Member Focus: Esther Ellard
We’re catching up with the lady behind the designs used in our latest workshop at UPRISE, a festival for start ups in an old container yard in Amsterdam Noord. We asked her to apply her signature bright, bold visual identity in a commission that would be printed on dye sublimation paper and applied to tote bags in heat press workshops at the event.
How would you describe your practice?
I’m a graphic designer, but I make a variety of things from original artworks and prints, to murals, greeting cards and accessories.
What was your journey to Makerversity?
I first became aware of Makerversity after working on Collabology, a workshop for UAL students that was based at Somerset House for two weeks. I was really interested in the place and shortly after I became aware of the Under 25’s scheme.
Where does the inspiration for your work come from?
Lots of my projects reference or are inspired by internet culture, so having a blog (or two or three) is how I find a lot of my inspiration. I watch quite a lot of films. As well as that, a lot of my inspiration comes from everyday life; conversations, experiences, seeing a really good colour someone has on, patterns on seat covers, that kind of thing.
Have you received any support from other members or MV in your time here?
I don’t think there has been a specific thing but it’s been great to get feedback from other members on designs or packaging ideas, as well as lots of help from the MV team whilst learning to use a whole bunch of new machinery and software.
Do you feel like a space like MV is important? Would it would be as useful if it was in east, west or south London?
Definitely. If I hadn’t found MV I would still be working alone at home at an extremely slow pace. Whilst being at MV I’ve got so much more done than I thought I could on my own.
Somerset House is an amazing location no doubt. I think if the same buzz (a variety of people working on multiple exciting projects) could be recreated in different locations it would still be excellent.
What projects have you done recently?
I’ve launched my brand, ESH, which currently makes vinyl decals for customising laptops, phones, windows, walls etc. and a range of these have just been stocked in an independent shop in East London. I also designed and installed a large vinyl window design for a shop, I’ve just had my first solo show for my art.
What plans do you have for upcoming projects?
I have a bunch of new product ideas for ESH that I plan to develop and produce. I’m hoping to branch out into new areas like accessories, jewellery and homewares as well. I’m planning to get my products into a few stores and markets in time for Christmas.
I also have a large mural project in Bristol that will hopefully be happening in a few months, and some of my prints and artworks are just about to go into the store We Built This City on Carnaby St.
Have you had any collaborations while you’ve been at MV?
Not yet, I’ve spoken to a few members about some exciting collaboration ideas that I hope to pursue. I’m eager to venture into the 3D printing world and make some work using that technology.
Who do you find exciting at MV?
There are so many, and such a variety of, people doing interesting and exciting projects at MV. It’s great to go somewhere to work and be able to end up having discussions about what flavour chocolate the Queen would like, with Candy Mechanics, or how to vacuum form your phone to make a case, with Mayku. It’s just a positive environment to be in and it reassures me that when I come up with ridiculous ideas, they’re probably not that ridiculous and I should just get on and do them.
Thanks to Esther for the incredible commission work that made its way on to over 200 tote bags that are currently in circulation in Europe. If you want to get hold of her for a project – big or small – all of her details can be found below.
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