Meet our guest – Ellie N/A

Mandatory Expression – Ellie N/A

I ran across Ellie on DoodlesAnonymous site. She beat me on a showcase contest. She is good, darn it! But, in all seriousness, I cyber-stocked the girl for a while and checked out her work. Today I want to share this wonderful person with you. Soak it up, brethren.

Ellie is her own words:

I have been drawing since I was two and have never stopped. I’ve always been surrounded by creativity: my father used to paint and draw, my mother is the MacGyver of all things sewing/quilting, and my sister makes amazing pieces of jewelry.  I went to school to learn 3D animation, but I prefer tangible forms of art. Most of my work is done with ink and paper, watercolor, and acrylics. Hopefully by mid-2011 I’ll have a better website but this works enough for the time being: http://ellie-NA.com

– What is the one indulgence that helps spike up your creativity?

I watch a lot of movies. I can usually be found in my living room with paint all over the table and a movie playing in the background. Friends constantly inspire me, as well as some of my favorite artists (McBess, The Bearded Ladies, Tad Carpenter, just to name a few). One time I went as far as reading through Pictionary cards to look for ideas. It inspired me to make the painting of the bear wearing a gas mask.

– What gizmo or technological advance makes your creative life easier?

I absolutely need my laptop around. It has all the programs I could need: Maya, Adobe Photoshop and Flash. It also makes searching for reference photos 100 times faster; ‘gotta love Google Images. My Wacom tablet would be my second choice.

– What frustrates you the most as a creative person?

Nothing is harder than having the urge to draw but no ideas. I’ll have periods of time where this isn’t an issue, but occasionally I’ll get in a rut where nothing sparks my imagination. When a creative person can’t create it can be a real downer.

– What would you advise to save money on or invest into to boost creative productivity?

I’ve always been a bit of a pack-rat. I have crayons and colored pencils from when I was maybe 10 years old. If I think I can make something with it, I’ll keep it. If you can, save the things you think you can use later. You never know when you’ll need that last bit of glue stick or a few slightly worn out paint brushes. Something else to invest in: a quality printer. I get my prints made at a local print shop but it would save time and money if I had my own printer, not to mention it’s easier to experiment with different types of paper. (I’m currently taking my own advice and saving up for one!)

– Share one of your creative techniques, shortcuts or tips that readers might find helpful.

When I paint, I usually have my idea sketched out beforehand. Something I like to do is to make paint swatches on a sheet of watercolor paper before starting on the canvas. It’s a lot easier to see if the colors you had in mind work with the piece, and if you ever need to touch up an area and have to mix colors again, better to test it on the paper before having to redo the entire area on canvas. Another tip: if you are working on anything digital, save often. So often that it may even seem ridiculous. There have been a lot of projects I’ve lost or had to spend extra time on just because the program crashed before I could save.

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Let this second-first post of the new year inspire you and get you the kick in the arse that you know you need (I sure do!).

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