I’ve written here about artists, styles, and interests that I found inspirational. But they’ve either been dead or someone whos work you look at in a museum or listen to on the CD or go to the theatre or on DVD.

Today I’m inspired by Elizabeth Briel. A contemporary, who I’ve only met through a blog, online photos, and a TED talk. Here is an American born and educated artist who now lives and works in Asia.

From her ‘about’ page:

“My first taste of solo travel was the hardest: after working a year of 40-to 60-hour weeks while completing a painting degree, I saved up enough to embark on an independent study abroad art and language program in France.

After graduation I stumbled onto an accidental internship at the Liverpool Biennial Fringe festival, and worked as a sculpture apprentice in Tuscany, then did what every American artist is supposed to do: moved to New York. There I worked with artists’ and photographers’ portfolios, but  wanted to be challenged every day by what I saw and experienced on the streets around me. So eventually I decided to satisfy my curiosity about another part of the world: Asia.

I crash-landed in Korea to teach Art and English, ….. Then I moved to Cambodia to teach photography to children and worked with the Angkor Photo Festival.

Still on the move, I relocated to Hong Kong, where I founded a community gallery and fulfilled a dream: to illustrate a children’s book.”

Here is a particularly insightful, actually brilliant analysis of what it takes to BE an artist

Additionally she has completed a book on handmade paper and established an artist studio in Italy for resident paper artists. And is now living in Bejing, China.

As I said I’ve never met her, but the informal, informative posts to her blog and the social awareness artworks she has shown make me feel I have, because here is art as I have learned to define it. A communication of a message through a medium that the viewer/experiencer ‘gets’. Whether it is the beauty of an ancient temple gate photo or one of her watercolor ‘rants’ about equality for women or simply the fact that this person up and left and “crash landed” in Asia to make art; I get it.

And because I get it I’m inspired. Thanks E.

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