Back history on myself.. Although it’s rare to hear these days, I’m a lifelong resident of New Braunfels, as well as my parents who were high school sweethearts, both graduating from New Braunfels High School (‘63 and ‘62, respectively). My mom actually grew up in a farmhouse in Gruene while my grandfather, Ruben Jacoby, taught school in a one-room schoolhouse in Gruene in the 1940’s. So, we’ve been around the area for a long time.

Growing up, I always leaned towards creative, artsy hobbies…. writing, drawing, painting, working with clay, anything I could get my hands on. My parents were supportive of this, but mostly saw it as a talent that would probably stay just that, just something to do in my spare time, and not really as a career choice. I never really considered becoming a full-time artist in the traditional sense, but felt myself more and more drawn to some sort of creative field as I got older.

I graduated from New Braunfels High School in 1990 and attended The University of Texas at Austin from ‘90-’93, taking many hours in liberal and fine arts such as English literature, art, art history, psychology, theology, and linguistics classes, with a somewhat “loose” plan for graduating, and ultimately earned my degree in English with a minor in Art & Design. Artistic influences throughout college to the present would be everyone from Giotto to Miro to Warhol to street art and murals in Austin, ‘80’s and ‘90’s album covers the bold graphics of skateboard designs to Stephen Sprouse and others in fashion to and contemporary artists like Yayoi Kusama, Okuda, Shepard Fairey, Jen Stark…..the list goes on – I have an eclectic range of art that I appreciate and find interesting, and that’s in line with just about everything else. I don’t consider myself a black or white person on any topic. I try to stay open to everything, and consider all ideas and perceptions, whether in regard to visual art or otherwise, as I consider myself a lifelong learner. I’m always a little amazed and rattled at everything I DON’T know. Absolutely love to learn.

After college, I taught English for thirteen years and art for ten years, both at the middle school level in and around the New Braunfels/Austin area. I left public education just this past year to pursue my own creative journey full time, and it’s been very exciting, but I do miss having that connection with kids, so at some point, I’d like to figure out a way to do classes or camps. Middle school kids are their own special kind of people…they’re hilarious….and they kept me young at heart for a long time! So many great memories of my years in the classroom.

Whilst teaching,, I married and had two kids, Mia, who is now 20 and a junior in college, and Lucas, who’s now finishing his final year in high school. I have since remarried to Kyle Craig, my absolute best friend and soul mate (an accountant! Who would have thought!) But who 100%supports and encourages all of my creative ventures.

In the fall of 2019, I was doing a project with my students at school which involved alcohol inks. I was mesmerized by their vibrant colors, fluidity, the way the inks interacted with each other, and created these gorgeous abstract shapes and compositions… that was all she wrote. I couldn’t get enough. And THEN I discovered….gold. Literally. A gold alcohol ink that I learned how to manipulate through air (my breath, blowing through straws, an air compressor…) and learned to mix it into my art with the other inks. It was just magic. I had some control, but not total control, as to how the piece was going to turn out. I just began experimenting and trying different techniques and using different tools. Up until then I had never found a medium that I connected with so much. 


I finally took a leap and started posting my art on Facebook – which is SO scary, because you just don’t know until you try what sort of reaction people will have. Kat Balmos, owner of Lot 59 and The Local, happened to see my work after a few months of me over-posting (sorry, friends!) and one day commented that she liked what she was seeing. We decided to meet and chat and that’s how I became lucky enough to become a featured artist at The Local. I still can’t believe it, actually. My advice to anyone reading this…. PUT. YOUR. WORK. OUT. THERE. You never know what will happen. Share it with the world, because the world for sure needs more people doing what they love and sparking joy in themselves and others.

To this day, two and a half yeas later, I’m still learning new techniques. I love the imperfection of this medium…nothing is completely purposeful. I can start a piece with an idea in mind and it can turn out very, very different from the original idea. I’ve also heard this type of art referred to as fluid or intuitive. It has a very organic feel to it, and I really strive for my pieces to have a connection to nature, whether it’s abstracted florals or landscapes, or geodes, or earth strata…sometimes I see waves and bubbles and think of the ocean and sea life. But whatever it is, it will have some component of metallic (usually gold) in it, somewhere, vibrant color, and tons of texture. I want something visually interesting to be happening no matter where a person looks when they view my art.

Of course, it makes me happy to no end when I can create a piece of art that someone connects with, or complete a commission that makes a client say, “That’s exactly what I wanted..” I’m so, so happy to be doing this, something I love and have always loved, for people in the town I grew up in. I’m extremely grateful for the support of everyone and the positive feedback I’ve received. It’s just unbelievable to me and I have to pinch myself all the time. In addition, I love that art has allowed me to meet and connect with so many new people.

Another thing I love is the flow of creativity that seems to happen, thank goodness, from one idea to the next. My biggest fear is just RUNNING OUT. Out of energy, out of creativity, out of ideas for new pieces…just hitting a wall. But thankfully it’s still flowing and I love that whole process, that once again seems out of my control but is somehow occurring. I can’t think about it too much, because, honestly, it’s a little bit terrifying!

Again, I’m just grateful for this moment in my life. Who knows how long it will last, but I can’t imagine my life without creating or without a component of art somewhere in it, so if it’s not alcohol inks, it will be something else, for sure. I’ve branched out a bit into mural painting, both commercial and residential, and I’ve just begun showing my work at different markets in the area. I’ve had a couple of events in the Kendra Scott Flagship store on South Congress in Austin. Another highlight was being part of the Queens Lounge Art Show at Lot 59 with my art squad homegirls, Sarah Donovan, Sarah Heinbaugh, and Courtney Holder. I was also very honored to be one of eleven American artists in the Palermo Biennale and a participant in the Coming Out show in M.A.D.S. Gallery in Milan. I was recently featured in both Austin Voyage magazine and Canvas Rebel magazine. There’s so much incredible opportunity out there and I’m beyond excited to see what happens next!

Elise Craig can be contacted at: [email protected]