If it’s vivid colours, quirky creatures and a little bit of fun that you’re after, then you will find it in the wonderful creations of Lissy Elliott. Full of patterns, solid lines and bold shades, Elliott’s works are a mix of felt pen and digital media, and are something to smile and have a giggle with. Amongst her works you will find the likes of tiny, wide-eyed birds, pugs in wooly knits and even Christmas critters at this time of year! She has a distinct and noticeable style, and one to watch amongst the growing Adelaide art scene and its creators.
Loving art from an early age, Elliott says art has shaped her life through constantly offering a feeling of happiness whenever she can draw or paint. “I have a beautiful memory of my mother plonking me down in front of an easel at playgroup,” she says, “I stood there with a paintbrush swirling with colours and to this day I remember the pure joy that came from it. Art provides me with a place where I can always remember who I am.”
Using bright, funky and sometimes comical subjects in her pieces, Elliott says she has often responded to social and political climates through art and cartoons. “I have found that a tongue-in-cheek drawing can speak far louder than anything I could say through words,” she says, “I have just completed a solo exhibition that was a celebration of the LGBTIQ community, but also a stand for marriage equality and acknowledging the oppression we still face in 2016.”
Elliott says she does this though creating aesthetically beautiful artworks using reclaimed negative expressions for the artwork titles. “At other times, I am hoping to appeal to everyone's inner ‘awww’ with endearing animals in dodgy knitwear!” she says.
Researching Google definitions and other artists’ interpretations of a theme is often how Elliott gets her creative process moving. “I immerse myself within the abyss of art online until I have a brainwave,” she explains, “Then I draw lots of different versions of an emerging idea with felt pen on paper.” From here, Elliott refines her idea and brings a black and white image into photoshop, where she drops in colour. “That can be the hardest part,” she says, “sometimes l research different colour pallets so I can narrow down an image to 5 or 6 colours.” Elliott likes to work in bright eccentric colours and 1960's inspired pastel shades. Looking at Elliott’s wide variety of pieces shows that her work can range from minimalist to highly detailed, all while keeping within her personal and recognisable style. “Some pieces can take 45 minutes, while others can take 4 to 5 weeks to complete,” she says.
Elliott is also a fan of Michael Leunig and says that his work is an inspiration to her approach to art and life. “I visited and exhibition of his at the Art Gallery of SA in 2004 and I was struck not only with the simplicity of his drawing style but also the enormous message he managed to convey with the accompanying poems or just a few words,” she says. “I felt as though his art was reminding us of a simpler way of living and to not buy into the rat-race of modern life. I bought that message and have been working towards living a much simpler life since. He and Judy Horacek have been my biggest artistic influences.”
Her latest exhibition ‘The Rainbow Collection,’ which featured at Urban Cow Studio included Elliott's personal favourite piece to date called ‘Sensible Shoes.’ She has also exhibited at many different cafes and bars around Adelaide and has been involved in a number of group exhibitions. She designs greeting cards that can be found in such places as Urban Cow Studio, Wunderkammer Gallery Gifts, E for Ethel, Add Character, Storison, and Littlest Vintage. You can also grab them online at:
All images via: Lissy Elliot