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#happytobehere - Whangarei

In this week’s edition of #HappyToBeHere, we get to know the local art scene through the eyes of Elsie from AMI Whangarei.

Known for her iconic curls and bubbly personality, Elsie is an illustrator, graphic designer, as well as a personal insurance consultant at our AMI Whangarei branch. A quick peak into her portfolio and it’s obvious that Elsie’s very passionate about her art – the colours are vivid and bright. Her work has a distinct style, and you can tell straight away what influences her in her art.

“I’ve always loved the arts since I was very young. I spent the first six years of my life in Fiji and was lucky enough to be surrounded by colourful floral and ocean life. People, nature and my heritage inspire me.”

After she finished school, Elsie moved to Auckland to study graphic design, but the relaxed lifestyle and feeling of community enticed her back to sunny Whangarei. She says the art scene may be small but talented, and she admires that the creatives here have a deep spiritual connection with their craft.

What she loves most about living in Whangarei, though, are the beaches. “We have over 100 beaches to choose from over the summer. I love the feeling of community here and I love that I live so close to my family.”

Elsie manages to balance her creative endeavours with her fulltime job, which can get quite busy and make it hard for her to put her energy into her creative work in her spare time. When asked how she manages to do it all, she offered some great advice – “Time management is something that I am constantly working on. Every week I write down and detail my priorities, then tick them off as I go. To keep the passion and creativity alive I set time aside to do passion projects that have been on the back burner. Setting time aside to just create is a great way to keep the good vibrations going. My aspiration is to keep doing more. I’d love to get into murals, create prints to put on silk scarves and to be more involved in the Whangarei art scene – I’m typically a bit of a hermit!”

Whangarei, I’m #HappyToBeHere!