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Delight your clients. Do more of what makes you awesome with the time you save. Delight your clients. Do more of what makes you awesome with the time you save.

About Elena W

In a Nutshell...

I have a passion for creating design templates that allow the photographs and memories your clients hold dear, to take the spotlight, and illustrations that tell stories …Products that bring joy and become treasured and cherished family keepsakes. 

I am inspired by everyday people doing kind things, by rainy afternoons, watercolors, and currently, handmade everything - especially handmade typography and hand lettering.  

I am a self-employed, full-time graphic and surface pattern designer, an artist and illustrator.
Until last year I was based in Portland Oregon.

For the last 3 years we’ve been dreaming and talking about a new adventure, and the last day of December 2020 we introduced our 3 kids to our new home in NC, at the base of the Smoky Mountains.

I’ve enjoyed my first quaint home office, I’ve enjoyed this lovely studio space I’ve rented outside the home, for the last 3 years before moving. I will miss it.
But I am sure I’ll make myself at home into the new to me, little home office, in our home nestled in the mountains!

EW Couture office space

Random Facts about Me

In no particular order...

1. I was born in Europe, Romania. For the curious, Romanian is Latin based and sounds a lot like Italian.
2. I grew up in Transylvania, but no vampire encounters to report on ;)
3. My favorite weekday is Tuesday.
4. One on one conversations with new people are still an adventure, and take me way out of my comfort zone.
5. For the past 4 years, the work I do through EW Couture has been supporting our family of 5 and has allowed for one of our dreams to come true - have a stay at home parent. If you've been using EW Couture products, you are part of our story and made it possible. Thank you!
6. Green Tea is the official drink at the office. Never been a green tea lover, but Mighty Leaf has changed my mind about it :)
7. I sneeze in threes, but I am pretty sure it has nothing to do with growing up in Transylvania, or being born in Europe.
8. I get attached to people and places, and I get my sense of home from belonging. And when it comes time for big changes, even for the best, I cry a little for what's lost, before I can fully take in the new and move on.
9. I focus best on work when my desk and office are organized. Clear space, clear mind.
10. Stationery and designer pencils are a couple of my guilty pleasures.
11. While I am a designer by trade and education, photography will always have my heart.
12. I am a self taught water-colorist and illustrator.
13. Behind the Stories (by Diane Eble) and Abundant Living: 364 Daily Devotions (by E. Stanley Jones) are two of my most favorite books that I like to randomly pick up and read. Bite sized wisdom on every page.
14. A perfect day out has my husband in it, a Portland’s Nu Vrei almond croissant and a stop at the bookstore.

EW Couture Collection owner, Elena Wilken

elena wilken - EW Couture behind the scenes work space

handlettering and watercolor botanical illustration - "Your feet will bring you to where your heart is." ~KMM

How I Came to Create EW Couture Collection

I remember enjoying pencil drawing as a kid, something I rediscovered not long before starting the Graphic Design program. However, photography has always been my passion.
When applying for college, I chose the Design program over Photography, a little by chance. I didn’t have enough money to afford all that the Photography program required.
While in the Graphic Design program, I saved enough eventually and bought a film camera. Along with the few photo classes I took , I studied and researched photography at length, on my own.

I started creating marketing templates as a way to give back and say thank you to the photographers who took the time to help me and answer my questions, during the Flickr days. ...That's how EW Couture Collection was born.

Miller's Lab Click AD - Meet the Maker Elena Wilken of EW Couture Collection

What I Like about What I Do

Edgar Degas, said it so beautifully: “Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.”

Design is always present. It affects our lives in ordinary, mundane, as well as remarkable ways, and most of the time we are not even aware of it. It’s satisfying and humbling at the same time, being part of other people's stories and lives!

...The excitement I feel when seeing things I create in print, in other people's homes, never gets old. And it never will :)

samples from the Mpix EW Couture Collection line of products Christmas and Holiday photo cards - samples from the Mpix EW Couture Collection line of products

Outside of creating photo templates I like to...

I am very passionate about designing and while it is more than a job for me, it is not my life. I enjoy cooking for my husband and our 3 children. It’s my happy place. …I love the bounty of flavors in Italian food, especially!

When I am not creating art or something new in the kitchen, I am playing and laughing with the kids and Paul, kissing boo-boos, reading, or we are out on walks as a family. I am still fascinated with the ways the kids experience and discover life every day.

I am always ready to read a good book. My favorite movies are probably the Incredibles, Gladiator and The Martian. Making others smile makes me content. I would like to visit Prague soon, and I dream of planting my own vegetable garden and a butterfly garden in our future back yard.

our little family - by Velvet Owl Photography

our little family - by Velvet Owl Photography

family and artist portrait courtesy of Velvet Owl Photography/Heidi Haden

Thank you for stopping by! And thank you for taking the time to also get to know me a little bit, and why I do what I do.

I consider it an honor to - in some small way - be part of what you do. Creating products that bring joy to your clients, and allow you more time to photograph and create memorable images for them, is my joy.

...Delight your clients, and do more of what makes you awesome.

Sincerely, Elena W