|Born||October 16, 1976|
Ponce, Puerto Rico
|Occupation||Surface Designer, Fashion Illustrator|
Elaine Biss (born Sonia Elaine, married name: Elaine Leon-Biss)is a US based fashion illustrator, web, stationery and surface designer. She is was born in Ponce, Puerto Rico (US Territory) to Hector and Sonia de Leon on October 16th, 1976. Elaine`s feminine styling has been sought after to create branding and corporate identities that feature a softer, more artistic side. Her fashion illustrations, boutique renderings, girly characters, surface design and accessories all have her trademarked touch of Parisian chic. Her work can be found on websites, iphone applications, clothing, typography, stationery and products that need a bit of feminine flair. She has worked for Christian Dior and New York and Company among other large scale fashion and cosmetic companies.
Elaine was taught to sew by her mother Sonia at an early age. By the time Elaine was 6 years old, she knew how to sew, do small embroidery and crochet. Sonia studied sewing with a student of Puerto Rican Haute Couture, Carlota Alfaro. At the age of twelve, her family moved from Puerto Rico to the Susquehanna Valley, in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
Elaine was advanced one grade ahead at an early age having scored high in a school placement test, making her one year younger than her peers. By the time she was in high school, she took advanced sewing classes. Her teacher noticed her sewing skills were noticeably above that of her peers and even sold some of the clothing she made to the students and faculty. Later that year she participated in the high school`s fashion show, where she modeled the pieces she created as well as that of her classmates. However Elaine did not desire to sew, as she preferred to draw.
In 1992, Elaine enrolled in the Commercial Art studies at the Lancaster Career and Technology Center. She married her first husband while still high school. She finished her studied two years later from her peers. She dropped out briefly in 1994, and later returned to finish her course work, graduating in 1996 with her high school diploma and certificate in Commercial Art.
In 2001 she divorced her first husband, whom she had 4 children to, after being separated for two years. Elaine re-married later that same year her current husband, Shayne Biss.
Early Career and Education
After graduating with certificate in Commercial Art, Elaine had been working after high school with a friend who represented her in different venues and resold her art. In 1999 she enrolled the Psychology and Philosophy classes electives to become a nurse. After passing the nurse`s entrance exam and preliminary classes, Elaine changed her mind and decided to start her design firm. By 2006 she had a well established web design and illustration website.
In 2006, Elaine completed courses on web design and search engine optimization, helping her with her web design firm. She also taught herself how to use Illustrator, Photoshop, Corel Painter and Font maker. Elaine currently holds certificates in the following design ares, Commercial Art, two on web design and search engine optimization. Elaine has attended the Art Institute of Pittsburgh to earn her Associate`s degree in Graphic Design. She later transferred to Parsons New School of Design.
Body of Work
Though Elaine primarily used software to create her illustrations, she uses a variety of media like pen and ink, charcoal, markers and watercolors. Some of the digital software used in her works are Illustrator CS6, Photoshop CS6 and Corel Painter 12 She prefers to use watercolors and often edits them in Photoshop.
Though Elaine has often described her work as "French feminine", her illustrations have retro flair reminiscent of mid-century European fashion illustrations. Her pen and ink illustrations have a more modern twist. She can stylize her works to suit most of any style.
Sample of two pieces created by Elaine Biss. On the left, Mission watercolors on Arches cold press paper.2013. On the right Corel Painter simulated french watercolor paper and digital watercolor brushes. 2009.
Le Cravatier, Paris
Elaine worked with Parisian tie designer, Le Cravatier, to create their current company logo displayed at www.lecravatier.com.
Elaine`s artwork was featured on the invitation for the Red Cross Annual Fashion Show in Rosarito Mexico.
After entering the Iqons.com Call to Artists, Elaine won a spot for the Adore Dior Charity Auction as the premier design diva. The spot garnered her much attention and she consequently let go of her web design practice, dedicating her firm solely to illustrations, graphic and surface design. Elaine`s contributed piece because the 4th highest grossing item on the auction.
In the summer of 2009, Elaine worked with Dior to create collateral material for a national campaign. She was commissioned to create 4 pieces for the Dior Magic Show. By 2011 she had worked with them as an event illustrator in conjunction with Bloomingdale`s, as Dior debut their shoe line on their east coast stores.
New York & Company-Coco and Lolly 2008-2009
After the Adore Dior Auction the end of 2008, Elaine was commissioned to create illustrations for the company Coco and Lolly (Defunct), sister company of New York & Company. Her artwork was mainly used for company branding, hang tags and clothing.
The Paris Apartment Keys to the Fleas App
The Keys to the Fleas Iphone App features some of Elaine`s illustrations. The app is a shopping app that spotlights flea markets of Paris. The app is the creation of Claudia Strasser.
La Vie a Paris Illustrated Book
Inspired by fashion and art, Elaine illustrated a book with her favorite poses and fashions. The book follows the feel good tale that takes readers through the streets of Paris, as seen through the eyes of Nanette and her dog Coco. It combines everything Paris with a bit of uninhibited French humor.
Paula and Chlo Artist in Residence =
After having created simple illustration for the retailer Paula and Chlo, Elaine was offered the position of artist in residence. She continues to create illustrations inspired by the the retailers unique collection of purses. She creates their work mainly on watercolors as well as pen and ink.
Punk Couture ad for for Paula and Chlo by Elaine Biss. 2013. Pen and ink,
Zac Posen purse illustration for Paula and Chlo by Elaine Biss. 2013. Watercolor.
Chan Luu wrap bracelet for Paula and Chlo by Elaine Biss. 2013. Pen and ink, watercolor.
Eugenia Kim Fedora for Paula and Chlo by Elaine Biss. 2013. Pencil and watercolor. Sequined.
Rebecca Minkoff Mini Mac for Paula and Chlo by Elaine Biss. 2013. Pencil and watercolor.