Today we’re joined by Ella. Ella is a phenomenally talented artist who specializes in designing creatures and props. She works as a graphic designer and also writes, both original work and fanfiction, and bakes. Ella is most passionate about making creatures from movies. They’re exquisite, as you’ll soon see. Ella is a passionate and dedicated artist, which really shines through in her work. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.
Please, tell us about your art.
I do lots of things! I’m a graphic designer, I bake, I write stories … But I think my creatures are the things I’m proudest of, so I’m gonna talk about them.
Have you ever sat in a movie theatre and went: ‘that animal is the most adorable thing I have ever seen and I want to hug it!!’
Me, too. Sadly, most of the animals on films and series are either lethal, imaginary or trained. So you’ll have to live out the rest of your life, knowing you would never get to hug that little critter.
I refuse to live out my life that way. That’s why I make the animals myself.
I have made a Toothless costume from How To Train Your Dragon, a BB-8 from Star Wars, two creatures from Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them, Groot from Guardians of the Galaxy, and a plaidypus and the pig Waddles, from Gravity Falls.
My greatest joy comes from bringing the creatures to a convention, so other people can hug them, too.
What inspires you?
The movies the creatures are in, mainly. But never underestimate the reaction other people have to your creations. People keep me going. People going “He’s so CUTE! Where did you buy him?” And then I can say: “Oh, no, I made him!”
Then again, everything can inspire me. A walk through the dollar store is very helpful, for instance.
The thing that inspires me the most is that sometimes, kids believe that my creatures are real. To me, that’s the best compliment I can get.
What got you interested in your field? Have you always wanted to be an artist?
I just sort of… ended up in it. My job is graphic designer, but I only went to that school because it was close to home. I started working on Toothless when I was 18 or so. I always thought I wanted to be a comic artist, or just an illustrator. Or maybe an actress. Or maybe something with languages! Then it turned out that my drawings are not that good, I don’t have patience to practice and I didn’t like languages all that much.
But, man. I started work on Toothless, and it just flowed. And then I started to work on BB-8, and that flowed as well. Writers tell about it, too. As if a book wants to be written.
I guess my creatures just want to be made.
Do you have any kind of special or unique signature, symbol, or feature you include in your work that you’d be willing to reveal?
For some reason, I love the number eight. I usually try to put it somewhere in my writing, art or creatures. Or I incorporate something of myself. The lines on the hands of the big white ape-like Dougal are the same as the lines on mine. And I love special effects. The eyes of Dougal light up, the Niffler has a pouch in which bells are glued so he rings when he is shaken. BB-8 rolls and makes sounds. Toothless’s wings could go up and down.
What advice would you give young aspiring artists?
Don’t force yourself to do anything that you deep down feel you don’t want to. If drawing secretly isn’t your thing, try clay! Try writing!
If you wanna do something like the things I do, buy a glue gun. It’s the best tool ever.
Stay kind to the other artists. They started like you did. And above all, stay weird. Find that one small spot inside yourself that screams “this is me!” and hold on tightly.
Don’t let anyone ever tell you that you aren’t good enough. If they do, hot glue their fingers together. Trust me, it hurts.
Where on the spectrum do you identify?
I identify as Straight and Asexual Until Further Notice.
That basically means that I have no sexual interest in people, but I don’t know what happens when I actually do get a relationship at one point.
Have you encountered any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field? If so, how do you handle it?
My colleagues don’t often understand it. They ask questions like “But if your partner wants to, and you don’t, what do you do?”
The answer is “We don’t do the do.”
I don’t have much prejudice or ignorance, really. I guess people already see me as a strange person and are like “well, we’ll just add that up to the total picture”
Most people just want explanations on How It Works. Here’s my tip on that:
Ask if they have pets. Most people do. Then ask them if they think that their pet is the most beautiful thing in the world. Most people say yes. Then ask them if they would like to have sex with their pet. The people go “NOOO EEEEW”
Then you go: ‘That’s how I feel about everyone’
What’s the most common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?
That you can get rid of it.
“Oh, no matter. Once you meet the right person…”
You can’t get rid of it. It’s like your spine. Sure, you could try to get rid of your spine, but that would take immense force and possibly trauma.
Please don’t get rid of your spine. (unless you medically need to or something)
What advice would you give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their orientation?
Relax. Sexualities change. At first I thought I was completely and utterly asexual, now I’m thinking I might just be demi. Your atoms and molecules replace completely every seven years or so. Who says you can’t?
If you don’t want sex, don’t have it. And if you are struggling with anything, do some research. Talk to people. Talk to your partner, for goodness sake.
Finally, where can people find out more about your work?
Thank you, Ella, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.