Sure, publishing is indeed a business, ripe with deals and lots of nitty-gritty deadlines. But it also feels a whole lot like a a family after a while. And if you’ve been in this profession long enough, you end up establishing a rich collection of cultivated relationships and friendships over the years. Elsebeth Gynther has been one of those publishing professionals that has been part of the Lark story for a long time. We published her sewing book Easy Style decades ago and recently published her beautiful homage to collage, Scraps. For over two decades, Elsebeth served as a talented author, Editor, and eventually Editorial Director for Danish publisher Borgen. About seven years ago, she discovered with great delight a love for collage, a feeling which she compared to “coming home.” Early in 2009, Elsebeth took a courageous and spirited step (one that many people fantasize about) and left her office job to concentrate solely on personal creative endeavors. As she once wrote to me, “Creativity has been a lifeline.” Indeed, indeed.
It was therefore a great sense of loss to me and the extended Lark family when I recently learned that the lovely Elsebeth had passed away. Scraps co-author Christine Clemmensen was kind and generous enough to offer up some of her own reflections on Elsebeth that she has graciously allowed me to share here with all of you.
Q: How did you start working creatively with Elsebeth?
A: “Elsebeth and I met when she hired me to be the graphic designer for the book club she was editor in chief of. We hadn’t had many conversations before we both realized we shared a deep connection in the way creativity lay as base underneath our ways of living and thinking. Specifically, our collage work started when a colleague of ours came back from a trip to the United States with a couple of books on altered books. We met at Elsebeth’s house and painted and glued and altered for a whole day. After that, we couldn’t stop collaging, and about a year later, Scraps was a reality. During this time, our friendship grew very tight.“
Q: What accomplishments do you think Elsebeth would have wanted to have been remember for?
A: “I think Elsebeth was a very humble person. She had no desire to be emphasized or draw attention to herself. She always had the project she was involved in as her primary focus. She will be remembered as a wonderful friend, an inspiring colleague, for her many books and for her great work as an editor of spiritual books. I know she took great pleasure and pride in bringing books on body-mind-and-spirit to the Danish market. It made her happy to know she helped help people through these books.“
Q: What will you remember most about Elsebeth’s spirit?
A: “I shall carry Elsebeth with me always. Her limitless generousity, her curiousness, her love ,and her fabulous sense of humour. Her warmth, her wisdom and her insight. I laughed so much with Elsebeth. I learned from her, and I grew, both creatively and spiritually. I am so sad she is not in the world with us anymore and at the same time, endlessly thankful I had her in mine.”