Brittany Ellis – Lake Forest, California

 Don't Eat The Apples Medium: Collage, Oil, Found Objects Size:19x23 Year: 2015

Don’t Eat The Apples
Medium: Collage, Oil, Found Objects
Year: 2015

Briefly describe the work you do. 

My new art series is based upon pop cultural icons that influence society.  Pop cultural icons are glamorous, flawless, and even considered perfect.  But what happens when perfect suddenly becomes imperfect? What happens when you strip away materialistic items, and peer into the soul of whom a person truly is?  Curiosity of the unknown is a natural human tendency.  My art explores the surreal narration of pop cultural icons’ lives which lead to their demise due to the antagonist in the narration.

Tell us about your background and how that has had an influence on your work and on you as an artist.

As a child I could create good artworks sporadically rather than constantly. I never could create works of art well until I began taking art classes in fourth grade, where I met my future mentor. Mary Lynne Grimes was my first art teacher who believed in my potential I possessed as a creator and innovator. Mrs. Grimes scheduled a meeting with my mother, who was also a teacher at the same school and spoke with her about me considering becoming an artist in the future. Sixteen years later I still have Mrs. Grimes in my life and I’m still creating unique works of art. Meeting Mrs. Grimes really impacted the future I was meant to have.

The concept of the artist studio has a broad range of meanings in contemporary practice. Artists may spend much of their time in the actual studio, or they may spend very little time in it. Tell us about your individual studio practice and how it differs from or is the same as traditional notions of “being in the studio.”

My studio at the moment is my home.  I value the moments I posses from being able to create at home morning, noon, or night. When I create I tend to move locations on occasion to continually posses a focus while working. Other than being a nomad while I work, my studio practices are pretty traditional.

 To Prick a Beauties Finger Medium: Oil, Found Objects Size:19x23 Year: 2015

To Prick a Beauties Finger
Medium: Oil, Found Objects
Year: 2015

What roles do you find yourself playing that you may not have envisioned yourself in when you first started making art?

 I never envisioned that the work I would be making now would be the work my art began with. Before college I made works of art using assemblage pieces as I am today with my art. While attending the Academy of Art University student talent was on the same caliber. Creativity was a deciding factor in differentiating yourself from others. Returning back to square one became my creative solution to truly being an individual. When using alternative materials within my work I never know what trials and tribulations I could encounter.  The tribulations I face makes my work exhilarating and truly exciting 

When do you find is the best time to make art? Do you set aside a specific time everyday or do you have to work whenever time allows?

Typically, when I begin to create I’m burning with excitement to create. When I become intrigued with a concept I instantly document it . Most of my artworks evolve from dreams I’ve had, sarcasm I’ve heard, or personal opinions I posses.  I usually create artworks whenever time allows which is10am-1pm continuing  9pm-12am. Outside of being a part time artist, I have a full time job and another part-time job

Shattered Dreams Medium: Glass, Oil, Found Objects Size:19x23 Year: 2015

Shattered Dreams
Medium: Glass, Oil, Found Objects
Year: 2015

How has your work changed in the past five years? How is it the same?

After attending college my technical skills improved along with my problem solving skills. Although I attended college to accelerate my artistic skills my creative ideals the same. Before college I created works of art using found objects. One addition that I added to the work I’ve created is figures. Figurative works of art were my least favorite subjects to work on. In college I had a teacher that once said “there are artists who give everything to do their art even if they’re not the best at it, and that makes them an artist. Avoiding certain subjects or ways of creating based upon fear is not what art is about.” I really took what he said to heart and began practicing works of art based upon figures.  I refused to be an artist based upon my fears, and once I did my artworks improved.

How have people such as family, friends, writers, philosophers, other artists or even pop icons had an impact on the work you do?

Pop Culture really impacts the work of art I create. The series I work on first began with celebrities and have evolved to other icons that influence the everyday life of their consumers.  My art first began with the exploration of celebrity lives through the imagination of the fan . My ideal in my work is beauty, fame, and popularity that comes with a price when you live in the public eye or in a position of stature. The Disney bodies of works I created continues to feed off of my ideas I originally possessed.  Each Disney protagonist faces obstacles that originate for vanity, greed, jealousy, and the naive.  Essentially, the ideal of the antagonist wanting a portion of the protagonist because of their ideal of what they see, and imagine within the protagonist. What is seen on the outside could not be who a person truly is.

Have you ever been pulled in the direction of a pursuit other than being an artist? What are your other interests?  

Before I became interested in art I was interested in rocks and minerals. As I child I envisioned I would become a Geologist. After I discovered my artistic abilities I pursued a journey in the art world. My plan was to get a fine arts degree then pursue a gemologist degree after my first degree. After college I receive an opportunity to work in the jewelry industry, and still do today. Currently, I’m working towards completing my gemologist degree.


Screen Shot 2015-09-15 at 2.25.15 PMBrittany lives and works in Lake Forest, California. She was born and raised in Houston, Texas. Growing up with a car artist father, and an educator mother she was taught to follow her dreams and accomplish her passions and goals . Brittany’s experience in the art world has taught her to incorporate what she loves, and what she knows, to her conceptual ideas. While attending the Academy of Art University Brittany was compelled to live a creative and innovative driven life.  Her background as a painter, photographer, and innovator compelled her to create unique; one of a kind art pieces. By using objects in addition to painting allows her to enforce the message her paintings possess. Brittany’s numerous awards and achievements include four publications in Photographer’s Forum  Magazine, two publications in Teen Ink Magazine, and Artist to Watch in Houston Chronicle news paper (09). Exhibitions including Contemporary Art museum Houston Contents under pressure exhibit (09), The De Young Museum New Generations Matter Exhibit (2012), Arts Benicia Fragments The art of collage and assemblage Exhibition  (2015),  Las Laguna Gallery Unconventional Means (2015).

All images copyright of the artist and used with their permission.  



About 365Artists/365Days

The purpose of this project is to introduce its readership to a diverse collection of art that is being produced at the national and international level. Our goal is to engage the public with information regarding a wide array of creative processes, and present the successes and failures that artists face from day to day. The collaborators hope that this project will become a source for exploring and experiencing contemporary art in all its forms.
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