Today we’re joined by Ellie. Ellie is an exciting first for Asexual Artists: she has her own homemade makeup brand. She has mostly lipsticks and highlights and specializes in overdramatic colors. The colors she uses are just gorgeous and made to stand out. She’s a very talented and dedicated artist, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.
Please, tell us about your art.
So my art is Ellips (or EllipsCosmetics) on Etsy. It’s a homemade makeup brand, where I currently make and sell lipstick and highlight, mostly in overdramatic colours.
What inspires you?
(This is the longest answer, but it’s also my answer to half of the next question as well) So the backstory of setting up my brand was an adventure and a half. I remember the dates and everything, so buckle up for a long and potentially very dull story. On the 25th of January, little 15 year old me was off school with the flu. She was on a video call with some of her Internet friends, when one of them played a couple of Adam Lambert videos. This lead to me basically spending the following week stalking Adam Lambert, and discovering his makeup artist, Sutan, better known by his drag persona, Raja Gemini. Now, bear in mind that this was the find time I had shown any interest in makeup. Drag queens are usually men, and they aren’t aiming to look like normal women, but I wanted to be as wonderful and otherworldly as these beautiful creatures. Now, if you haven’t caught on to why this ties in yet, consider this – drag queens don’t necessarily wear the kind of makeup that a poorly 15 year old can afford – you couldn’t buy blue lipsticks for less that $18 (and this was only because Jeffree Star made some for that price. Otherwise, there was nothing). Being from the UK, $18 ended up being more like £25, which I certainly couldn’t afford. So I made some instead. Simple as (well, almost, but you don’t need to hear about the amounts of research I did), and I was only planning on making a single blue and a single green lipstick, but the benefit of internet friends is that they can be really encouraging. I basically got asked by a bunch of people if I would make them one for they to buy from me, so I made them better, and set up my Etsy shop after about nine months. My shop is my baby, and the things that inspired me to start it, inspires me still, and I let a lot of LGBT history and present events inspire what I do as well. I let myself be inspired by the world, because you never know what’s around the corner.
What got you interested in your field? Have you always wanted to be an artist?
I basically answered this in my previous answer, so all I really have to add is that I’ve never been a creative person. I write sometimes, but throughout my life up until this brand that was the only creative outlet I had. I never had any interest in being an artist – this basically all came about from a string of unlikely circumstances.
Do you have any kind of special or unique signature, symbol, or feature you include in your work that you’d be willing to reveal?
Not really. I don’t let anything act as a barrier – I’m at college as well taking very time-consuming subjects (maths, economics, and English lit) – but I work around that. I try and make every section of the brand that I can do – I print my own labels and everything, which is a little bit of a nightmare, and I try to be slightly more eco-friendly – almost all of my packaging is reused, but that’s more of wanting to be eco-friend than being unique.
What advice would you give young aspiring artists?
Do what you do for yourself. Other people will like what you do, but they don’t matter. It’s most important that you love what you do, because otherwise you’re doing it for nothing and it will drain you. Don’t be afraid to take time out if you need it. Look after yourself and love yourself first.
Where on the spectrum do you identify?
I thought I was aro ace, but I’ve been told that what I feel towards a girl at college is a crush, so possibly ace lesbian? Or grey-aro ace? I’m not really sure at the moment, but I’m okay with that (mostly)
Have you encountered any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field? If so, how do you handle it?
Running my brand is quite separate to other people, so I have next to no contact with other people in my field, and even then I’m not really out to them about being ace (because no situation so far has called for me to be).
What’s the most common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?
That you’ll want to have sex when you meet the right person, and that there will be a right person. It’s completely fine to be single, and you are in no way required to be in a relationship, no matter what other people tell you. I also get ‘you won’t be saying that once you’ve tried it’, like, I’m sex-repulsed, I’d really rather not.
What advice would you give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their orientation?
First and foremost, accept yourself, no matter what sexuality. You’re sexuality is part of who you are, but it’s not your entire being. If you are struggling with the idea of being asexual, that’s fine. What you’re feeling is real and valid, but it can also be scary figuring it out, and that is completely okay. Take your time. And if you think your sexuality has changed from what it was, that’s also completely fine. You are a living breathing person, you may not always fit in the same box, and you will be loved no matter what your sexuality is.
Finally, where can people find out more about your work?
Thank you, Ellie, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.