Initially, Elsa had resistance about designing for the wedding industry. She had attended Rhode Island School of Design and took her art more seriously than was typically valued in wedding design. Instead, she compiled a career out of fine art, mural painting, illustration, and teaching art. As the wedding industry changed, alongside witnessing how my career gained more respect as a cake artist, she foresaw a place for herself in a field that that could unite the many strands of her creative path.
Elsa Madeline Design was born, and it was about story-telling, and texture, and it was about touching things hand made. The paint-splattered art studio she had occupied for a dozen years matured overnight with the focus and fortitude that comes from a clear professional purpose. Her skills with letterpress, color design, textile design, painting in every medium, and careful composition finally had a single outlet. While being practical, efficient, and communicative, she’s also especially qualified to advocate for value all around.
This one time she received a mood board from a prospective bride, laden with pictures of stars and constellations, planets and moons. There was a lot of imagery--good fodder for illustrations, stamps, and font styles to visually represent the wedding’s astronomy theme. But she wasn’t interested in replicating the constellations from the Pinterist board; she wanted to create something that evokes the universe…in your hand.
She kneels on the concrete floor of her studio, leaning over a mess of paper samples she’s pulled for the project--papers made by her own hand or another’s. She keeps running her fingers over the darkest one with the coursest grooves and ridges, flashing a touch of pearlescence in the window’s light. What’s present, but not on the floor, are all her thoughts about techniques, tools, and materials at her disposal. I hover nearby to lend a reflection. “It’s not enough for this thing to be pretty,” she’ll say, drawing her brow muscles together.
Your stationery is a symbol, a tangible communication between you and your loved ones. When Elsa designs for a couple, we talk about it…a lot. Each project. Every aspect. No matter the size. Her artistic approach starts with hearing her clients’ words then evolves into listening to what is more deeply being conveyed before any design work hits the table. Her expertise lends itself to further your nascent vision in hand-held form. She dignifies every stationary suite for its functional purpose and emotional function.
As her best friend for over 20 years, I’m profoundly inspired by such an intimate insight into her passion.
-Jasmine Rae de Lung,
Jasmine Rae Cakes