On the 20th of December, The Local People will be organising their monthly night market filled with incredibly talented and creative local vendors selling some of their own handmade crafts. This night market promises to be something quite special because CHRISTMAS is coming up! Some of the incredible local talens include Ellialyn Leow though she doesn’t mind going by Ellia either. She is a largely self taught brush artist who uses brush art to pen down various quotes and sayings. She chooses quotes that have had an impact on her in the hope that it will have the same effect on others. Although she only started Ellia Writes a few months ago, she has since produced quite a few pieces under various categories, each breathtakingly exquisite. I recently had the chance to conduct an interview with her and her enthusiasm and love for what she does was apparent in her excitement to share her passion for brush art.
For those of you who aren’t too sure of what exactly does brush art refer to especially considering the various forms that it can take including brush-scripting, brush calligraphy, hand-lettering or brush-lettering, Ellia was more than willing to explain (though she claims to be no expert which I have to beg to differ after seeing her work). According to her, “Hand-lettering would refer to creating letters by hand and usually with pens and markers. Brush-lettering would then refer to creating letters using brushes, which is what I do. Brush calligraphy, not to be confused with Chinese calligraphy, is just as it is – calligraphy written with a brush.”
Her favourite style as evident by all of her works is the brush and like most self taught artist, she finds herself unrestrained by any rules or conventions that seemingly govern the art. Just as many other great artists, she is constantly growing, developing and changing her style as she explains, “I started out mixing really bold, thick strokes with really thin strokes, because I liked how compact and solid it looks. As of late, I’ve been really liking writing with looser, more free and more wild strokes. I find that it looks more carefree and is a more accurate reflection of how I am as a person.” Her brushstrokes are really toeing the line between carefree and wild but they fit perfectly with many of her quotes & sayings as it allows her art to transcend the words itself . You can feel the freedom and hope that she wants you to feel and that really is the mark of a true and talented artist, the ability to translate the inexpressible onto your art.
Like all great loves, there is no explicable logical or rational reason, “there is no particular reason why I love brush art so much, I just do,” when asked about her love for brush art. It is perhaps because her love for brush art is inexplicable that will allow her to sustain her love for there is no tangible aspect of brush art that will simply disappear and with it her love for it. My favourite part of the interview was when I asked what was her favourite memory or experience doing Ellia Writes and her little anecdote reminded me of why I love The Local People’s night market so much. “I was at The Local People’s TLPxMovember art market and here was this parent (not Singaporean) who came up to me to ask about my “Papa and Mama love you” print. He later brought his children to my booth and went “Tadah!” while gesturing at the print. It was how happy he looked when he showed it to his children and how they reacted (they hugged him shyly) that will always stay with me. It reminded me that our parents love us, whether or not they say it to us.” Night markets like The Local People selling numerous one-of-a-kind crafts or quirky items and because they are made with a person’s love and passion they mean something more than just a simple possession. Just as the artist is able to translate what he/she is unable to say, these crafts and items are exactly what we feel or want to say.
The future of Ellia Writes is incredibly bright as Ellia has much in store and her plans are appropriate for someone of her talent. “I’m preparing several prints to be released next year and they are going to be slightly different from what has already been released, so I suppose that is one thing to look forward to. As an artist, ideally, I hope to be taking up more large-scale projects, like writing on a wall or writing quotes for magazines. They would be really fun to try out, while letting me explore even more and grow as an artist. I also hope to be able to bring Ellia Writes to more art markets and craft fairs.”