How long did it take for you to find your own way of drawing?
I always struggle with this question because I feel like have 7 different styles, I feel like I’ve got split personalities with my drawings. There was a very certain style that I used to use at art college where it was just quick kind of stylized. I went through a massive phase of just drawing like pencil drawings of very realistic people. I guess it was from trying loads of stuff out and they all kind of just merged into one. So its a mixture of everything but I’ve been drawing since I was like 7 years old i guess. It also depends on the subject matter.
Do you find patience plays a part in your work and what’s the longest you’ve ever spent on a piece?
It does but also im not a very patient person, I spend like the longest I’ve ever spent on something like a really big painting with a panther with all the clouds on if you’ve seen it. That honestly took like 3 weeks but that was because I really liked it. If im doing commission for someone and i’m not really that into it i’m not gonna have a lot of patience in it which sounds really bad but i have to be like, emotionally invested in it to spend a long period of time on it but also I say three weeks but allowed like 3 or 4 days of me hating it and not touching it and then going back to it again but then some of my favourite pieces have literally taken 15 minutes.
How do you think social media has aided your career this far? I see your drawings on pinterest all the time.
Oh my god yeah true! I forget about that. I mean it really really helped at the beginning. Obviously this new conversation with the algorithm how it’s really not helping people. So it’s really really hard at the moment. I was lucky that I started really trying to push it and i guess promote my stuff and gain followers in 2014 and that was before the algorithm came into place so i got like literally like 7000 of my followers more than 2 years ago and since then it’s just like up and down and like, steady. Most of the artists that I follow have got like 50 / 60k and they had that in 2016. It’s all quite stagnant at the moment.
What do you think could be done about plagiarism? Everyone’s work gets copied or reposted without getting credit.
Reposting without credit is honestly just really dumb because it would take 2 seconds to be like this person made this. A lot of companies have been getting into trouble just for using artists work just as their social media and they’re speaking nicely about it but still, if you’re putting that out there to 3 million people and not giving them any credit they’ll be missing out on a massive opportunity. As far as copying, it does make me very angry because, like you were saying about developing my style, ive spent like years doing that and then somebody can like, they can very nicely copy it but they’ve suddenly just done that in 10 minutes and ive been working on it forever so that is super frustrating and there’s honestly nothing you can do apart from being like I will call you out.
You do tattoo commissions, have you ever thought about being a tattoo artist?
Yeah all the time! Like actually all the time but do that I feel like I’d have to do a tattoo apprenticeship because I don’t know anything about it. I’ve been told I’d be good at it because obviously like. I don’t know [you’ve got a steady hand and stuff?] yeah exactly but I dont know… its just that if I did that, id be doing that…i haven’t committed yet to what I’m even doing. If I could id be doing everything but I can’t. Ideally id be doing 5 or 6 different things but i just don’t have the time for it. [You can get a lot of money from doing tattoos]
Yeah I know, a lot of people in bristol that have done mine. I just think you’ve done that for like 2 hours and you’ve got 300 quid] that’s what I mean, if I did it. There’s not a lot of people who can do it properly or want to do it themselves so you have to go pay that much to visit somebody [especially if you like their style as well] yeah and it feels a lot more respected than just me doing a commission for somebody like, should be charging the same amount but its not as respected. I don’t know why but its not, people like…[people could rip that off for free so why do they have to pay you, right?] yeah, but you haven’t and you’re not going to so that’s why you need to pay me to do it…haha
Talk us through your final pieces at uni, were they a struggle and what themes did you focus on?
That panther painting I just spoke about my main thing…oh my god it feels like years ago when I graduated in July. The main theme was surrounding mental health and BPD and how its just not really a conversation, I was trying to start a conversation about it because it personally affects me, so it was definitely coming from a place of that but I was also looking at childhood nostalgia and my interests as a kid and how that’s snowballing into what im doing now. So it’s often like darker subject matter and then the final piece will look quite pretty and cute with nice colours but its not.
Do you get inspiration for your work from anything other than illustrators or artists?
I think im just inspired by people generally and also, it sounds really cliche to say nature but specifically just I don’t even know how to explain it but i’ll go somewhere like outside and ill just get a feeling from a place that i wanna make a painting or a drawing from it, not like I wanna paint that scene but it will give me like a certain emotion or sort of feeling because I think a lot of my stuff isn’t based on something physical, it’s like a thought or something I felt or somewhere I’ve been and it’s like a response to that.
Interview conducted by Izzy Tippins, Leena Anwar Stevens and Vivian Wong.
Elle is an illustrator based in Bristol, she was an illustration student from UWE. She has been drawing since she was 7 years old as she has 7 different drawing styles, her drawing is always feel magical and fairly. Social media has aided her career as she is keep promoting her artwork and gain followers in 2014, she has almost 7,000 follower more than 2 years ago.