Publishers Note: We are dedicated to supporting the Arts on Cape Cod and are thrilled to offer Part One of a two-part series that features local working artists. In this issue, we feature the wonderful work of professional illustrator and author Elizabeth Moisan.
We hope that our support for Cape Women in the Arts encourages you, our reader, to support them too!
A Book Illustrated by Elizabeth Moisan
Moisan's favorite part of being a professional artist is that she "gets to do it every day. I paint and draw for a living. Of course, selling something or getting a contract for a piece of work is very much a favorite part." Working as an artist is Elizabeth's vocation; she's worked at nothing else for more than forty-two years.
Elizabeth mentions one of the challenges of being a professional artist: marketability. "Plain and simple, marketability is the luck of the draw. Someone is always passing judgment on your work, whether it's an art director, gallery owner, or passerby. It's subjective. If my work is unique or special, it's because I've struck a "universal" note. It appeals, just like a book or a movie. The caveat is, of course, that like the book or movie, it doesn't appeal to everyone."
For illustrating and other artwork, Elizabeth markets them by networking, and by putting her portfolio online with companies that connect artists with projects, contacting art directors at publishing houses, magazines, printers, etc. Moisan also has a website http://quillsandbrushes.jimdo.com to get her artwork "out there.
The current vice president of Cape Cod's Branch of the National League of American Pen Women (NLAPW), Moisan was accepted in two artistic genres: visual art and literary arts, known as "Letters" by the NLAPW.
"I'm the author of Master of the Sweet Trade: A Story of the Pirate Samuel Bellamy, Mariah Hallett, and the Whydah. The book is available in many bookstores on Cape, thirteen libraries, some museums and gift shops, and from me, of course. It's a good read. Please visit www.elizabethmoisan-books.jimdo.com to see what I've done and what's on my mind."
Moisan also has a variety of community connections, where she gives back to her fellow artists and authors. Not only is she on the board of the local NLAPW chapter, but she is also the founder of A Book in the Hand, or ABITH, a literary group that promotes Cape authors of prose.
Since February 2009, ABITH has hosted a gathering on the second Monday of every month, where authors and readers come together at the Jacob Sears Memorial Library in East Dennis. Two authors read from their printed works and take questions from the audience, as well as raffle off copies of their books.
A Story of the Pirate Samuel Bellamy,
A Book in the Hand (ABITH)
The Jacob Sears Memorial Library
The 2nd Monday of the month, from 7-8:30PM
Each September, ABITH hosts an "Open Mic Night" for unpublished authors. Elizabeth points out that it's an excellent opportunity for writers to test their ideas on a larger audience, as well as practice reading and speaking in front of a group.
In addition, ABITH also hosts the occasional "Shelf Space" event, where Elizabeth puts together group book sales events and seminars, such as a recent talk by the Cape Cod Times Book Page editor, Melanie Lauwers. To find out more about ABITH and Shelf Space, visit the website http://abookinthehand.jimdo.com
When she's not making art, writing, or helping her fellow authors, Elizabeth also performs with Just Plain Folk, which she describes as "a group of seven folkies who play just plain folk music for just plain fun."
They perform at summer events and local libraries, as well as other venues around the Cape. She adds, "We've been playing local gigs for about 3 years, and are happy as clams on stage or just jamming for fun." There's no web site, so watch the CWO Events page for upcoming gigs.
Stephanie Boosahda, editor of Inklings from Cape Cod, is an award winning teacher, nurse, single mother of three, and grandmom of two. She was first published at age fifteen and has been writing for publications ever since.
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