7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #329: Featuring
Up-and-Coming Illustrator Elisabeth Craster

h1 May 5th, 2013 by jules

(Click to enlarge)

It’s the first Sunday of the month, when I give the 7-Imp breakfast table over to student or new illustrators, and this morning I welcome newly-graduated Elisabeth Craster. Craster is “a phenomenal draftswoman,” in the words of her instructor (and the award-winning illustrator) Shadra Strickland, who taught Elisabeth at the Maryland Institute College of Art. I believe Shadra also told me Elisabeth is a fan of the illustration work of Susan Jeffers, and you’ll understand why when you see more of her artwork below.

Elisabeth—who writes at her site, “It takes a special brand of crazy to go to school for art”—is visiting today to say a bit more about her work. She also writes at her site that she “aspires to create illustrated storybooks, book covers, and posters for children and young adults.” I thank her for visiting …

* * *

Elisabeth: My name is Elisabeth Craster, and I recently attained my BFA in Illustration. I started my education at the Delaware College of Art and Design and finished at the Maryland Institute College of Art.

There’s a Dragon in My Attic
(Click to enlarge)

Aslan Roars

My interest in picture books was basically inevitable — my parents kept me in books, and trips to the library were frequent. As a child, I preferred books that portrayed even the most fantastic subjects with some degree of realism. (Michael Hague and Jan Brett were two of my favorites.) Drawing on lined paper in elementary school, my goal was to make the drawing look “real.” That was a tall order, because here I am a decade later, still in hot pursuit.

The Horse and His Boy (cover design)
(Click to enlarge)

I ran the art school media gauntlet, but ultimately the pencil and I are meant to be. I color my graphite drawings digitally and prefer an earthy palette. I also confess to the occasional affair with pen and ink.

I have always been around and worked with animals, and my graduating thesis project, The Ugly Unicorn, is the result of that mania.

(Click to enlarge)

(Click to enlarge)

(Click to enlarge)

(Click to enlarge)


All images are © Elisabeth Craster and posted with her permission.

* * * * * * *

Note for any new readers: 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks is a weekly meeting ground for taking some time to reflect on Seven(ish) Exceptionally Fabulous, Beautiful, Interesting, Hilarious, or Otherwise Positive Noteworthy Things from the past week, whether book-related or not, that happened to you. New kickers are always welcome.

* * * Jules’ Kicks * * *

My kicks ONE to SEVEN this week can be summed up thusly: Sam Phillips has a new CD coming out this summer, and she’s given her fans some teaser music this week. As I think I said years ago here at 7-Imp, this is the best way I can describe the importance of her music in my life: As Esther said about Doreen in The Bell Jar, “everything she said was like a secret voice speaking straight out of my bones.” Yup. That’s her music to me, and I’ve been her biggest fan (okay, that’s arguable, I suppose) for over twenty-five years now. I will, most likely, annoy everyone in the next few months, going on about her music.

At her newly-updated site, she’s got a medley of four songs from the new CD, Push Any Button. You can hear it below, too. I’ve only listened to it precisely 7,777 times this week:

She also shared this week this video where she shows off the “orphaned record jackets” she found and made into collaged covers. I love her funky collages. I also love the song from the new CD that accompanies the video:

What are YOUR kicks this week?

15 comments to “7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #329: Featuring
Up-and-Coming Illustrator Elisabeth Craster”

  1. Masterful work, Elisabeth…and thanks so much to Jules for featuring you here for our enjoyment!

  2. I always love learning about new artists. Thank you. This is a fly by. Am at coast with friends and last Sunday in PA. That sums up my kicks. Have a grear week.

  3. Elisabeth’s illustrations are stunning. I’m absolutely inspired. Thanks, Jules!

    Here’s a poem that, until recently, was twice as long:

    The Library Steps
    By Steven Withrow

    To reach the books we had to leap the lion.
    Sculpted stone in place of fierce flesh,
    But ferocious enough to those of us
    Who paused to tooth the toothless king
    And pedicured his deadly toes
    With the flat files of our stares.
    We frogged him, one by one,
    Palms pommeling his brow,
    Split legs missing his maw
    By inches. When all had passed,
    None looked back. We had won.
    Indoors, we stalked the fiction stacks,
    Dreaming we leapt his head again,
    Stone tongue tasting our fingers.

    ©2013 Steven Withrow, all rights reserved

  4. Elisabeth’s artwork is absolutely beautiful; it’s like you’ve stepped into another realm. Thank you both.

    Love the new songs by Sam Phillips, Jules.

    Steven, while I love all your poems, this could be one of my favorites.

    My kicks:
    1. Joined a gym and have made it there 8 days in a row.
    2. Have spent about 40 hours on the yard and in my gardens. Everything is looking so green and colorful.
    3. Middle school book order arrived
    4. My first ever Nerdy Book Club post was published.
    5. My first ever book trailer debut is up on the blog today.
    6. The greenhouses and nurseries are opening.
    7. Walks with my sweet Xena.

  5. Good morning, Imps! I hope May is treating you well so far.

    Hi Elisabeth Craster! Thanks for sharing your beautiful art with us. What lovely colors and creatures! Wow. Best of luck to you.

    My kicks from the past week:
    1) Seeing friends I haven’t seen in ages
    2) Cat-sitting!
    3) Museum
    4) Rehearsals
    5) Being interviewed –
    6) – Twice!
    7) Strength of character

    Jules: Enjoy the music. 🙂

    Hi Jone! Hi Susan!

    Steven: I like the library poem.

    Margie: That’s awesome! Accomplishments galore for you this week.

  6. Hello, Susan!

    Jone, enjoy the coast!

    Steven, that last line, in particular, gives me the good kind of chills.

    Margie, it makes me happy you finally have warm, gardening weather. I’m gonna have to go find your Nerdy Book Club post.

    Little Willow: Did you cat-sit a cat or cat-sit a kitten? Do you know that all I have to do to MAKE MY GIRLS’ DAY is go to Google images and type in “kitten.” Also, they will make you nearly deaf with the screaming in happiness over the kittens when they see them. … And where oh where were you interviewed? Please do tell.

  7. Love the detail in the illustrations, and of course all the animals, truly magical artwork!

    Jules – thanks for sharing Sam’s music.

    Steven – really like the poem too, it immediately called to mind the stone lions in City Park where I grew up.

    Margie – enjoy the color in your yard and garden!

    LW – I second Jules’ question – where were you interviewed????

    My quick kicks:

    1) Days of sunshine.
    2) Finishing a tough case at work.
    3) Having time to play in the sun.
    4) Built my raised beds and planted my vegetables this weekend.
    5) Grilling for dinner.
    6) Celebrating with friends.
    7) Iron Man 3! In 3D! It was such a fun movie! RDJ is charming and sad and driven as usual, and the rest of the cast is great – they all have such great chemistry together. It’s dark, it’s funny, it’s action packed – great summer movie.

    Denise – when you get here – I loved the quotes you put up last week – they are favorites of mine as well.

    Have a wonderful week everyone!

  8. So happy to see Elisabeth here today. She is outstanding and ultra professional. Thanks Jules for taking time to promote up and coming illustrators~

    My kicks:
    1. A giant cup of coffee to celebrate a successful book fair yesterday.
    2. Finals week!
    3. Late brunch on a lazy Sunday
    4. Shiny new promotional bookmarks.
    5. Meeting Jerdine Nolen for the first time!
    6. Meeting Nikki Giovanni yesterday!!!!
    7. Being interviewed by an adorable seven year old journalist at the R. F. Lewis Museum book fair. (pics on my fb page)

  9. I love Elisabeth’s illustrations—they really did transport me.
    Btw, the stone lions reminded me of the Art Institute, where I spent much time.
    Also, thanks for getting me to think about my kicks of the week:

    1. walking in botanic gardens
    2. my husband and I meeting my daughter and her s.o. at the green city market (best farmers’ market) on the first outside day of the season—weather much better than predicted.
    3. watching the bulls beat the nets in the 7th game.
    4. hearing good news from my family (2 people received job offers)
    5. realizing all the interests (other than my son) i share with my son’s girlfriend, a writer.
    6. a foot massage
    7. publishing another post

  10. Jules: I am cat-sitting for a grown cat. Cats are the best.

    Jules and Rachel: I emailed you the links.

    Rachel: Enjoy the sunshine and celebrations! (…with sunblock and water.)

    Shadra: Congrats on the book fair! You sound so happy.

  11. shoot! forgot a big one—the horse my husband bet on won the Kentucky Derby!! His bet was based solely on its name, Orb, which used to be my nickname for him.

  12. Swoony weather! Lilacs in bloom and, after looking at those illustrations, my imagination is, too.

  13. I’m here. I’m slow this weekend!

    Rachel, I keep hearing such good things about Iron Man 3. … So glad you had a good week.

    Shadra: Thank *you*. And I’ll have to go find those pics.

    Hi, Belinda! I LOVE the name of your blog. Glad you got such good family news this week and a significant other for your son that you really, truly like. Go, Orb!

    Thanks, LW!

    Hi, Tricia!

  14. Lovely art – really. Amazing. Thanks for sharing it. I like the Chronicles of Narnia work especially.

    Happy for your Sam Phillips bliss, Jules!

    Awesome posts this week from Kickers. I’m always grateful for Steven’s poems. This one reminded me so much of ‘Library Lion’.

    Cool stuff happening for everyone. I wish folks would consider being slightly less humble and share their blogs with us. I had forgotten about grandbooking, which I’d looked at a while ago and forwarded to my parents – Nice Blog, Belinda! I can’t find Margie’s post on Nerdy Book Club and would sure like to read it!!

    Thanks for all the creative energy and sharing. Little Willow always has such interesting things going on in such an understated way!

    My Kicks:
    1. My Little turned 7 on Friday. We had a wonderful birthday dinner, and then a super fun party on Saturday with friends and classmates. Very sweet. Can’t believe how time flies!

    2. Engagement brunch at my aunt’s (long time friend!) house for her son and his fiance – very touching and lovely!

    3. Saw Joe Turner’s Come and Gone at Mark Taper Forum in LA last night. Amazing play, so so direction.

    4. BIG heavy rain last night and this morning – a wonderful gift for our dry parched land here in Los Angeles.

    5. Special time with my mom – mani-pedi, lunch, Costco shopping.

    6. attempted to make maple sugar candy with my Little’s Kindergarten class – didn’t work but we had fun anyway.

    7. Having continued confirmations on the increasing hope we can adopt our precious foster baby girl.

    Much gratitude all around.

    Wishing all a creative week!

  15. Allison, happy birthday to your son! Kick number 7 sounds very promising, too.

    I would also LOVE for people to freely share links to their writing here. For the record!

    I think this is Margie’s post: http://nerdybookclub.wordpress.com/2013/05/02/in-appreciation-of-the-art-of-john-hendrix-and-john-brown-his-fight-for-freedom-by-margie-culver/

Leave a Comment

Should you have trouble posting, please contact sevenimp_blaine@blaine.org. Thanks.