Artist Profile – ELLE48

ARTIST PROFILE – ELLE482

2017 Stencil Art Prize Finalist ELLE48 is a UK based stencil artist who studied Fine Art Printmaking and Art History at Winchester School of Art in mid 90’s. Working mostly with woodcuts, linocuts and monoprints, ELLE48 began using a layering technique that naturally evolved into stencils.

How did you get into stencil art? 
Since leaving Art School where I completed a degree in Fine Art Printmaking I struggled to create paintings without a printing press as my work had centered around linocuts, woodcuts and monoprints. So I went back to doing hand drawn pencil portraits as a way of bringing in an income. This process wasn’t creative enough for me as I am always trying to develop myself as an artist, so after quite a long hiatus I began printmaking again.

This time it was purely monoprints, accomplished by painting the image onto a perspex sheet, laying a piece of paper over it then rollering the back of the paper to transfer the image. I was always keen to do something different so I began combining other techniques, primarily cutting out shapes from paper to give negative images by blocking the ink getting to the paper, gradually these stencils became more and more intricate with more and more layers, finally leading to me using stencils. The process behind both stencil cutting and linocutting are so similar so in this sense, being a stencil artist came as second nature to me.

How would you describe your style of art?
My paintings have always centered around human form, within my work I want to celebrate the beauty and attractiveness of the human face. There is a balance of realism and going beyond to something more mysterious. With photography as my starting point for my work I then re-interpret what I see. I never want my pieces to be a duplicate of the original photograph, I draw inspiration on what surrounds me and what I perceive as beautiful in the natural world, especially plants and flowers for their decorative colourful properties.

What are your goals and ambitions? 
My goals are set in the not too distant future as I don’t like to look too far ahead. My main goal is probably to devote more time to my art, it’s very hard trying to lead a balanced life whilst wanting to create 24 hours a day! My ambition is just to get my work out there, to get it seen, be the best I can be and to grow as an artist.

What is the best part and hardest part of being an artist?
I have to start with the best part as really there isn’t a hardest part, and that is there is nothing more satisfying than taking something ordinary and transforming it into something beautiful!! If I did have to think of a hardest part, it would be coping with my own creative mind!

Where do you see yourself in 5 year’s time? 
‘The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams’ Eleanor Roosevelt. So hopefully I will be living my dream!

What inspires you?
I seek inspiration from all sorts of sources, sometimes a visual incentive, sometimes a daydream, sometimes a walk, sometimes music, sometimes nature, sometimes the outer beauty of a person, sometimes other peoples work, anything that catches my attention but mainly a desire to see what evolves from an initial idea.

Which artists inspire you most and why?
I am very much inspired by street art and the flurry of festivals that go with it. To be honest I don’t look at particular artists I look at what’s going on generally in the art world. I am always fascinated by what is going on now at this exact moment, every day I discover new artists that inspire me.

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