Eclectic dreamscapes: the photography of Elise Mesner.

Elise Mesner blue wall weeds

Detroit native Elise Mesner seems to do it all, working as a photographer, painter, illustrator, collage artist, stylist and even a singer-songwriter. Mesner’s artwork has garnered solo and group shows at local galleries, including the Detroit Institute of Arts and her photography has been featured in several print publications. Her distinct flair for all things eclectic and whimsical can be seen across her wide-array of mediums. Mixing pastel palettes, floral patterns and flashes of neon, Mesner’s photography stirs up images of idyllic dreamscapes. We spoke to the creative guru about her art collective, aesthetic inspirations and the importance of love.

(Check out our full interview below…)

elise mesner orange

HOW DID YOU COME TO THIS CAREER? WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO BECOME AN ARTIST? 

I was born with an affinity for art and there’s never been an off button. I’m inspired by the simple treasures and every day fine details that are in unexpected or even ordinary sugar drops. My dad (also an artist) bought me art supplies before I could hold a pencil and I colored the walls and colored my world. I derive so much happiness from using my imagination and creating art in all forms so I have a giant appetite for the arts and can’t possibly consider or think of any other career path.

YOU WORK IN A VARIETY OF ARTISTIC MEDIUM, INCLUDING DRAWING AND PHOTOGRAPHY, HOW ARE THE TWO DIFFERENT FOR YOU? DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE?

As of late, photography is my first love but much like ice cream flavors, I don’t always want chocolate and sometimes need banana to foster gelato. With photography, I’m able to marry much of my styling and re-interpretive style. I use various art forms but I feel like they are all connected and see more similarities over differences. With photography, I’m able to create a whimsy world and I do the same with my paintings and music.

elise mesner orange snow

YOU MIX PASTEL AND NEON COLORS A LOT IN YOUR WORK. HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR PALETTE AND AESTHETIC? 

Yes indeed, neon and pastel color palettes rule my world. Bright colors and true contemporary make me happy and I’ve always been sucked in by the beauty of color and the elements of nature. During the Detroit winter Apocalypse, I smuggled in 6′ roof icicles through my kitchen window to re-invent into photographs. I have a rich minimalist aesthetic. I enjoy using what’s available and examining the beauty in it.

HOW DOES THE USE OF EVERYDAY OBJECTS COME INTO PLAY IN YOUR PHOTOGRAPHS? 

Simplicity speaks to me and I always see new eye fancies in the everyday typicalities. A root bound plant stuck in a hot lemon pot covered in snow. Rain drops on an Ipad. Sexy overbites. Bug spray caps in stacks. You name it.

Elise mesner paint wall

WHAT ARE YOU INSPIRED BY AT THE MOMENT? 

Love. Because it’s totally real and always finds a way. It keeps me going and makes my heart explode.

WHO HAS INFLUENCED YOUR AESTHETIC AND STYLE AS AN ARTIST? 

The world at large and the little details nobody will ever see. Also, dance moves repeated with stellar.

WHO ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE PHOTOGRAPHERS? 

The classic fashion photographers always pop in my head when I think of true favorites. Avedon, Newton, Bourdin are all such gem cakes.

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HAS BEING AN ARTIST IN DETROIT INFLUENCED YOUR AESTHETIC IN ANY PARTICULAR WAY? 

Indeed it has but in one blatant obvious way: I like to use natural light and with Detroit’s crazy seasons, we don’t always get the pretty sunshine. The mix of seasons cause some limitations but I embrace them. I believe to be limitless, you have to experience true limitation.

CAN YOU TELL ME MORE ABOUT YOUR COLLECTIVE ART PARDEE? 

Sure can! Art Pardee is a company I started last year, it’s a fantastic fusion of creation, consumption and camaraderie, and is a step-by-step guided art classes that can happen in a bar, a restaurant, a park… just about anywhere! I teach art classes and really believe that art’s just plain good for you. It’s a creative outlet that reaches across all divides and encourages us to explore the unknown. It strengthens focus, increases attention and fuels the imagination.

elise mesner pink bathtub

WHAT EXCITING PROJECTS ARE YOU WORKING ON AT THE MOMENT? 

I’m constantly biting off more than I can ever chew. I’ve always had eyes bigger than my stomach. Grandma always called me ‘the little house with big windows.’ This summer I’m working on another food and pattern series, plus a giant editorial involving a bright pink 25′ british parachute. I also started a new band so stay tune for some ear goody, jam burgers.

NAME SOMETHING YOU THINK SHOULD BE SEEN? HEARD? KNOWN? 

Everyone should see, hear, and know that tomorrow could be the best day of your entire life. Just look at it, listen to it and know it.

x Learn more Elise and her artwork here x

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