Since 2000, Elida Field has been painting and teaching professionally. Today, her business, Art with Elida, offers art tours, unique art projects to do at home, as well as workshops and classes for all ages.
A Ridgefield native, Field said that after living in Texas for six years, coming back to the Pacific Northwest and doing art is what she was meant to do, so starting her business here was a natural fit.
“That call to the big trees, the fresh air, my river, my trails, my people … I will never leave here,” Field said. “I’m a Pacific Northwest Girl and this is my place.”
Field first started her business through an Art Van-Go program when she was a young mother trying to generate income. She made an after-school proposal to Mountain View Christian School, where she taught kids drawing and painting on Tuesdays and Spanish on Thursdays.
“This was a win/win, as the school had two extracurricular activities to offer their students and I was able to just be away from my kids for a few hours a week,” she said. “That got me started in expanding my teaching and program.”
Field now additionally hosts Art for Teens classes held at her studio and art-women-wine classes that are membership classes that teach basic acrylic painting techniques. She also leads art workshops around the county, in addition to painting “live,” where she goes to events, paints through the evening, then auctions the painting off. She also hosts Art Tours each year that take groups to various parts of the world, where people are encouraged to see things through an artist’s eyes and experience places that may not be on the guide books. She has led more than 25 tours to Italy and Greece to date.
Field has no employees but regularly contracts with artists, creatives and teachers to help contribute to her growing business. When she first started, she struggled financially and tried to do everything herself.
“Now, I am able to contract out much of the work that I hate doing, which has really freed me up and allowed me to grow,” Field said.
She has also seen growth in the numbers of people that attend her trainings.
“My art camps that I teach over the summer through Camas Community Education used to only have a few kids and now they are almost always completely full, with a waiting list,” she said. “I offer six art camps in August as opposed to just three a few years ago. Having someone help me from the marketing perspective has created different opportunities. I’m also looking to do online classes, which will continue to build my brand and cash flow.”
Field said she believes that the people in Clark County whom she helps teach are what make her business shine.
“People here long to connect and have real relationships and value things differently than in other places,” she said. “I think here, people are more open and willing to try things that they don’t know about. I want everyone who comes into my studio or takes any of my classes to leave with a feeling of joy and a positivity.”
As far as the future goes, Field said she looks forward to how she can inspire others.
“We are all artists, and my mission is to spark a little fire into each person that I meet,” she said. “If I can just show them how wonderful creating can be, then I believe it will start that little flame. That little flame will grow, and they will begin to see the world differently and they will react differently to the world around them. I don’t know if I can call it an ‘art movement’ but a ‘creative spark’ that just helps everyone realize that we are all artists and we are designed to create.”