Elise Hartmann Interview

Updated: Jul 17, 2020

I've been taking a journalism course and, for my final project, I have to write an article, which includes two interviews. I decided to do my article on vegan artists, which gave me a good excuse to talk to a couple of artists whose work I love! I will be posting the finished article here soon but, in the meantime, I thought you might be interested in the full interview I did with Elise Hartmann, who makes the coolest vegan, mystical, pagan, Earth honoring art ever!

1/ Would you talk a little about the different types of art you create?

Mostly, I created mixed media illustrations using various mediums such as brush pens, acrylic, ink, wax pastels, ink and colored pencils. Occasionally I make dolls from paper clay and various mixed media. I use my illustrations to create jewelry, decor for various themed wooden boxes signed prints and more.

2/ How would you describe the general style of your artwork?

Honestly, I am not totally sure. Sometimes I’ve been referred to as “Big Eyed Art” which is a style of art that pays tribute to Margaret Keane. I guess I would kind of refer to my art as Mixed Media Folk Art with a bit of magic and lots of compassion.

3/ How long have you been vegan?

I have been vegan for 16 years and vegetarian for many, many years before that.

4/ What first inspired you to go vegan? I was already vegetarian but until I read The Mad Cowboy by Howard Lyman I had not really really become aware of the cruelty within the dairy and egg industry. Once I did I held so much guilt for only being vegetarian for so long. Mr. Lyman was a hug inspiration to me and I really hope I can meet him one day!

5/ When did you first decide that you wanted to be an artist?

I really can’t remember a time when I didn’t want to be an artist. What I had the hardest time with was figuring out what kind of artist I wanted to be. When I was in college I really did not excel at anything in particular so I went into Graphic Design because it felt safe. It wasn’t until over a decade after I graduated that I discovered my passion for illustration.

6/ Much of your work has an obvious message, but do all of your pieces have a deeper meaning behind them?

Not everything…sometimes a mermaid is just a mermaid but I do feel like you can always sense something deeper in the eyes of my illustrations. I have had a lot of heartache and loss in my life and I feel like the eyes sometimes tell my story.

7/ You also reflect a lot of natural themes and show reverence for the Earth, do you feel like these themes are inherently connected to veganism?

As well as being a vegan I am also a witch. My connection with nature is huge part of my pagan leanings and my veganism as I feel like they go hand in hand. Not only do I disagree with the harming of animals but also the harming of the planet. I see so much disrespect for the planet, the animals and even the people every single day. With my art I try hard to put my emotions onto paper in hopes that I can reach someone…make them choose kindness and love over hate, cruelty and apathy.

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