection with the iconic brand Keds… that was a dream come true!
Of the range that you currently offer with PWS, which is your favourite product?
I love the whole collection but if I had to choose, I’d say the Happy Skies tea towel. Tea towels are something we used day-in and day-out so it’s such a nice way to integrate artwork into our lives. This tea towel feels like a burst of joy to me!
How did you keep going and stay motivated during the Covid 19 lockdowns?
I went inward… I really took stock of my life, invested in my meditation practice, and made room for any changes I wanted to make to the way I navigate the world. For me, living alone, it was a chance to reflect and connect with my own inner self. I spent a lot of time savouring slow moments like my morning coffee, doing yoga with my (temporarily online) yoga studio, investing in my more spiritual self though online courses, and creating lots of artwork. My artwork really saved me and created a fun place to escape to when things around us felt like they were falling apart.
What are your future plans?
Well, I’ve just bought my very first home, in Lisbon, and that will be such a big new chapter for me, putting firmer roots down in Portugal. I really want to develop more meaningful and intentional collaborations like the one we’re doing together, and putting my artwork out into the world in even more meaningful ways. That is the goal, but the details will reveal themselves to me with time.
What are you looking forward to the most working with PWS?
I’m excited to see how our products together take shape in the retail environment (from big retail to small shops, we will see!) and ultimately how the products make their way into people’s lives!
Why did you choose to license your artwork with PWS?
I really love working with brand partners who really *get* me and my work, and are open to my ideas and collaborating in the truest sense of the word. From the first conversation we had, which was inspired and full of openness and the free exchange of ideas, I knew we’d be a great team. I love that PWS is focused on creating sustainable products, which is really important to me. I also love that the products are made in the UK! So, it felt like a win-win situation. Looking forward to seeing what fruits our collaboration will bring!