Originally published in the Summer + Fall 2019 issue.
CO YOGA + Life®: Tell us about the design process for the illustration on this cover.
Elise Holmes: The process is so fun for custom pieces. With any of my more custom designs, I love the collaboration process. For this cover, taking the time to discuss ideas with Kim and Bobby made the vision shape from the very first conversation. By understanding what the theme and goals are for the cover I can start to shape images in my mind of what could be done. From there I can try to articulate, but also sketch out initial thoughts. Using my iPad Pro and Apple Pencil I can then show a rough sketch of my thoughts. From there, I can modify and adjust before going deeply down my creative rabbit hole. Once we all can see the vision a bit, I can put my headphones on and dive in. I draw initially all on my iPad. I have been a graphic designer for a decade now and being able to change and shift and try different directions easily allows for my vision to become better than it would if I used a pen and paper. Once the main drawing is complete, I can then take the artwork into the computer and add color layers, and the logo elements for the magazine to make it all come together. Doing works like this truly is so much fun, it combines so many passions of drawing in my style, yoga, meditation, animals, nature and design.
CO Y+L: How did you use the theme of UNITY to create inspiration for the illustration?
EH: Here in Colorado, this is the theme to so many areas in our lives. We live here or move here for the mountains, the climate, the sunshine, the snow. There is an inherent connection between nature, our spiritual practices and how we live our lives here. I only had to look to my own feelings of Colorado, of yoga and of life to make this piece come to life.
We live here or move here for the mountains, the climate, the sunshine, the snow. There is an inherent connection between nature, our spiritual practices and how we live our lives here. I only had to look to my own feelings of Colorado, of yoga and of life to make this piece come to life.
CO Y+L: You are a seasoned yoga and meditation teacher and practitioner. How do you think that may have influenced the art?
EH: Something I tell myself every time I create is “trust you can create what you feel.” This helps guide my design, and know when the design, painting, logo or whatever I am working on is going in the right direction. It then takes moments of deep breaths, movement and meditation to get through the parts that don’t seem to work. Kinda like life in a way. Also knowing I had the trust of the CO YOGA + Life team, and that the vision was aligned allowed for my creativity to just flow out.
CO Y+L: What projects are you currently most excited about?
EH: My clothing line, Vela Apparel with my husband Matt, is getting ready for our busy summer season. Now with a store in Avon, Colorado, and all of the fun summer markets where we get to meet so many amazing people, we are just so excited to be connected to the Colorado community, and get to find more inspiration for my artwork. Now that I get to create full time we have so many fun new items and projects in the works including custom yoga pants, tops and art prints. So if you are up in the mountains, come say hi at a market or at our shop!