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!

Working Women:
Making a Living by Making Art

by Stephanie Boosahda

Life is full of misconceptions. Parents often cringe when their teens announce they've decided to become artists. "How will you support yourself? You can't make a living as an artist!"

While artists most often have to be creative in how they support themselves, many Cape women are working artists. Whether it be visual, literary, or performing arts, these women make a difference by enriching our lives. They're able to not only support themselves, but support each other as well.

Elizabeth Moisan, a summering Cape Codder for years and now a year round mid-Cape resident, is both a visual and literary artist.

She's a third-generation professional artist, who majored in illustration and graphics at Parsons School of Design. Her mother, Fran Geberth of Harwich, is also an artist. "Growing up the materials and inspiration were always around me," Elizabeth explains. "I sold my first painting when I was fourteen. In many ways, I suppose you could say being an artist is literally in my blood."

Elizabeth, however, found her own professional artistic venues. Unlike her mother, much of Elizabeth's artwork is her work for Asmara, Inc., a high-end manufacturer near Boston.

Branches, 10' x 14' rug design by Elizabeth Moisan
Branches, 10' x 14' rug design
by Elizabeth Moisan

As a carpet designer, Elizabeth started as a freelancer and went on staff when she moved to the Cape. Due to the recession, she's freelancing again. In the nineteen years she worked for Asmara, Inc., she designed 90% of their line. Her "handwriting" is in every carpet they sell.

She has also worked professionally as an illustrator, and has illustrated children's books and done book cover art. Additionally, Elizabeth has been commissioned to create watercolors which include portraits and general subjects, and to do personalized calligraphy.

"My work has been shown in galleries, in group and one-man shows in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. I have also done set design for local amateur theater in NJ, and in the past have taught drawing and color theory classes."

A Book Illustrated by Elizabeth Moisan
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 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 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.

Click to download Acrobat reader
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A Story of the Pirate Samuel Bellamy,
Mariah Hallett, and the Whydah

Available at

A Book in the Hand (ABITH)

The Jacob Sears Memorial Library
23 Center Street, East Dennis, MA


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

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.

A fellow of the National Writing Project and a member of the National League of American Pen Women, Stephanie resides in the mid-Cape.