Words and photos: Rachel Cumberbatch
Splashes of watercolor paint amidst contrasting pen and ink figures fill the quaint Wild Hand gallery as intrigued passerbys dip in for a closer look at the illustrations. Baltimore, Maryland native Elizabeth Graeber has been living in D.C. for five years and has been illustrating for the past six. Her work has been featured in The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal and in her new book, Illustrated Guide to Cocktails.
A graduate of MICA in Maryland where she studied illustration, Graeber works with a goal in mind. “I’d like to make lots of books,” says Graeber when asked where she hopes her unique illustrations take her in life. Featured in her gallery show are pieces in various mediums from large murals to screen-printed tote bags, zines, to magnets, postcards and original ceramic pieces.
Her signature style is encompassed by eccentric depictions of people, plants, animals, food and colorful patterns. Graeber describes herself as “a freelance artist and illustrator who loves to draw.” She gets inspiration for her distinct drawing style from a variety of things. “I like plants, fabrics. I like color and pattern, animals..traveling,” says Graeber. Her primary mediums include pen and ink, watercolor, wash paint and ceramics. Graeber also dabbles in web design and commission work.