Eliza Southwood practiced as an architect for ten years before deciding to take up a career as an artist and illustrator full-time in 2011, although she has consistently drawn and painted throughout her life. Her first illustration commission was a Spanish children’s book, when she was aged 13.
From the age of ten she spent her childhood in a remote part of Spain, where she grew up drawing and painting scenes of local life in the mountains. She attended the local Spanish primary and secondary schools, later travelling to the UK for further studies. A year in Italy followed, where she ended up working with Arab race horses for a year, and learnt to speak Italian fluently in addition to Spanish.
At University her creative streak was channelled into architectural design, and she graduated from the Glasgow School of Art with a degree in Architecture, later finishing her postgraduate architectural studies in London. She spent several years working as a designer for various architectural practices such as Eric Parry Architects and Arup Associates. However, having realised that she enjoyed carrying out the ‘artist’s impression’ part of her job more than any other, she finally decided to give up architectural practice in order to work full time on her own art projects.
Eliza’s architectural training fostered a technical eye for detail and colour, which is apparent in her artwork. Her speciality is silk screen printing, but she also works in mixed media, watercolour and acrylic. She is known particularly for her cycling themed artwork, but also produces work on a wide range of subjects such as cityscapes, dogs, sports and people.