Feature Friday: Artist Ellie Edon

Screen Shot 2015-09-12 at 14.21.31Happy Feature Friday!

Today we’re featuring Ellie Edon of @wastedpaints. We can’t help but be drawn her colorful, fun pieces! A majority of her focus is on animals and it’s so cool that she makes them look completely realistic, while at the same time often using multicolor. She not only creates art because she’s talented at it, but also loves how it makes her feel. Her pieces make us happy so we’re glad that creating them does the same for her! Keep reading to learn more about Ellie and see her amazing works of art!

Castle Logo: Tell us a little about yourself as well as your artistic background.

Screen Shot 2015-10-08 at 10.13.22 PM: I’m Ellie Edon. I am an 18 year old from Yorkshire in England. I’m a socialist, a vegetarian, intersectional feminist, a dog lover and someone who finds peace in making artwork. I find writing about myself difficult as I am still young and developing who I am. I want how I change as a person, and my values, to shine through my artwork someday.

I remember in Year 6 (in England this is around the age of 10/11) I won my first Art contest with the theme being Easter. In fact, I used very very bright colours even then. I also won a blue peter badge with the same work. (This was a big deal!!) I used to have very low self confidence, and found some self-esteem when people complimented my work. This esteem has helped me develop my skills in where I am today, and has made me a much more confident person. I’m still just someone with an Instagram account – still, it’s pretty cool having a following.

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Continue reading “Feature Friday: Artist Ellie Edon”

Feature Friday: Gloria Ho Illustrations

Happy Screen Shot 2014-03-14 at 17.05.05!

Me-KomagataMaruThis week we talked to Gloria Ho, of Gloria Ho Illustrations. We love that she has illustrations that can easily be identified as hers, as she mainly paints portraits and animals and uses watercolors. Her animal paintings have such character and the story behind how she started painting them is too cute. Sometimes you need just a little bit of random inspiration to get a project going and we’re glad she did. Gloria has now become a published illustrator and sells her pieces online and at art markets. She hopes to have her own exhibition in the future and we know she will achieve that goal soon! Keep reading for Gloria’s full story.

Castle Logo: Tell us about yourself. When and why did you start illustrating?
logo_small2-1: I’m Gloria Ho, a freelance watercolour illustrator based in Edmonton, Alberta. I started painting when I was about 11 or 12 and always did it for fun, but it wasn’t until a few years ago that my watercolour style started to develop. It was my final year of university and I did a 20-piece watercolour portrait series for my capstone project. This project really ignited my love of watercolour and taught me so much about the medium.

After graduation, I went to South Korea to teach English and some of my elementary students thought Gloria sounded like “gorilla” and started calling me “Gorilla Teacher”. I thought the nickname was so funny and I started sketching gorillas. These sketches led to primate paintings, an endless series of animal illustrations, and a commitment to make painting an important part of my life.

Castle Logo: You illustrate a lot of animals and portraits. Is there anything in particular about these subjects that attracts you to paint them?
logo_small2-1: I think the reason I love painting portraits is because I’m fascinated by physiognomy. I enjoy looking at physical qualities of a subject and painting them in a way that expresses the person’s intangible characteristics. I also love painting animals because they have so much personality! I also find that the colours and different textures on an animal really allow me to play with several watercolour techniques in one painting.


Castle Logo: What are your favorite medias to work with and why?
logo_small2-1: Watercolour is by far my favourite medium to work with because I never totally know what the end result will be and I enjoy the process. The way it blends and bleeds is unpredictable, which is both exciting and frustrating at times. It is an unforgiving medium so there is a necessary balance between control and spontaneity.


Castle Logo: When did you decide to start selling your work?
logo_small2-1: I started to sell my work here and there when family members and friends commissioned me. It wasn’t until 2014 that I started pursuing painting as a business. I didn’t have the confidence to sell my illustrations until I started posting images on social media and strangers expressed interest in my work. It also really helped to have a strong support system with family and friends believing in me and encouraging me to give it a try. In the past year, I have sold my watercolours at art markets, online, and to individual clients.


Castle Logo: What has been the most exciting moment of being an illustrator?
logo_small2-1: I’ve always dreamed of becoming a published illustrator and this came true recently when 5 of my illustrations were printed in the farewell issue of the Worn Fashion Journal! Not only was it a personal accomplishment, but an awesome learning experience.


Castle Logo: You have done some traveling. What was one of your most memorable moments being abroad? Has traveling helped your artistic career?
logo_small2-1: One of my favourite travel memories is when my best friend and I had the opportunity to bathe an elephant at a sanctuary in Luang Prabang, Laos! It was such a cool experience and a really positive time in my life. When I traveled and worked with different organizations abroad, I found myself in a lot of situations that I didn’t expect. I think I learned to be me more decisive yet adaptable, and a better communicator. I also started to figure out what I wanted to change about myself, what my strengths were, what made me happy and what I wanted to achieve. All of these things collectively motivated me to start my artistic career.

MC 6 year table

Castle Logo: What are your biggest dreams and goals?
logo_small2-1: I would love to have a solo exhibition one day! How cool would that be?


Castle Logo: What’s the best advice you have received?
logo_small2-1: I learned from a university professor that when it comes to painting and illustrating, it’s impossible to have successful pieces 100% of the time. There will be days where all the work you do is horrible, no matter what. This helped take the pressure off illustrating and helped me focus on the process instead of the end result.

Another piece of advice that stuck with me came from an accomplished illustrator who emphasized that whatever came from my hand naturally was the style that I should develop. He said imitation is a good way to study technique, but we shouldn’t try to copy the style of another artist when building a portfolio for commercial work. If clients see imitated work, they will only be reminded of the original artist, and wouldn’t commission the imitator.


Castle Logo:  Any advice you’d like to give to aspiring illustrators?
logo_small2-1: Develop both your creative and business skills together because you need both to succeed. Meet and share ideas with other working creative people who understand what you’re going through when you’re trying to earn money selling things you make! Forming a community is a great way to pool your knowledge, get constructive feedback, and make personal connections.
See more from Gloria below:
Website: www.gloriaho.ca

Feature Friday: Artist Julie Raven


Happy Screen Shot 2014-03-14 at 17.05.05!

5480_1080894111940_7507769_nWe are so excited about this Feature Friday and glad that it is the first thing we are posting after a short blogging hiatus we took to focus on school and finals. We first found Julie’s pieces on Instagram and were captured by her vibrant use of color. She draws a lot of her inspiration from nature and it is evident in her majestic paintings of lions, elephants, giraffes and of course man’s best friend, dogs! We love how her work is playful and free. She is not afraid to splatter, drip and experiment with her medias to create that extra layer of interest to her work. Julie took the time to answer some questions and make an amazing speed painting video, so read on to learn more about the artist and check out her process first hand!

What got you started?

“I had always been drawing and doodling while growing up, but in college is when art really clicked for me. It allowed me the guidance and access to materials to really explore my style and my interests.”

What are your inspirations?

“I love Art History and artists like JMW Turner or James Whistler because of their use of intense colors and contrast, which made me want to play with colors. In some of my figure drawing classes, I was introduced to the artist A.E. London and I was inspired by her wildlife art to focus on animals as a means to connect to human qualities and explore those qualities.”

Who is your favorite professional in your field?

“Currently, I really like an artist named Gabriel Moreno. His use of colors is right up my alley and his figurative art is so dream-like and surreal. I love looking at his works to get inspired.”


What are your favorite medias to work with?

“I love chalk pastels and watercolors. I can get some intense colors from them and love the tactile experience. I find they’re easy to blend and manipulate as well.”

What is your aesthetic?

“I love Hellenistic Greek art and the art of the Romanticists. Human and animal forms, and then a contrast of intense colors and a myriad of emotions with the quiet but powerful emotions of the Greek works and subdued colors due to the work of time… They really draw me in and overwhelm me with appreciation and ambition.”

Name your favorite go-to creative spot?

“I don’t have a physical place where I am inspired, as I tend to be inspired by music or images from my dreams. I do like to go running to get my creative juices flowing. As far as where I prefer to work, anywhere that I can spread out and be messy.”

What are your future goals/biggest dreams?

“I really would love to make art all day, and be able to run my own art store and gallery. I enjoy teaching as well, so giving lessons on art and art history are also in my plans.”


What is the hardest part about what you do?

“Sometimes just getting inspired or getting started. I have to write down my ideas and briefly describe them just so I can get started. I need to have a goal for a piece, or it’s really hard for me to sit down and just start working. It’s like I get stage fright when I look at an empty canvas, as all of the swirling ideas just seem to drain out of me as I figure out what I want to do.”

What have you learned in your creative process?

“I like taking commissions because I like when someone asks me to make them a piece. It gives me direction and I do well working with others. I also have learned that I have to write down my ideas and get organized before I can just sit down and start.”

What is your favorite piece of your own?

“I honestly love my piece The Night’s Soul and my Cheetah piece.”


Tell us a little bit about who you are?

“I’m a big nerd who loves Art History and painting who happens to work in IT during the day. I dress up in silly clothes and make up, and make a lot of messes when creating art pieces. I laugh loudly and I’m trying to figure out where to go with all this love and creativity.”

Any tips?

“Draw, paint, knit, sculpt, or whatever it is you do, every day. Even if you don’t feel like it. Just keep going at it.”


Speed Painting Video

Well that video was amazing! We loved having that inside look into how one of her pieces gets created. Everyone should check out Julie’s work on her Etsy page! There are tons of awesome pieces to gaze upon and she even does customized commissions. You can also connect with her on Facebook. Enjoy!