forager studio

Forager is the creative project of Elena Makansi. We make art and objects and gather interesting things. We don't believe in decorating with boring art. Adorn your walls with inspired created with so much love. We donate 5% of our profits to environmental justice and ecological restoration and preservation projects in the Sonoran Desert. We also offer our illustration + design services for hire. 

hi, i'm elena

I am the creative director behind Forager. I'm an illustrator, visual designer, author, and social media marketer. My day job in Tucson, Arizona provides me the most beautiful commute in the state over Gate's Pass in the Tucson Mountains. I fell in love with the Sonoran Desert and have made this magical desert city my home. Plant mom - but make it cacti and rocks. You can read more about me at elenamakansi.com

Follow @forager.art on Instagram and TikTok.

we are all foragers

Foragers gather nourishment from the land. We seek to recognize magic and beauty in the everyday. We live by principles of sufficiency, abundance, and enoughness. We learn to roll with the natural ebbs and flows of process and growth.

Foragers explore our shadow selves. We explore our inner world, and tend to our emotional and mental health with equal vigor and respect. We practice expanding, opening, and taking risks, but also gentleness, compassion, and rest. Foragers are inherently exploratory and curious, learning the grooves and groves of their land like the back of their hand. 

Foragers don't take too much. We do our best to leave some of what we find for others who might also need it. We gather and we share. We may follow our own path, seeking solitude and self-sufficiency, but we come back together in community to reflect, connect, and grow. 

No matter whether you live in the woods or in a high-rise, everything around you is earth. Molded, processed, and reshaped earth. Respect its presence and essence and find small or big ways to connect more intimately with this earth. Reflect on what was lost or wasted, who was hurt or exploited, and who gained and made money, in the making of the things in your life. 

the gatherings

Virtual group therapy for creative folks. Kidding - sorta. Every gathering begins with a weather state check-in and inspiration sharing. We then move into a facilitated art flow or creative prompt that can be applied to any medium.

These gatherings are for anyone who makes things sometimes, anyone who has experienced creative anxiety, fear, or shame, and anyone who likes sweet, tender, magical gatherings with lovely humans.

The gatherings is a collaborative group facilitated by myself and Nichole Casebeer of Growing | Reality. Peep her work here. Intrigued? Get in touch.