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Interview Series: Elaine Stevenson

May 26, 2016

Elaine Stevenson is an architect living in Dubai who creates illustrations of places, cities, the occasional cow and anything else that inspires her to scribble. Using traditional techniques of drawings with pen and paper, she then uses digital software to add colour and patterns.

All of her wonderful work is produced as Giclee prints on fine art paper and as a result the colours and details really do pop out.

We caught up with Elaine ahead of her stall at this Friday’s Ink Sweat & Tears event to chat architecture, locations and colour. Don’t miss out and be sure to pick up one of her beautiful prints on the day.

1. We love the vibrancy of your work, how do you go about creating it? 
My drawings are simply done as pen drawings and then put into the computer to colour digitally. The ideas come from sketches and lots of photographs taken from a lot of wondering around the city. I have spent the last 2 months recording Jumeirah and Umm Suqeim areas, drawing the most interesting buildings and then compiling them into a map of the area.
2. Would you say that your architecture background feeds itself into your artwork? 
Makeplace comes from the question, ‘ What makes a place?’  My education in architecture, from which I learned the way to see buildings and the spaces around them and also to study the behaviour of people, is my infinite source of interest.  It’s not possible to switch off from designing though so drawing is a sort of visual therapy really to fix things, calm my design head and sort it on paper that which can’t be fixed in real life.
3. It’s great to see a lot of your work depicting areas of Dubai – how important is location and surroundings in your work? 
Yes, it’s everything to my work and the best reward is when other people see to their surroundings in a new light through my drawings and get pleasure from it.

4. I recall you telling us once that the architecture industry is very different now to what it was when you first started – has that affected what you do at all? 
Well, clients used to get plans, sections and elevations and a cardboard model if they are lucky, now with 3D software and visualisations they expect the building to be exactly like the super realistic images they looked at during the design stage. But just like seeing a celebrity without the airbrushing, buildings can be a let down once they are finished, especially if the budget couldn’t stretch to the high end finishes.
5. What will you be selling at Ink Sweat & Tears?
Fine Art Giclee prints of my work, available framed or unframed.

Elaine will be joined this Friday by a load of other talented artists, designers, DJs and vendors for our second edition of Ink Sweat & Tears!

More info here: https://goo.gl/vmwjRC

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