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Elise Hislop Illustration
A Kiwi living in Australia, what began as a passionate pursuit in design for Elise Hislop, shortly unravelled a more hidden talent she had for illustrative work. Labelling herself as 'consistently inconsistent' and an eye for the modern femme movement are just a few reasons we could not wait to have a chat with Elise.
Interview with Elise

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?


For sure, I’m a kiwi living in Sydney. Jumped the ditch about 7 years ago and have been in and out until now. I’ve been a graphic designer my whole working life until about a year ago when I realised *whispers* I’m a lot better at illustration than design. lol.

Elise Hislop Illustration

We adore your work. How did you get into art and making illustrations? Was there any defining moment?

Thank you! I’ve always been attracted to the endless possibilities of illustration, I just never thought I was good enough at it to make a living. It wasn’t until I moved to New York in 2018 that my mind was changed. I suppose that would be the defining moment. About two weeks into my move I was on a “date” in Manhattan when I received a call from a friend. He knew a guy that needed a designer/illustrator like, right now. So, obviously, I did what any sane person would do and I left my date in the restaurant with a full bowl of ramen. Got the job. Never looked back.

How would you describe your aesthetic? 

I previously have described my style as “consistently inconsistent”. Have since been informed that that’s self-deprecating. Taking suggestions. 

Who inspires you?

There are SO MANY artists I would love to name if I could keep track of them all. For belief in myself and style, I’m probably inspired most by my friend Chloe Coles. I feel like she just sat down one day and was like “fuck it, I’m gonna be a painter”, and just did it. How cool is that? Over the years I’ve watched her skill and style develop, and (non-biased opinion here) she’s quickly become one of my favourite artists today.

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What do you do when you hit a creative block?  

Ahh. this one. I mean, it’s hard. Sometimes it’ll last an hour, sometimes a week. Sometimes I’ll be able to push through by switching to a different project/client. That usually works for me. In saying that I think my favourite alternative is to just get outside. Look at something aside from a screen. Have a conversation with someone. Pat a dog. Sometimes you need to stimulate your other senses in order to come back to your internal self.

What would be your dream piece or person to work on/with?

Ok ok, SO.  I’ve always wanted to design the PERFECT menu. I find them really hard to read & mostly wind up asking someone else to order for me. I think it will take a while though. I’m talking, best menu in the WORLD.

More realistically though my dreams are quite humble. I can tick a wine label off the list now (Thank you, Grape Dreams), and there are a few others on there. I guess the real dream is just creating illustrations for people who love my art more than I do, and in turn, with the right clients & values I hope my art can help shift the world to a better place.

Things you’re loving at the moment? 

Hmm. Too many. As they say, “Jack of all trades, Master of none”. During lockdown last year I revisited painting and learned to knit. This year I’ve been playing with clay, painting old jeans and propagating plants with clippings from much larger plants that live in friends’ houses. There is, however, this book I found on the side of the road some weeks ago that has completely consumed me. It’s called, “The meaning of Tingo- and other extraordinary words from around the world”. It basically showcases words from multiple languages that the English language doesn’t quite comprehend. So kind of like a vocabulary book except it’s brilliantly written and really funny. Especially when it comes to “taboo” subjects. For example, this one is in the Mid life Crisis chapter:

Torshchlusspanik (German) The fear of diminishing opportunities as one gets older. Yikes.

Favourite wine or winemaker? 

While I dabble in an almost concerning array of different wines, I have to say that the best wine I have ever tasted was an Amisfield Pinot Noir, 2011 I think. It was a transcendental experience. 


Elise’s IG profile here.