Elsi Vassdal Ellis – In the Cards:


© 2020
edition of 50
dimensions in inches: 8 x 4.13 x 2.13

. . . Prompts for writing the Bestselling Novel during a Novel Pandemic

About this piece:

Many creatives have found their creativity compromised by the anxieties and uncertainties that have emerged due to the novel coronavirus. In the Cards is a collection of illustrations created using 19th century engraved art, scanned and combined to create cards to be used as visual prompts for writing exercises by anyone striving to write a novel during COVID-19. Many of the illustrations are based upon news events in this pandemic. The barrel roll brochure identifies factors that might be the root cause of their creative blocks (terrifying moments of high anxiety, feeling overwhelmed by uncertainty, the need to scream, experiencing a crisis of faith, and feeling boxed in). Although no guarantees for creative success are offered, the writer is asked “What do you have to lose?”

All components are housed in a clamshell box with two removable boxes housing the cards, a folder with sheets to record the writing exercises, and the instruction brochure introducing the writing exercises.

Prompt images are digital collages of public domain engraved images from 19th and 20th century sources.


paper, bookcloth

About the artist:

Lives and works in Bellingham, Washington.

Elsi Vassdal Ellis taught design production and book arts at Western Washington University for 40 years, retiring in June 2017. As EVE Press she has produced over 150 editions via offset, letterpress and digital printing, and 127 unique books since 1983. Her work is permanently housed in many public collections including the National Museum of Women in the Arts, New York City Public Library, Ruth and Marvin Sackner Archive of Concrete and Visual Poetry, Grabhorn Collection in the San Francisco Public Library, and Arts of the Book Collection in the Yale University Library.


Elsi Vassdal Ellis – In the Cards: