It is rare to write an article or cover story where several details strike a chord with the author of the story as well as her audience. I think that this story manages to do both.
Meet Little Ell, a young artist who decided to change her career and put everything on the line for her art and follow her heart all the way to Munich. I have always admired those illustrators who do extraordinary work but, somehow, do not get the recognition they deserve.
Little Ell, a beautiful woman inside and out, who also creates beautiful personalized portraits. Send her a picture and she creates a whimsical work of art.
Munichmom had a chance to interview Little Ell and we are proud to share her story with you.
LITTLE ELL LL
MM: Dear Little Ell, when and how did you start drawing people? What was your inspiration?
LL: Illustration was my creative escape, back than as I was still working fulltime as an architect. I was sketching one evening and at the same time I was chatting with my best friend on Facebook. I posted few sketches and I tagged her and my sister in it. Some other friends saw it and wanted their own sketch too … I was surprised how well received my sketches were and even more surprised how much fun it was to draw people. Soon after that I started my first project on Instagram called “sketch me Little Ell”… it went viral. And here I am now, after almost 4 years and hundreds and hundreds of people-illustrations, taking a huge step and making my dream come true – I left my day job and became a freelance illustrator this year.
MM: Can you please explain to our readers how do your portraits take form? What happens after I send you the pictures of my little one? What are the products that I can purchase through your online shop? How does your creative process tale place?
LL: In my online shop you can buy different paper products with my illustrations: poster, postcards, greeting cards…I also take commissions – you can order a personalized illustration. You send me photos of the person that should be illustrated, of desired outfit or accessories. Also you write a little bit about yourself/ the person who should be illustrated and your wishes, suggestions and ideas you have for the illustration. You have a chance to review the illustration once and make change suggestions , if needed. I draw everything with a hand and then I scan and edit the illustration with a graphic program. You get your final illustration digitally, so that you can print it as big and as often you wish. The waiting time is 2-5 weeks, depending on current commission situation.
I enjoy drawing people. I study the person so long, so at the end I feel I know her as a friend. Nothing makes me happier than this first positive reactions, when the people see their illustration.
MM: You have taken a very courageous step and changed your career. Can you share with us the consequences of your choices and give, if you can, any suggestions to our readers who are pondering about a career change?
LL: This is a fresh situation, I can´t speak about consequences yet. But it was a very well planned step. I was lucky to have 4 years time (maternity with 2 children) to think about it and to plan and test it. Persuading my husband about the whole idea, was the biggest obstacle, though 😉 I can´t be more happy and thankful I am allowed to do what I love for living. I hope, everything works well and I never regret this step.
MM: I love your project 365Degrees and, as you told me, it has called for many interesting coincidences. Can you tell our readers more about it?
LL: Every day in 2016 I am drawing an illustration (a person) a day. Anyone can participate by filling the form on my website, under 365 smiles. You send me your photo and write something about yourself and with a little luck, you can find out how you look like in Little Ell-Wonderland. Depending upon mood and inspiration, I choose who am I going to draw. I also choose a special cheer up quote, based on the story that the illustrated person wrote me. I post the illustrations on my social media networks every day. In one month only, already happened few astounding coincidences. I posted illustrations of particular person at the day of their birthday or other special day. That makes me really happy.
MM: You are , like both Munichmoms, not a born Munich mom, so to speak. Why did you move to this beautiful city and what do you like about it? Which is your favorite place in Munich?
LL:I Originally come from Serbia. Just after I finished university I have got stipendium for a 6 months internship in Munich. I immediately fell in love with the city, after that with my now-husband and I stayed. I can´t imagine a better place to live in for a family with small kids. Munich is not only beautiful, it has so much more to offer. It is green, clean, safe, and you are fast in the mountains and only few hours away from the sea. My favorite place is Starnbergersee in the south of Munich.
Thank you so much Laura, it was a pleasure speaking to you.
For more information about Little Ell please visit her website: http://www.littleell.net/
Check her out on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LittleEllCreates/?fref=ts
Or Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/littleellbysonja/
PS. You have a chance to WIN!!!!
Little Ell and Munichmom are having a customized portrait giveaway. Comment on THIS post about why you would like a portrait and who your portrait would be of to be in the drawing to win your own Little Ell creation.