My name is Elsa Mora. I’m a Cuban-born artist and artistic director-curator at ArtYard. I live in New York and travel to NJ often for work.

FULL STORY:

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I’m the fifth child out of eight children. We all share the same father but came from three different mothers.  All of us were born and raised in Holguín, a province on the East side of Cuba. My birthday used to be on May 8th (1971), until I discovered that it was the wrong date. It turned out that I was actually born the day after, on May 9th. What happened was that my Mom preferred May 8th because it was Mother’s Day on that year.

But at the age of 16, the lady at the office where I was issued my first ID, told me the truth. My Dad confirmed that the lady was right.

Office

That incident did something interesting to my brain. It made me realize that I could be whoever I wanted to be.

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Growing up poor taught me a series of important lessons that I will always treasure. I learned that the most precious possession that you have is your mind. I also learned that creativity and imagination could solve any problem, whether it’s a material problem or an emotional one.

Head-Gif

My education took place in the Cuban public school system. I started walking to school by myself in the 4th grade. It was a long walk in an area full of delinquent and alcoholic people that hung out in the morning.

Walk

I saw these people deteriorate to the point where they looked like ghosts. Watching them taught me lots of things that I didn’t learn in school, like the slow and devastating effect of losing control of your life.

My life back then was also full of fascinating people. I remember with affection so many characters from my old neighborhood. Just to name a few: Bitingo, Mototoi, La China, Marita, Pepe la Puerca, Chani, Pata ‘e Plancha, Maria Hormiga…  One of the main things that I learned from them was the power of having a sense of humor. Sometimes when nothing seemed to solve my problems, humor did the trick.

smeller-smile

I left my home at age 16 in order to start a life on my own. In Cuba you’re legally an adult at 16.  I relocated to another province of Cuba called Camaguey, where I graduated from Art School in 1990. I left one night by train with a small backpack containing a change of home sewn clothes plus my four-year-older-than-me boyfriend on the side. I could never have imagined how hard the following years were going to be. But I went through everything one day at a time and came out to the other side feeling strong, positive and more mature.

Pareja

My boyfriend and I around 1987. 

My first job was as an Art Teacher for two years. I was only 19 and my students were from 12 to 13 years old. It was a great experience but I decided to leave the job in order to focus on my own art. I kept the connection with most of my students, and they became good friends.

After this, I worked part-time at an art gallery because of the salary. But what I really wanted was a radical change. That’s when I decided to become a full-time Artist. The transition was hard. In order to survive I kept two lives; one doing art at night and another one selling anything that I could make with my hands. Here I have to give credit to my Mom who sent me 10 pesos cubanos a month. Money and food were scarce back then but my imagination was more alive than ever.

The next big move happened in 1995 when I relocated to Havana with the help of my beloved friend Debra. I lived with her for a year. Thank you forever, sister. Debra died of cancer in 2011 but she’s forever in my heart. In Havana, I married a Psychologist who later became my agent. He did nice things for me but the marriage just didn’t work so we got divorced. Nobody’s fault, that’s OK. Special thanks to him too.

During those years my art developed as never before. Several art collectors, art galleries, museums etc. from around the world came to the island fascinated with what was going on in the Cuban art world.  I worked on my art day and night. I had shows, traveled to other countries and worked some more when I returned.  I was happy and finally able to make a living out of my own creativity.

Elsita in Studio in Cuba

↑Photo taken by a Cuban friend in my studio. Havana, 1999

Elsa Mora 2000 sepia small

↑ The year 2000, at La Esmeralda in Mexico, during my UNESCO-Ashberg artist residency.

Then in 2001 my life had another turn; just when I was getting divorced in Havana.  I had decided that I wanted to be by myself for as long as possible, with no partner. Then,  I met an American man named William Horberg. His sister had been a good friend of mine for a while but she never mentioned having a brother. The thing is that she had a plan in mind, she thought that Bill and I were going to be great as a couple so she proceeded to make our encounter possible. Bill was also going through a divorce. All I can say is that my friend (sister-in-law now) couldn’t be more right. Bill and I clicked the first time we met. Not too long after  I moved with him to Los Angeles, CA where I started a completely new life full of surprises.

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Bill and I in our very first picture together. Havana, 2000

Some of the most amazing surprises that we ever received were our two children Natalie and Diego.  They are both unique. Natalie is the most creative person I know. Diego is the most original (he was diagnosed with Autism at age 2).  My stepson Miro, who is currently attending college, is one of the most sensitive souls that I ever met.

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Natalie and Diego, 2010

My husband Bill is a Film Producer from Chicago, with a solid career in Hollywood. He’s smart, gentle, modest, very family oriented, creative, plus he possesses the most incredible memory ever. He’s like a walking encyclopedia. With him, I have learned tons of things, not only about film, music, literature, politics… but also about the simple things that really matter in life. We get along very well and spend most of the time making jokes and having fun with our kids. We also have wonderful friends with whom we get together as often as we can.

The rest of my story is happening as I write this… Every day is a new adventure to me, a new opportunity to do something meaningful. Sometimes life gets hard for one reason or another, but after all the things that I learned from my past in Cuba, I always manage to find the positive in the negative. Now we celebrate my birthday on the right day, but I still like to reinvent myself in everything that I do or create with my hands. In the end, each one of us has the power to be what we really want to be, that’s what our journey is all about.

All my best to you,

Elsita

PS. Written in 2008 in Los Angeles, CA.

Photo with sign

90 Comments

  1. Nikki Abbadessa

    Wow…I love this. A Facebook friend shared this today and I am so glad I read this and experienced this. I am not an artist but long for more creative expression. I am 49 ( the same age my father was when he died…a very creative being) and ready to use my imagination more in this new year and as I prepare to turn 50 soon. Thank you for creating this.
    Nikki

    Reply
    • Elsa Mora

      Thanks for your words Nikki. I am sorry to hear that your Dad died so young. But I’m sure that he passed some of his creative genes to you. This could be the year for you to re-connect with him and with yourself through creativity. You don’t have to be an artist to use your imagination (in the same way that we don’t need to be Doctors to take care of our health). Imagination and creativity are there to serve each one of us. All we need is to use them intentionally. Wishing you a year full of inspiration and positive things!
      Elsita
      Elsa Mora recently posted..Be a Hunter.My Profile

      Reply
  2. Sandy

    Elsita, what a delight to discover your blog today! You are listed on the blogroll of someone’s blog that I visit quite often and I happily clicked on your link! Your story is told beautifully through the creative use of multimedia! Your story is inspiring. I too had many challenges growing up but was able to create the life I wanted through imagination and creativity. It also helps not to buy into the victim role. Your blog had me at the gorgeous banner (the scissors made of flowers) when I first clicked on your blog. I will be a frequent visitor. Bravo for living the creative life!

    Reply
    • Elsa Mora

      Thanks a lot Sandy for your visit! It makes me happy to hear that you like Art is a Way. You’re very welcome here. Also, I couldn’t agree more with what you said: “It helps not to buy into the victim role” That’s the ultimate way to paralyse one’s life. I had a wonderful teacher who had some physical disabilities, he always said: Don’t ever feel sorry about yourself! That’s a line that we should always remember.
      See you around!

      Reply
  3. Name *

    Hi Elsita;

    Among other things I’m a web designer . Your site frequently shows-up on a counter as a referrer to one of my sites, Electric Pencil Drawings.com It was a true delight stumbling upon your blog, I love the minimalist, clean look and especially your story in ‘art saved me’ and the ‘about me’ pages. Great Blog!

    Reply
    • Elsa Mora

      Hi there!
      Coming from a web designer like you it is great to hear that you like Art is a Way. Thanks a lot for your comment 🙂
      I just went back to the Electric Pencil site and I was delighted to see that the identity of the artist has finally been discovered. That makes me so happy! I watched the whole video. It is all so fascinating and inspiring. What an amazing body of work he produced and how lucky we are that the work didn’t get lost. That’s one the sites that I most appreciate. Happy New Year!
      Elsita

      Reply
  4. Lucy R.

    I have been following your work and am always inspired, in awe and amazed at what you create. All your imagery is unique, original and so beautiful – a feast for the eyes. And I love that you work in so many different mediums. Thank you for sharing yourself and your work here in the public eye. I can’t wait to see what else you dream up. Maybe a coffee-table book of all your work? That would be a treat! =)…..

    Reply
    • Elsa Mora

      Thanks a lot for your words, Lucy 🙂 I love the idea of the coffee-table book!

      Reply
  5. june olsen

    Hi Elsa!I’m a blogging virgin…I admit it, read about your blog in Tara Frey’s book “blogging for bliss”…reason being I want to start my own blog very soon! yours is the first I’ve ever read…Amazing!! love your honesty and the way you introduced both yourself and your blog! Also love the illustrations!! I will definately be coming back again (and again) for inspiration!!! keep up the good work!! big love to you and your adorable family!! xxjune olsen

    Reply
    • Elsa Mora

      Thanks a lot June! Let me know when you start your blog! I would love to visit it. See you around!
      Elsita 🙂

      Reply
  6. Taneshia

    Hi Elsita, I met your husband Bill this weekend in NYC (work-related for both of us) and discovered his blog which connects to yours. I love it! It has inspired me to revive my own abandoned blog (which I never really gave a chance) “What Balance? Musings of a Working Mom and Wife in the ‘Hood.” My six year old daughter Imani loves art and to be creative and while I have no idea whether she will become an artist like you, I will continue to nurture and support her desire for visual expression.
    Taneshia recently posted..It’s Been A Long Time…My Profile

    Reply
    • Elsa Mora

      Hi Taneshia!
      I’m so glad to hear that you got together with Bill. Wishing you and your family all the best!
      Elsita 🙂
      Elsa Mora recently posted..Why Make Art?My Profile

      Reply
  7. paola

    I’m following your amazing and so inspiring art since years, but only today I read your full history.So only now I understand what your art gives to me. I’ve always seen in your art a struggle between good and something dramatic. but I could not understand. now I understand where it comes from. Your work shows perfectly the beauty of life that you tried so strong and the hard part that you have lived in a perfect sistesi. thank you for your great work. Paola

    Reply
  8. Lori Ann

    What a joy it is to read your story . . . I have admired your work for quite some time.
    I am excited to follow your creative journey and continue my own as well.
    Thank you for all that you are!

    Lori Ann
    The Spotted Hare

    Reply
    • Elsa Mora

      Thanks a lot Lori! 🙂

      Reply
  9. Arlete Belluzzo

    How nice reading your story, very inspiring! I’m not an artist at all but I crave the beauty some creative souls can imprint in everyday life. Looking for ways to express myself more creatively and help my kids to see and make their world more creative and beautiful is something I do to escape from my everyday life, which sometimes, is too down-to-earth. So, reading and enjoying something poetical, magical, and artistic and getting inspiration to make small changes in my life is great. Thanks!

    Reply
    • Elsa Mora

      Dear Arlete,
      I wish you lots of inspiration this year so you can feel excited about creating things. Life should be fun, and using our imagination is a great way to accomplish that. All my best!
      Elsita
      Elsa Mora recently posted..Kaiva for Art is a Way. (And Book Giveaway Winner)My Profile

      Reply
  10. Yuly

    Hola Elsa, te escribo agradecida. He llegado a tu pagina por “casualidad”divina y me encuentro leyendo la historia de tu vida que me ha tocado el alma. Yo apenas reinicio mi actividad con el blog y he estado en el ultimo periodo buscando ejemplos de blogs que me inspiren. El tuyo me ha capturado. Seguro que ya sabes o habras escuchado millones de veces que tu trabajo es precioso, yo tambien lo creo y lo es. Pero a mi como me gusta ser unica, me gustaria decirte algo diferente y por eso quiero decirte que eres una de las pocas personas que pienso que asume la cratividad como una guia en la vida. Es hermoso percibir que nos desvincula tu don (talento) de la vida y eso ya es hermoso. Es reconfortante escuchar como la aceptacion de lo que somos puede guiar nuestro camino. En hora buena por tu trabajo y tu familia. Mil gracias !!! Si no te importa me gustaria hablar de tu trabajo en mi blog, la proxima semana. Encantada de conocerte.

    Reply
    • Elsa Mora

      Mil gracias Yuly, por tus palabras.
      Leer tu comentario me alegra el alma 🙂
      Felicitaciones por retomar tu blog y claro que puedes escribir sobre lo que hago, es un honor.
      Te mando un abrazo grande y es tambien un gusto conocerte!
      Elsita

      Reply
  11. Kim

    I found your site through my “Artistically Afflicted” email subscription. What a wonderful find! I should be working right now, but once on your site I couldn’t stop exploring. In her email Julie mentioned what a visual treat readers would find in your site. That is certainly true. But even more is all that you share about your life experiences. I’m captivated and inspired by your spirit and healthy outlook. You are what I call a true artist, and what I aspire to become. I’m a divorced mom of two boys (13 and almost 16), and work full time in the marketing dept. of a university. Not a lot of opportunity for creativity, as upper administration will not take risks of any kind (although, I make the most of it and generally like my job). But I can’t wait to retire (I’m 50) to devote time to art. Thank you for sharing your hard work and talents.

    Reply
  12. Elsa Mora

    Dear Kim,
    I’m so glad that you found me through “Artistically Afflicted”.
    I am excited to hear that soon you will be 50, so you will have lots of freedom to be creative.
    The best part of life starts at 50. That’s what an old friend of mine uses to say.
    Cheers!!
    Elsita 🙂
    Elsa Mora recently posted..Kaiva for Art is a Way. (And Book Giveaway Winner)My Profile

    Reply
  13. chandi

    I loved reading your story. What an amazing triumph through your young life. You were destined for greatness at a young age. Thank you for sharing it. I am now following you. (I hope the linked worked) I look forward to reading and visually being uplifted by your creativity.
    Many Blessings,
    Chandi
    chandi recently posted..Spirit in Nature;The Feeling Years.My Profile

    Reply
    • Elsa Mora

      Thanks, Chandi! Yes, the link worked perfectly. Your blog is now part of my blogroll. Thanks a lot for joining!
      Elsita 🙂
      Elsa Mora recently posted..Re-discovering Alexander CalderMy Profile

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  14. Lorraine

    Dear Elsita,
    and what a dear you are. I’ve been touched by your work for years, but never so much as I was by your “welcome to art as a way”. To the core of my heart you touched me. It is so important that we reach out to create community in whatever way we can, working and/or living in isolation as so many often do. It is an important gesture you have made by receiving your visitors into this safe and joyous place and I, for one, thank you. You have made, one day at a time, a rich and blessed life for yourself and others, more profound than even the amazing art you make. Your life story is an inspiration; thank you for sharing it.

    Reply
    • Elsa Mora

      Dear Lorraine, thanks a lot for your thoughtful words. I agree with you, it is very important the we don’t isolate ourselves and that we reach for like-minded people. That way life is a lot nicer.
      I’m happy that you’re here 🙂
      Elsa Mora recently posted..Re-discovering Alexander CalderMy Profile

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  15. Suzen

    Dear Elsa, Whenever I am feeling depleted, I come and visit you and I immediately feel hopeful and inspired again. Your new blog is just beautiful! I also want to tell you how much I enjoy your personal blog about your style. I have felt guilty and pretentious so often with my interest in fashion. You have helped me to understand that it’s another form of artistic expression and not to be suppressed or shamed about. I love your stories and your art! I wish I could come to Portland to take your papercutting class, both to visit Portland and to spend time with you and learn! Just not in the cards right now. If you ever come to New York to teach I’ll be right there, though. Thanks for giving and for being you!!

    Reply
    • Elsa Mora

      Thanks a lot, Suzen! I’m glad that you talked about my blog about personal style. I believe that the way we present ourselves to the world is a form of expression. Paying attention to what we wear is a nice thing to do because it keeps us connected to ourselves. I believe that in life everything is important, even the little things.
      Elsa Mora recently posted..Re-discovering Alexander CalderMy Profile

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  16. Sandip

    Touchy story…!!
    Nice to know that we are co-students for creativity class @ Venture lab.

    Reply
    • Elsa Mora

      Yay Sandip! It’s so nice to see your comment here! I am having such a great time at the course with Tina Seelig 🙂
      Elsa Mora recently posted..Re-discovering Alexander CalderMy Profile

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  17. Danijela K.

    What an extraordinary blog! What a beautiful and inspiring life and art story!
    I love it!!!

    Reply
  18. Margarita Carbonell

    Are you presently exhibiting anywhere in Miami. Me encanta tu arte de las muchachas con insectos y pajaros. Me interesa saber donde exhibes.

    Te felicito y estoy de acuerdo contigo en que siempre hay que idealizar el triunfo.

    Margarita

    Reply
    • Elsa Mora

      Hola Margarita! Hay una galeria en Miami que representa mi trabajo. Se llama Panamerican Art Projects. Aqui esta en link: http://panamericanart.com/
      Espero tener otra exposicion en Miami pronto. Alli viven mi mama y 2 hermanos 🙂
      Elsa Mora recently posted..My December Show.My Profile

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  19. Mayla

    You struck a note with me when you were talking about having a different birthday then you thought you had. With me it was the way my name was spelled. I grew up thinking that my name was Maylia and when I moved back to florida they required me to send for my birth certificate and I found out that my name was Mayla. My mother never told me. It was a strange feeling to find out you are not who you thought you were but then I didn’t like myself very well anyway so I now I figure I can take this time to be who I really am. For the first time in my life I am calling myself an artist. Ive created art all my life but never thought of myself as an artist. I was never good enough. Thank you for being here. I will come back alot.

    Reply
    • Elsa Mora

      Yay for calling yourself an artist, Mayla! I totally understand what you felt when you discovered the right way to spell your name. But now you are who you are, Mayla the artist. Sending a hug!
      Elsita 🙂
      Elsa Mora recently posted..My December Show.My Profile

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  20. Name *Antonia

    Comment
    Querida Elsita,
    nunca habia leido toda tu historia, solo conocia parte de ella.
    Es hermoso como la cuentas.
    Te mando un beso grande,
    Antonia

    Reply
  21. Sophia

    Elsita,
    I find your work utterly fascinating, and the fact that you worked your way up from poverty to where you are today shows incredible bravery. I am basing part of my art exam work on your artwork and I would love to include some of your personal input. I visited Havana a month ago and I found it as magical as you do. What kind of people interest and inspire you most, from all the places that you have lived in? Also, how did you keep your ‘flower buddies’ plant dolls fresh and keep their colours? I hope you can reply, muchas gracias.
    Sophia (age 14 from England)

    Reply
    • Elsa Mora

      Dear Sophia,
      Please, forgive me for my late reply!
      Here are my answers:

      What kind of people interest and inspire you most, from all the places that you have lived in?

      I love all kinds of people, but mostly, those who struggle but find ways to overcome obstacles. Specially my son Diego. His condition (Autism) has been a challenge. But with lots of work he has have amazing progress.
      From being non-verbal, he now has a huge vocabulary, just to mention one of his areas of success. He inspires me every day.

      Also, how did you keep your ‘flower buddies’ plant dolls fresh and keep their colours?

      I just bought them at the supermarket when they were very fresh and I took the photos the same day. With flowers you need to be quick because they deteriorate fast.

      Sending a hug!
      Elsita
      Elsa Mora recently posted..My December Show.My Profile

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  22. Pam McKnight

    I was given a stack of old art magazines the other day and came across an interview with you about your art. Something about your inspiring art and story made me look you up on line. I didnt grow up poor but I did teach art in an inner city school. I taught 1,000 kids a year with no budget and this did really help with my creativity. What a wonderful blog you have showcasing other talented artists. Thank you.

    Reply
    • Elsa Mora

      Thanks a lot Pam! I imagine what a great and inspiring experience was teaching 1000 kids a year. Wishing you all the best!
      Elsita
      Elsa Mora recently posted..My December Show.My Profile

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  23. Doreen LoCicero

    My friend Cara sent me a series of beautiful paper art — i clicked on yours because it reminded me of the work of a friend of mine from many years ago, I recall Terry cutting out beautiful things w/ cuticle scissors, we taught school together. Her sister and brother were also great artists. I loved reading your story — if you ever come to Miami I would love to meet you. Cara and I met at a mutual friend’s house 5 years ago — she read some poetry and i told her that I was also a poet & artist. A few weeks later, we started The Poetry Buffet at my crepe restaurant, The Crepemaker on Miracle Mile. We’re in our 5th season! We have featured wonderful poets, many of whom are also great artists. Your life narrative reads like a poem & would love to have you exhibit & read for us. Check out poet/artists like Graham Wood Drought, David Zalbin, Diego Quiros and you’ll see the type of work we present, but we need more female poet-artists. I’m not a mosaic artist, but I helped created the Coconut Grove Post Office Children’s Mosaic project, which is where i live. I also work at the Miracle Theatre & started a grant driven sensory-friendly project for children w/ autism– it has become a huge success, now all 5 children’s shows will have 2 SF shows throughout the year. Thank you for sharing. Send me your email and I will forward our poetry info and other info to you, if you’d like.

    Reply
    • Elsa Mora

      Doreen, I love your comment! The story about The Poetry Buffet at you crepe restaurant is great! Here is my e-mail: elsammora@gmail.com I would love to get the poetry info.
      Congratulations on being so creative!
      Elsita 🙂
      Elsa Mora recently posted..My December Show.My Profile

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  24. Half Century Mark Hotel

    I was searching for inspiration and beauty on the internet and stumbled into your lovely world. Thank you so for sharing your art and stories. Hope to become a frequent visitor. Patricia, caretaker and owner of the Half Century Mark Hotel.
    Half Century Mark Hotel recently posted..yoko meMy Profile

    Reply
    • Elsa Mora

      Wow, Patricia!! I love, love, love your blog and the super creative idea of making it an imaginary hotel. Thank you so much for your comment. I just subscribed to your blog.
      Best wishes!
      Elsita
      Elsa Mora recently posted..My December Show.My Profile

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      • Patricia

        Thank you so for subscribing to my Hotel. It will be such an honor to have you visit! Best wishes. p.

        Reply
  25. Christine Damm

    Reading your story, I feel I have found a soul sister. I have a profound thankfulness right now that I got to read about your trials and triumphs. What a validation of the human spirit– you turned your misfortunes into opportunities and all because you found out that you are in charge of your own life and the inventor of your destiny. Thank you so much for sharing– Can’t wait to peruse your blog and works.
    Christine Damm recently posted..Finding Delight in the OrdinaryMy Profile

    Reply
  26. Suzi

    Your life story is truly inspiring. Life is what your ‘create’ of it… Your art is amazing.

    Reply
    • Elsa Mora

      Thanks a lot, Suzi 🙂

      Reply
  27. Fab

    Elsita, you are such an awesome inspiration. Your artwork, stories and website is over the top. You are a great example to for me (artist) and my husband (musician). We both struggle to get by, we mostly keep our talent in our house. We lack in promoting ourselves or taking our work out into the world. My husband is such a talented musician, he could be making music for movies or TV, but we never quite make it.
    In a way, I feel so close to you, reading your life progression, it is like we walked a parallel line. I have made so much art over the years, but won’t stick with anything very long, because my mind is overflowing with creativity.
    It is a delight to see, that you are able to utilize all your talents and make them work as a whole. Congratulations on your success. I will always be your fan and supporter!

    Reply
    • Elsa Mora

      Thanks a lot for your comment, Fabiola!
      You and your husband still have a whole life ahead to do all the things that are in your dreams.
      The key is to do a little bit every day. Over time, you will see the results.
      Sending both of you a hug!
      Elsita
      Elsa Mora recently posted..My December Show.My Profile

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  28. Maria Araci d' Avila

    Elsa: I find your blog just yesterday and I am in love with it and with your story !!!! My blog is already at your blog roll and I would like that you come to visit me!!! I’m from Brasil and make family trees with collages. Your work is amazing!!! Um abraço Maria Araci

    Reply
    • Elsa Mora

      Hola, Maria!
      I’m happy that you found my blog. I just visited yours and loved seeing the Halloween photos.
      It is great that you live in Brazil. That’s a country that I really want to visit one day. I have some friends there that I would love to visit. Here I wrote about them: http://www.artisaway.com/blog/the-revival-story-of-a-truck/
      Sending a hug!
      Elsita 🙂
      Elsa Mora recently posted..My December Show.My Profile

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  29. Andrea Araneda

    Hello Elsita, I still have not gone into your blog. I was first reading about your life. I saw a couple of beautiful works while I was getting here… your story is so inspiring and encouraging. My mother language is spanish. I’m chilean and I live in Punta Arenas, ath the south in Patagonia. I was so impressed about your birth day… My oldest borother was born on may 9th… He past away almost 3 years ago. It was really hard for me but at the same time made me grew so so much. And when I got your spirit and then saw your born date.. I had to write you and just congratulate you for following yourself. I´m an artis too. And always had a lot o fear.. so stupid.. fear to not be able to do what I love to do.. Since my brother I have less fear and I live life so differently. Less attached, more free on the good sense. I have a studio at Punta Arenas, where I have a lot o fun doing whatever and just trying to be myself. I always had admire people like you. Hope everything will keep going on great for you and family. A big hug from the end of the world. Now I will start knowing your work…

    Reply
    • Elsa Mora

      Dear Andrea,
      I’m so sorry to hear about your bother’s passing. But I’m sure that he will always be alive in your heart. It is great that you have a studio in Punta Arenas. Yes, don’t be afraid of anything, just be who you are and have fun creating. Life is precious and it gives us the chance to do special things. We just need to do them.
      Sending my love!
      Elsita 🙂
      Elsa Mora recently posted..My December Show.My Profile

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  30. Elaine

    Elsita:
    I don’t know how I stumbled upon your site, but wow! Your creative spirit is so wonderful and authentic! Your strength is amazing, and your children are beautiful! Thanks so much for sharing.

    Reply
  31. Jeanne Crabtree

    So cool to hear your story. I am a high school art teacher, and my students would benefit from the positive outcome of your story. Sometimes they seem so desperate, and discouraged about life. That is disconcerting for me to see them in such distress as teens. Thank you for sharing, and I look forward to the world of art you have for us to discover!

    Reply
  32. Adriana

    Hola Elsita,

    Encontré tu trabajo y tu blog gracias al lanzamiento de Paramount Records… el arte sin importar su expresión siempre conecta, gracias por compartir tu historia, absolutamente inspiradora!

    Reply
  33. Suzi Yeager

    Hola Elsita,
    Yours is the first blog I have read. A friend suggested it to me after seeing some of my art. I am 61 and can identify with so many of your life events (including leaving home at 16). I love so many mediums – so hard to settle on just one or two.
    Your story and thought process are impressive and inspiring. It’s never too late to make your world the way you want and feel you deserve. You have a beautiful family!Thanks for sharing your world with us! Mahalo

    Reply
  34. Benilde Moreno

    ¡Elsita! ¡Te felicito! Estoy muy complacida de haberte encontrado. He visto tu trabajo en infinidad de publicaciones en Pinterest. Todas me han fascinado y las he coleccionado en mis tableros, pero no tenía idea quién era el autor.
    Yo tengo interés en la arquitectura en papel y hoy por casualidad un gran amigo ha señalada una foto de gatitos, que a su vez fue publicada en un sitio de artistas destadados. Cuando vi que publicaban tu nombre con una selección de tus trabajos no pude sino brincar en la silla del gusto que me dio haberte encontrado. Eres una inspiración en todos los sentidos. Qué alegría ver que hermosa y talentosa persona eres. Te estaré visitando frecuentemente.

    Reply
  35. Christine Wenger

    What a magicial and encouraging story. My respect and admiration!
    I wish you a happy, inspiring new year with lots of ideas and creative moments!
    Christine

    Reply
  36. Lina Baubukas

    This is so beautiful so sensitive and light. Thank You for such a story of Your life :)It was very interesting to read 🙂

    Reply
  37. shari mendelson

    HI Elsita,
    I found your blog while trying to figure out why so many people went to my site on January 7th. Thanks so much for posting my work. I loved reading your story and look forward to following your blog.

    Best of luck to you and your family!
    Shari

    Reply
  38. Renata

    Hi Elsita,

    I have just read all about your life here in the blog. And it makes me feel happy and strong. I did not have a tough life like yours, but anyway we have one important thing in common: WE HAVE FOUND HAPPINESS IN ART.
    I have been visiting your site since i read a papercutting book that shows your work. I am a brazilian papercutting artist. And i have been looking forward to improving my technique. Do you give workshops? Do you give any art course? If yes, please let me know.
    Sorry about my english mistakes. I have been studying to get better.
    Thanks a lot.
    Kisses…
    Renata.

    Reply
  39. Mary

    What a beautiful testament, Elsita! I have just now re-entered the creative phase of my life after finding a balance between raising/homeschooling children (two boys 5/8), being a wife (of 14 years), friend, daughter and battling depression. I have found your blogs to be so inspiring and just plain beautiful to pour over.
    Thank you for sharing 🙂

    Mary

    Reply
  40. Rachelle

    Thank you so much for sharing your creativity with the world. I discovered your work while reading O magazine’s April 2014 issue. I find your work so inspiring. I’m currently working on developing my paper art skills and discovered your work at the perfect time. You set the bar high and I love it.
    Thank you for you for showing us the way to your art.

    Rachelle
    Rachelle recently posted..ChezChelle African Print SkirtMy Profile

    Reply
  41. Hiromi Nomurajima

    Hi Elsita, I enjoyed looking at your work very much, and I also enjoyed reading through a story of your life. Your story taught me what I need the most right now, “find Positive in Negative situation”. I am a Japanese woman in my mid-30`s. I spent most of my 20`s in NY and relocated myself in Japan 2 yrs ago. After my return, without realizing I was trying to put myself into some kind of box, like in “a good Japanese way” and by focusing on fears, I got into depression and I am now trying to find myself again. I was genuinely positive person so I never guessed this could happen to me, but it did…. The power of “imagination” is very strong and it might work in a negative way (again, I never imagined!!!) So thank you for sharing a great story of a good example!! Thanks to my FB friend who shared your website!! I am a painter. I hope to get a motivation to paint again soon….. Hiromi

    Reply
  42. maria

    Me emocionó mucho tu relato. Siento que es una ayuda para que todos encontremos la creatividad dentro de nosotros.
    Tu obra es maravillosa. Cada vez que comparto en FB todos quedan enamorados.
    Muchas gracias Elsita.

    Reply
  43. Petrina

    Hello and hello Elsita,
    I am new to your blog. I just signed up and am thrilled to be joining.
    I was sad to read parts of your story and happy about the other parts.

    So glad you found art, or it found you- early on. It is a great place to get lost in and helps us forget hunger and pain sometimes.

    Your art is beautiful – thank you for sharing.

    Happy thoughts,
    Petrina – too much reading going on by me and not enough creating so I am off to create a smile or two. xxxooo

    Reply
  44. Rosa Martin

    Hola Elsita!
    Es muy curioso que a pesar de seguir tu blog desde hace bastante tiempo, no haya sido hasta que he visto tu trabajo en otro blog que he llegado a este post tuyo.
    Es adorable la forma en la que has presentado tu vida. Pero además de eso quería decirte que eres toda una fuente de inspiración. Siempre anima a ser algo más valiente ver que hay gente que ha podido superar cualquier dificultad que se le ha planteado y ha conseguido estar en la posición en que te encuentras ahora.
    Muchas gracias por contar tu historia y muchísima suerte en tus futuros proyectos!
    Rosa Martin recently posted..Fashion + Illustration OTD – Fur, Leopard print and Gokinjo MonogatariMy Profile

    Reply
  45. Maude May

    reading your blog is always a such a pleasure – your art and the work you feature make me smile. muchas gracias!
    Maude May recently posted..fog/sun . . .My Profile

    Reply
  46. Shelley

    Hi, I am a student studying graphic design. I think your designs are really beautiful and inspiring therefore I have chosen you as my artist. May I ask you how you cut out your designs? Such as lasted cut, hand cut or other? Thank you!

    Reply
  47. cwmijd@gmail.com

    Your work is beautiful. I love your storytelling style. Wow!! Thank you for sharing your story. Truly inspiring.

    Reply
  48. Laura Watson

    Elsita, I was delighted to discover your blog today when someone shared your post about your new basement studio on Facebook. I loved reading your story here! I’m Canadian but I’ve been to Holguin, as I remember it, it would be a tough but interesting place to be a kid! I love the adorable gifs you created to illustrate your story. Thanks! 🙂

    Reply

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