art and inspiration for all sizes!

Bookmark and Share
More to Love, the book About Elizabeth Patch Blog Press Licensing Contact Fun & Free

Elizabeth Patch

About Elizabeth Patch

Frequently Asked Questions

Elizabeth Patch’s story is simple and touching:
a high school art teacher who struggled with her own eating disorders,
she watched in vain as a favorite student died from anorexia.
The sketches and journals she kept evolved into her illustrated book,
“More to Love”, an adorably upbeat and inspiring look at
positive body image and self-esteem.

Elizabeth Patch believes that accepting and respecting one’s body,
no matter what shape or size,
encourages positive choices for a healthier, happier life!

“Women should be measured by the lives we lead,
not by the size we wear!”

~ Elizabeth Patch


What is the story behind "More to Love"?

When I was a teenager, my girlfriends and I spent almost all of our time worrying about our weight.
Every fashion model, every advertisement, all the popular actresses and store mannequins
convinced us that being super-thin was the only way a woman could be attractive.
My friend with natural blonde hair and angelic face was preoccupied with her thighs.
Another friend hid herself in loose baggy clothes to disguise her curvy hourglass shape.
And even though I have a thin "boyish" build, I was also convinced that I was horribly overweight.
No matter what restrictive (and ridiculous) diets we tried, it seemed that we couldn't become thin enough.
We were young and pretty and we hated ourselves!

In my late 20's, I became a single mother with two toddlers,

absolutely struggling to survive financially.
My life consisted of cleaning houses during the day, and taking as many as 15 college credits per semester at night.
I was often too exhausted, or overwhelmed, to eat at all.
I was too busy, and too broke, to worry about my "diet."

I lost so much weight that I become almost skeletal.
I was over-stressed, sickly and dangerously underweight,
but the most unbelievable thing began to happen:
Total strangers complimented me on my weight!
"You're so lucky to be so thin!" "I wish I knew your secret!"
Something was very wrong with this picture...

I finished college and became a high school art teacher.
One of the first things I noticed was that my female students were even more obsessed with dieting than my friends and I had ever been!
I was surrounded by bright, attractive, talented and creative young women
who constantly complained and agonized over perfectly normal, attractive, healthy female physiques.

The first comment students made whenever we studied art history was always
"Why are the women so fat?"
The comments were never about ideal feminine beauty, but fat!
And not just fat, but “Gross! Disgusting! Ugly!”
No matter what I said, my students could not imagine a society that admired anything but the super-thin ideal of today.

And then, shortly before her graduation day,
one of my darling students died from anorexia...

Shortly thereafter, characters began appearing as doodles in my sketchbooks:
happy, funny, sassy, sexy full-figured women going through life at full force!
Captions, poems, and little stories popped into my mind and begged to be illustrated.
Drawing, coloring and writing became my way of coping with the senseless loss of my student,
and, surprisingly, acted as a healing for my own issues with body image, eating disorders and self-esteem.

In the years that have passed since those first sketchbooks,
dozens of amazing books on size acceptance and self-esteem have been published.
There are glamorous publications about plus-size beauty and fashion,style and sex appeal.
“Real women” are seen more often on TV and in movies, on magazine cover, and in advertising.
There are print and web resources for plus-size products, social groups, fat activism blogs and size-related medical practices.
Even some designer clothes now come in a full range of sizes.
And thankfully, many schools see eating disorders as a very serious health threat,
taking aggressive steps to identify it and intervene before it is too late.

However, our culture's obsession with body size and weight seems to be as strong as ever.
Too many smart, talented, and attractive women, teenagers and girls continue to harm themselves both emotionally and physically,
continue to actually hate their own bodies, because of the size of the jeans they wear!
Friends and family member, students and co-workers,
poor body image and disordered eating patterns run deep through our lives,
and robs too many women of the time, money and energy that could be put toward living an authentic and joyful life.

I am not a doctor, a therapist, a researcher or a nutritionist.
I am simply an artist who cares deeply about these issues.
My grandmother used to say "you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar."
My cute drawings and upbeat writings are my way of adding a little honey to the serious issues of positive body image and self-esteem.

back to the top

Ask me a question or leave me a comment!

How do you create your illustrations?

View a Flash demonstration
of my illustration process from pencil scribbles to final image.

back to the top

Ask me a question or leave me a comment!

But Elizabeth, you're not fat!

This is a rather long answer so it gets it's own page.
Plus: I reveal which illustration in "More to Love" is based on a photo of me and a friend!

back to the top

Ask me a question or leave me a comment!

Are you creating any other More to Love products?

I'm working on it!
I am literally a one-woman business and squeeze "More to Love" around a full-time teaching schedule.
In the meantime, you could always buy a copy of More to Love, or order one of my illustrations as a print!


Whydo you promote fat?

Another long question that deserves it's own page.

back to the top

Ask me a question or leave me a comment!

Can you tell us about your next book?

Its not quite finished yet but...
it will be an expanded version of More to Love, with all new essays (in addition to the affirmations/quotes of the original More to Love)
updated and brand new illustrations, and a brand new cover that uses my new logo.
The next book is also being prepared as a full-color eBook!
Look for it in 2011.

In the meantime, as the work progresses
I'll post some sketches & updates on my blog.

back to the top

Ask me a question or leave me a comment!

Who are your favorite artists?

Always a question that is so very hard to answer!
I am lucky enough to live near the fabulous museums and galleries in NY city,
and I am constantly enthralled by what I see,
most of which looks nothing like my illustrations!
I have been know to burst into tears in museums,
where I become breathlessly, happily exhausted by the power of human creativity.

However, if I have to pick,

my long-time and always favorite teachers are the artists of the Italian Renaissance,
whose ability to draw the human body never ceases to amaze me,
and the artists of the very early 20th Century,
when traditional art was undergoing fascinating experimental transformations.
And whenever I see an actual French Impressionist painting (not a calendar or a print in a doctor's office!)
I am always astounded by the lusciously layered paint.

Just a few: (but the list changes constantly)

Matisse for his astonishing color and sensuous line,
Edgar Degas for his thickly drawn pastels and asymmetrical compositions,
Michelangelo's muscular, tragic figures,
Picasso who never ceases to surprise and irritate me,
and anyone, everyone, who really knows how to draw!

Oh yes, and I love classic animation...and...and...and...

back to the top

Ask me a question or leave me a comment!

Where did you to to school?

Bachelor of Arts, cum laude, Drawing
University of New Hampshire
Masters of Arts in Painting
William Paterson University
Professional certificate in Multimedia Technology
New York University

back to the top

Ask me a question or leave me a comment!

Does More to Love (the book) have anything to do with More to Love (the TV Show)?

No, its just a coincidence!
However, it is a very cool coincidence that the host of the Fox show, Emme,
gave me some very valuable encouragement for developing my book idea back in its early stages.
I initially sketched out and wrote More to Love shortly after one of my students died from anorexia, over 10 years ago.
But I was raising a family and working full-time as a teacher, so I put More to Love into a box up in the attic.
About 5 years ago, Emme came to speak to an assembly at the high school where I teach.
I got up the nerve to approach her after the assembly, and told her about my book idea.
She was gracious enough to allow me to send it to her, and even more surprising,
took time out of her busy schedule to talk to me over the phone about it!
It took me several more years find time to re-illustrate and revise More to Love into the version that is now published.
Emme has since written me a very wonderful & encouraging letter of support for my More to Love.
I am so thrilled that she was chosen to host this new show!

back to the top

Ask me a question or leave me a comment!

| buy more to love! | about elizabeth patch | press | blog | licensing | contact | fun & free | facebook | twitter | youtube |

© Elizabeth Patch, all rights reserved
The writing and illustrations contained throughout this website may not be reproduced in any manner
without the express written permission of Elizabeth Patch, LLC, as exclusive licensor of More to Love™ characters and writings.
Elizabeth Patch, LLC is committed to donating 10% of annual profits to charities that help fight hunger. Registered & Protected