Elizabeth Hiscott: from watchmaking texts to the status of artist in Berlin

Temps de lecture : 3 minutes

Having translated numerous articles for the watchmaking press, a British English copywriter uses the industry as a springboard to secure her artist status in Berlin and now embarks on her first film script! A review of the life of Elizabeth Hiscott…

By Anna Aznaour / Independent journalist, member of the editorial board of JSH Magazine
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Spanning a range of qualifications, Ellie’s career is like an hourglass: no sooner than the last falling grain of sand points to an uncertain future, a new cycle begins, suffused with the same spirit of hope and resilience.

Family trip to Berlin's Hamburger Bahnhof

Debut in watchmaking

The creative cycle began around fifteen years ago on…LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional network. Following the advent of Trados, an automatic machine translation program adopted by a new Parisian employer, the self-proclaimed perfectionist left and closed the door behind her, only for another to open, soon afterwards, onto a magical new world.

Watchmaking provides the springboard

Recommended on-line by a colleague of the founder and chief editor of the Swiss press agency TàG Press +41, journalist Joël A. Grandjean, she entered the elite inner circle of the watchmaking industry. But for the sylph-like strawberry blonde, there’s no such thing as chance! “My father was a mechanical engineer. That no doubt explains my fascination for watchmaking mechanisms“, she explains. Born to a Welsh father and English mother in a suburb of London, she sees the sector as a coming together of her three favourite subjects: science, art and technology.

Text translation and creation

Not many people realize that 90% of a translator’s work is research. The task involves seeking out the accepted terminology for the subject in question, familiarizing oneself with its usage and only then can the work of translation proper begin.” After working in many diverse fields for the leading Paris-based agencies, she gradually gravitated towards a specialization in her key areas of interest. The creation of texts and content for and about artists and their associated cultural institutions thus enabled her to reconnect with her first love: art. A life-saving activity for a sensitive soul having suffered a succession of personal tragedies, including the death of her first husband, and her brother’s recent suicide.

The artist status (Künstler) is highly sought-after in Germany for the social security benefits it affords artists. Since 2013, Elizabeth Hiscott has been translating and copy-editing features and press releases and sometimes highly technical watchmaking articles for the magazines Europa Star and Watchonista.com.

The authenticity of an artwork can be gauged by the emotional response in the onlooker“, Elizabeth Hiscott

Having been awarded “artist’s status” in Berlin at the beginning of 2019, Ellie composes music and is currently writing a film script about her brother’s life. However, albeit kept afloat by this profusion of artistic activities, there’s still the unavoidable truth, comments the diehard optimist, that: “Only around one in ten artists can survive from their art in Berlin. The rest must be multi-disciplined, needing to carry on several business activities at once to be able to thrive financially. Fate came to my rescue in the form of translation and copy-editing for independent and high-end watchmakers…”

Elizabeth Hiscott, in facts and figures

1963, born in London

1985 – 1992 Education highlights: degree in modern languages, specializing in French/German, from the University of London. Further degree studies in History of Art/Architecture and the Art of Film with the University of London (1988-1989). Translation course with the Open University (1992)

After 2012, copywriting in all artistic and creative fields including contemporary dance (hip-hop, etc.), voice-over and subtitling for the cinema, specializing in translations for the watchmaking industry

After 2016, translation of texts for the publication Streetwise Abstract by Alain Biltereyst, Belgian artist

After 2017, creation of texts and graphic elements for website of Belgian artist Dominique Vangilbergen.

Recents posts

Book “Le Cadran”, by Dr. Helmut Crott

The work of a lifetime, the book "Le Cadran" by Dr. Helmut Crott (edited by Joël A. Grandjean), the history of the dial in the 20th century, the prestigious history of the Stern dials and of a family that took over the Patek Philippe brand



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