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Conversations with Elizabeth Hudson

Today we’d like to introduce you to Elizabeth Hudson.

Hi Elizabeth, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
I have always made things with my hands for as long as I can remember. Early on, I was encouraged by my parents to draw and paint, which led me to attend Booker T. Washington high school for the performing and visual arts in Dallas where I had the chance to explore ceramics, printmaking, metal sculpture, design, and painting. After high school, I moved to Austin to attend UT, studying studio art, art history, and history but my time there was full of confusion… I always knew that I wanted to be an artist, but my experiences in school discouraged me from delving into my creativity. I dropped out three times over the course of seven years, finally coming to the conclusion that I did not need a degree to be the artist that I’d always wanted to be. I started creating murals as a way to live off of my skill, quickly realizing that that wasn’t fulfilling either. 2020 gave me a chance to slow down and focus on my own ideas that I’d kept tucked away in my journals and sketchbooks, which led me to create the first three paintings in my surreal series entitled Portals, and my first juried gallery exhibition, at Pencil on Paper Gallery in Farmers Branch.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
There has not been any part of my journey, personally or professionally, that has been smooth. There have been times where I wished for a guidebook, something, to follow and find the answers that seemed so elusive. I truly struggled in college, being written off by certain professors because my ideas were out of the norm, not being taken seriously when tragic events struck my personal life and made it difficult to concentrate in school. Outside of academia, essentially becoming a sole proprietor as a one-woman mural business was difficult as well. Creating a pricing structure that could support myself and the business, dealing with a bounced check situation, creative differences between my clients and I… it was all enough to make me want to switch up my approach and believe that my own work could support me. It hasn’t been easy, I hear more “no’s” than “yes’s”, but that is part of the journey, and it is the only guideline I need as someone who thrives at problem-solving and looking at failures as important lessons.

Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
I am a surrealist painter who combines oil painting with watercolor to illustrate my dreams. Sometimes they are depictions of my sleeping dreams and sometimes they are illustrations of daydreams. I like creating a self-portrait, usually in oil, with an abstracted landscape as the background. The process of creating these self-portraits helps me process difficult emotions relating to trauma and healing, and taking a more personal approach to my work has allowed me to express myself in ways I didn’t think were possible. I am proud of how deeply personal my work is, being able to share it with the world has been a joy these past ten months.

The crisis has affected us all in different ways. How has it affected you and any important lessons or epiphanies you can share with us?
The pandemic taught me to slow down and not put so much pressure on myself for not having everything figured out. Losing loved ones has been difficult to process, and the collective loss felt by humanity as a whole made me truly understand that we are all on this earth dealing with similar heartbreaks and losses. If I can use my gift to bring peace to someone, then that’s something to be proud of and a confirmation that I’m on the right path.

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