So, tell us a little about yourself and your creations:
Well, I’m Ellie, a young illustrator from Toronto, Canada soon to be on the west coast of BC chasing the Canadian surf! My love for everything sun, sand, surf and stoke goes back before I can remember, a perfect contrast to Northern winters. I would say my art is an expression of my heart, soul or whatever you want to call it since it’s really a very natural and instinctive process for me. Since I started making the beach bound lifestyle my muse, the goal has been the same. That is to capture that indescribable feeling when you’re on the beach with your closest friends as the sun’s setting when your favourite song starts playing. To me, that is total bliss and in my opinion beats a luxurious lifestyle any day of the week.
What inspires the art that you create?
What inspires my art is to share with others a feeling of escapism and bliss. What I really find impactful is when I have someone tell me, “Wow, I wish I could be there now.” or “I could look at this all day!” To be able to take someone out of their immediate reality I feel is one of the greatest strengths art possesses and plays with what it means to be human. I spend a lot of time working on the aesthetics of the work, especially in colour palettes and lines to accentuate that message.
What is the biggest challenge you face as an artist/entrepreneur?
Absolutely, the biggest challenge for me is pricing. It always feels uncomfortable for me to put a price tag on something as personal as art. On one hand, I want to keep the price low to not have to deal with negotiation and justifying my own value, which is hard. On the other hand, I want to assert my value and decide on a price that accounts for the time, experience and research that goes into every project. The latter usually wins.
What have you learned that you would love to share with others starting their artistic journey?
In my experience, you are your best critic. I used to ask the opinion of everyone I could find to decide whether a piece was “good” or not. There is a time and place for that, but I think ultimately we know when a piece meets our own standards. We know our work in more depth than anyone can and we shouldn’t undermine that. Plus, that way we can’t blame others for our own successes or failures.
How long have you been surfing and what does surfing mean to you?
I think it was around 7 years ago that I tried surfing, and have been infatuated since. That said, a lot of my time has been spent reading and watching clips and comps of surfers from around the world while stuck inland in Canada. I’ve made a point of traveling lots to catch waves from all around the Western Hemisphere; places like Kauai, Puerto Escondido, Tofino, BC and about a year ago found out about Great Lakes surfing. I joke about having the surf curse since a lot of times the waves have been non existent or DO, but I do my fair share of swallowing water, pearling and turtle rolling with the occasional smooth ride.
What’s your favorite quote?
I love Ramon Nazer’s comics especially this one that says, “The beauty of home is in the return not just the hanging out.”