girl standing on train tracks

ABOUT ME (AKA HOW I USE THE ACT OF “MAKING” TO WRITE THE OPTIMISTIC VERSION OF MY LIFE.)

I’m Moriah — a photographer, recipe developer, and dog mom with Celiac. I’m both a dog person and an elephant person, but I guess owning pet elephants doesn’t fly in America, so I’m sticking with this for now.

Mine is a story of hope in the midst of the hard, and creativity in the face of brokenness. It’s a constant realization of joy and an undying love of art. It’s about making whether I’m at my rock bottom or my mountain top.

I grew up in New England with adventure-scratched knees, colored pencils, and wild works of my own fiction where I heard my creative voice for the first time. At 13 I experienced sudden loss, and grief that triggered an autoimmune disease that has affected the rest of my life. I became more introspective, and subsequently poured myself into more artwork, writing, and creative endeavors.

At 16 I stayed up late building my first blog, redesigning it nearly every day for fun. I went to college early with my mind about who I was. I made and lost friends, realized I’d outgrown Connecticut, and decided I had no idea what I really wanted anymore.

At 18 I bought a DSLR and a ticket to Europe where I crossed borders, snapped photos, and learned that the world was more overwhelmingly full of people and stories than I had realized. A plane in France eventually brought me back stateside where I knew I needed to make changes and make art.  

Two months later, I was in my little red Jetta, driving across the country to Arizona to become the visually-oriented storyteller I am now.  ASU taught me design, web development, and all the tools of the trade. I live to make and I learned to make for a living.

Making things keeps me optimistic, and thus keeps me sane.

Life has handed me my own set of challenges, and I usually cope by making art out of the hard parts of my story. When faced with a massive pile of job rejection letters, I turned them into an origami poster series. When I came face to face with a bucket of health issues related to autoimmune disease, I created a blog about healing and cooking Paleo (singlecavegirl.com, and now ellefait.com) I eventually wrote a cookbook, and got so obsessed with mastering food photography that it became a business. Now, I offer brand and food photography as one of my services.

WHATEVER YOU MAKE, WHATEVER YOUR CRAFT IS, YOU DO IT BECAUSE YOU CAN’T NOT DO IT. AND I UNDERSTAND THAT IN MY SOUL.

Now I’m here to make things that help others tell their stories because effective marketing (and authentic living) is all about our real stories. It’s easy to take a picture or design a pretty graphic, but it’s something else to make those visuals communicate in a way that makes your audience connect. That’s my mission: take a value proposition, turn it into a story, and make it reverberate through striking visuals.

girl standing on train tracks

What’s on the blog?

 

Elle Fait is French for “She Makes” and, well, that just felt appropriate for me. The constant variable in my life is making, and I find undying joy in that. Life is a series of messy events that we can’t control, but we can control what we make of them. I’m working on embracing that. 

I’m here to make recipes, art, and travel plans that inspire others to make what heals them and makes a difference in the world around them. I’m here to highlight the brave optimists who make their art on the rainy days, who point their lenses towards the light, and who love a good cup of coffee with a conversation, but aren’t afraid to spend a good long time alone when they need it. 

 

What’s with the Paleo food?

I’ve spent over a decade learning how to heal through food and a balanced lifestyle, and how to make paleo work for me.  Most importantly, I’ve learned how to travel and do what I love without letting celiac define my limits. 

I’ve heard it said that if you don’t see a seat at the table, you build your own table, and make enough room for everyone else who was also looking for a seat.

That’s my blog—a table for anyone who loves entertaining or creative cooking but was always limited by allergies or autoimmunity.

You see, as a designer I’ve always loved putting together a beautiful scene or creating something for people to gather around.

But in the gluten free/paleo world things are characteristically un-pretty. Food is more survival than art (To be fair, when many of us switch to a paleo diet it IS for survival.)

There are lots of great cooks out there who showed that eating gluten free is possible, but I want to be the one that shows you that throwing an dinner party, making a beautiful dish with nostalgic flair, or cooking a healthy meal that satisfies the creative in you is also possible, and you can serve the same food to the “gluten free friends” and “non gluten free friends.”

So if you’re new here I hope this resonates with you and that you stick around and stay comfy in your seat—there’s plenty of room for us all 🙂

Ultimately, I’m here to be honest about how hard autoimmune disease is, because I don’t want anyone to feel like they are struggling alone. That said, I want to encourage both of us to focus on the positives, and make the best of what we have. If all you have if a Paleo diet, then that is what we will work with.

 

Want to talk shop or even just shoot the breeze?

Email me at modesigns22@gmail.com.

For food photography or design work, email me or visit my design website: moriahsawtelle.com

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