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  • Ellis Brown

Monthly Highlights: January

Hello! As we are now at the end of January (I cannot believe how quickly it has gone), I thought I'd share all the fun things I have been up to, monthly highlights and favourite finds!

Commissions and Projects:

Cog Design - Cultural Calendar: This January I was commissioned by Cog Design to create an illustration for their online newsletter, recapping their favourite cultural highlights and what they got up to in 2022. Referencing many interesting events such as Cornelia Parker's and Hew Locke's installations at Tate Britain, seeing Jessie Ware at Brixton Academy, watching 'It Don't Worry Me' in theatre, attending Punchdrunk's The Lost City and many more. It was such a fun brief - I mean, what other commission would include drawing Jessie Ware with someone showing off his bum?! You can read more here:


Other commissions: I also have a few more projects I'm currently working on that I can't share much about but I'm really enjoying working on them at the moment! They are based on people, being part of a community and supporting each other - my favourite things to illustrate!


Personal Work:

I recently posted on Twitter, asking how I could develop my portfolio and lots of creatives recommended working on personal and speculative projects for 'dream' commissions as this could attract work of a similar style. I really enjoyed the illustration style and colour scheme I used for Cog Design and wanted to spend more time exploring portraiture and scale. This has inspired me to create a series of bold, oversized character portraits as a personal project - I'd love for these to be used for promoting fashion or lifestyle brands/magazines. I would also like to work on composition and actually setting the character in a 'scene' or space that has multiple objects.

GIF experiments: Having lifestyle/beauty/fashion in mind, I wanted to work on some relatable illustrations, both still and animated. I really enjoyed working on both of these GIFS - I found that the simplicity of a watercolour brush somehow had just as much character as the bold/graphic style with a bright colour scheme. I'd LOVE to work on more GIFS of either or these styles, for online magazines, newsletters and social media!


Trip to London/Outside of work:

I recently spent 10 days in London, visiting my family and friends. Whilst I was there, I wanted to fit in as much as possible and managed to visit Canary Wharf, Saatchi Gallery, Royal Academy of Arts, a pantomime, bowling, and even went to a 'Southern Friday' night at Buck n Bull! It was so inspiring, fun and definitely what I needed to get out of a little period of creative block.


  • Saatchi Gallery: 'Bitter Nostalgia' organised by BEERS London, with artists Hyangmok Baik and Adébayo Bolaji. This exhibition was incredible! The amount of colour, texture and layers of paint = an absolute dream! You can find more information about the exhibition here: 'Both artists transcend factuality to incorporate concepts of memory, emotion, the past, and our processes of recollection as individuals and as the greater public.' - Saatchi.

  • Royal Academy of Arts: 'Making Modernism', with artists Paula Modersohn-Becker, Kӓthe Kollwitz, Gabriele Münter and Marianne Werefkin - the first major UK exhibition devoted to pioneering women working in Germany in the early 1900s! So inspiring to see self-portraiture, still-life, the female body, depictions of childhood, landscapes and urban scenes from a creative female's perspective. I loved it so much I even bought the exhibition poster - Gabriele Münter, Portrait of Anna Roslund, 1917. You can find more information about the exhibition here:

Gallery Trip Reel:

Wanting to keep up my social media presence on Instagram, Twitter and TikTok, I decided to record parts of my day visiting galleries for some art-related content but to also share some of my creative interests. I actually found this really fun - it took the pressure off having to 'create' something from scratch and I can now use it as a little digital scrapbook memory.

Buck n Bull, London: I decided to create an illustration inspired by the many cowboy hats, tassels, suede jackets and boots at a Southern Friday event at Buck n Bull. I wanted to experiment with an 'oversized' style and rough textured brush marks. Click on the image to expand.


Things I've loved recently:

  • Illustrators and creatives: Honestly, I could be here forever discussing who and why they are my current favourites and how they have inspired me, but I'll keep it short and sweet and name just a few! I've attached the links for their portfolios and socials so you could follow and connect with them also.

Ellice Weaver: @elliceweaver

Yukai Du: @yukai_do

Mijke Coebergh: @mijk.jpg

Rick Berkelmans/Hedof: @hedof

Lauren Hall: @haurenlall


That's all for now! Thank you for taking the time to read my post. I can't wait to share what I've been up to throughout February and some more of my favourite finds. Speak soon,

Ellis x


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