Help our followers get to know you. What does a typical day in the life of Ellen Topitzer involve?
I tend to start my day pretty early, I find I’m at my best first thing in the morning. I’m motivated, energized (thanks to my usual cup of coffee) and ready to go! From there it depends on what I’m working on. I might spend the morning brainstorming and sketching out thumbnails for my next piece, however if I’m already working on a project, odds are I’ll spend the entire day doing that. In between projects I try to check emails, update my Facebook page and Etsy store, network and research.
When did you first become interested in illustrating?
I’ve honestly wanted to be an illustrator for as I can remember. When I was young, I had several learning disabilities, as a result learning how to read and write was extremely difficult and frustrating for me. Then one day my mother took me to our local library. There, in the children’s book section I fell in love with picture books. The illustrations were so vivid and full of life I can still recall their every detail. The illustrations made me want to learn how to read, and instilled a life long love and passion for story telling. That’s why I wanted to become an illustrator. I wanted to bring stories to life through pictures and in turn inspire others the same way I was inspired as a child.
What are your favourite things to draw?
Oh gosh this is a bit of a hard one, subject matter can change so frequently in my pieces. I suppose the things I love to draw the most are images that tell a story, that capture the audience in a way that not only draws them in, but gives them a sense of excitement and fantasy. I love to create Images that give people an escape and allows them to enter into my colourful world.
Where do you find inspiration?
That’s a tricky question. It varies depending on each piece. Some I create entirely from my imagination. Other times I’ll see a picture or place, a movie, or even just hear a song and it will spark something inside of me. Next thing I know I’m putting something down on paper.
If you weren't an illustrator what would you be?
It's really hard to imagine being anything else, but I think I probably would have gone into either the dramatic arts or writing. Both are things that I absolutely love!
Why do you think adult colouring books have become so huge?
Because colouring is awesome! I’ve been telling people this for YEARS! I got so excited when I saw how adult colouring books were blowing up on the market. I think people are falling in love with it for the same reasons I have.
There is just something so exciting and satisfying about bringing a work of art to life. I relish in the challenge of it, the ability to unleash my creativity and imagination, the soothing, calm effects of colouring in a piece. I am never happier or more at peace than when I am creating. I think other people are finally starting to discover this too, and with all the different colouring pages available, there is literally something for everyone.
What does your working environment look like?
Organized chaos. I literally have every collection of pens, pencils, markers, brushes, paints and paper that you could imagine. I have them all out, front and center where I can easily grab them. I try to keep it all somewhat organized though, and yes all my paints and markers are in rainbow order, just the way I like it.
Do you listen to music when you work? If so, who/what?
I actually go back and forth between listening to music and shows on Netflix. Depends on my mood really. Sometimes when I’m really excited and energized to work on a piece I’ll blast loud rock and hip hop music. Sometimes I like calmer things, like smooth jazz or old 90’s hits. And then of course I’m obsessed with crime drama shows, like Law & Order and NCIS, for which I cannot get enough!
What are your favourite things in life?
Traveling to new places, good food, stories, making art, and anything that gets me outside in the fresh air.
Finally, please give 3 words that describe your work.
Whimsical, enchanting, narrative.