A little introduction:
Hello, nice to meet you! I thought I'd use my first post to introduce myself, explain why I have finally decided to start a blog and what you can expect from it!
I'm Ellis, an illustrator currently based in Hilsea, Portsmouth. After studying both BA and MA Illustration at Portsmouth Uni, I now create illustrations for editorial/narrative briefs and commissions, using playful characters to help me express a specific text or idea. At the moment, I’m taking the time to experiment and explore ways of combining texture, colour and mark making within my work - so far I’m obsessed! I use lots of gouache paints and inks, as well as drawing digitally using rough pencil/crayon brushes and collaged papers on Procreate. I always keep a sketchbook nearby so I can doodle with my brush pen - the majority of my sketches being wobbly people and flowers. One of the reasons why I wanted to start a blog was to show the 'ideation' or 'sketching' stage, something I often overthink when it comes to posting on Instagram. I tend to post more updates on Twitter, so if you'd like to see/hear more from me you can follow me here.
I feel extremely lucky to be able to use the spare room as a studio. Here is my corner; with a book case of my favourite picture books on my desk for inspiration, a crate full of gouache paints and a stack of sketchbooks at the ready. I have a pretty view with lots of nature and I can always hear little birds chirping - it's also great because I can see when our delivery drivers arrive with our parcels! I sometimes use my iPad as a second screen, but I'm more than likely binge watching 90's TV shows while drawing in my sketchbook. The other corner of our studio is my girlfriend's workspace - she's also an illustrator, so it's not as isolating and very handy when we want share ideas and recieve feedback!
Reasons behind the blog:
I wanted to start a blog for many reasons - for showing my working process, for sharing my ideas, to have a digital scrapbook to look back through but most importantly, to connect with my followers. With Instagram leaning more towards reel or video based content, my 'ordinary' posts are not reaching as many people. Frustrated with the algorithms, I switched to posting on Twitter a few months ago and the level of engagement has improved so much - I have been able to meet and connect with so many illustrators and artists, I finally felt like I was being seen in the creative community! On Twitter, I saw a few of my favourite creatives promoting their newsletters/blogs/journals and this inspired me to finally create a blog. So here it is!
What to expect:
Monthly recaps of project highlights - personal and commissioned
Behind the scenes content - experimentation, inspiration, sketchbook pages
Things I'm loving - creatives' works, exhibitions, books, etc
Free downloads (this would be an absolute dream of mine, so I'm really hoping I can make this work!)
Anything else I can think of that's art-related!
Thank you so much for taking the time to have a read and I hope this will help us to connect more! The first monthly recap will be posted at the end of July.
Speak soon :)