How old are you?
What is the primary medium you work in?
What is your favorite medium to work in?
What is your favorite subject matter?
Hm… usually it’s anything that is either cute, colorful, or just a little weird! Not sure if there’s any one thing that I draw more than others, but as long as it’s bright and fun I’m in!
What art tools do you use, and do you have any tools or brands that you recommend?
I create most of my artwork on a Wacom Cintiq, as well as my IPad Pro when I am on the go! Both of those are completely amazing pieces of tech and they are my babies! Apart from that, I’ll always have a trusty sketchbook and Micron Pens on me in case inspiration strikes!
What sources would you recommend for artists that are interested in pursuing your art medium?
One of my favorite general art books is Tuesday Tips By Griz and Norm, who are two Disney Animation artists. It’s a book that spans a wide range of artistic tips, from basics of gouache painting, to how to create dynamic poses to how to digitally draw glitter! Another generally helpful thing to do is watch speed paints! It’s a really good way to see how other artists tackle creating in their mediums!
How and when did you start creating artwork?
I had always loved art and drawing and such, but I started seriously drawing my sophomore year of high school after I saw Frozen. I had never seen anything like it! I was struck by the fact that, unlike what I’d been made to believe, there were legit art Jobs out there and there were artists working on incredible things that were able to do and make a living! From then on I was hooked. Frozen affected and impacted me really deeply, and I wanted to be a part of the artistic community and one day hopefully positively influence others and create amazing and beautiful art.
If you could give any advice to your past-artist-self, what would it be?
Don’t worry so much about what others think of your work, or what others tell you your work should look like. I had multiple occasions where I was told that my work wasn’t good enough, I wasn’t talented enough to make the cut, my work is too stylized for anyone to want, it’s not gritty enough, there wasn’t a part of the industry that my work would be the right fit or mold for. And to be honest, I think sticking to my view of the world, going with what made me happy, and somehow pulling through maintaining what made my art mine was a gift. Everyone has a different style that is unique and awesome, and there’s a place for it all in the Art world. And if you are told there isn’t a place for it, that just means the spot didn’t exist yet, you just have to make it! 🙂 Someone once told me to not “put so much Ellie” into my work, and I reflect on that a lot, because I now know that putting myself and my style in my work is what makes it different and what gives me my own unique voice.
If you could create anything in the world, what would you create?
Wow, that’s a big question! I’m loving what I do and create now, and I’m just kind of seeing where that takes me and improving and working as I go! I’m kinda loving everything I try right now, as long as I’m creating is all that really matters to me. I do love working on projects that are theme park related, and I think it would be a huge honor to be involved in creating a theme park ride or experience, especially one like HM that is truly iconic and has such a huge influence on guests. I’d also love to be a part of developing an animated film someday or helping to concept for a film! But I’m just enjoying where I am right now and am excited for where it takes me!
What is your ultimate goal as an artist?
I think my ultimate goal as an artist right now is to have fun and keep learning and creating no matter what. You are never done learning in this field, and there is always ways to improve. That said, sometimes the weight of that can be crushing and I always try to remember that the number one goal is that you have to have fun with your work and you have to enjoy it 🙂 Long term career goals, who knows? I’m happy just to be somewhere wonderful with other amazing creatives making really awesome content!
Are you ready for the Halloween season? Is it your favorite holiday?
I am SO ready for spoopy season! I’m not sure I have a favorite holiday, because each holiday brings a different and welcome vibe to it and I enjoy them all! But yes, Halloween has a special place in my heart! Who wouldn’t love a holiday where you can geek out about the supernatural and the spooky, dress up as anything you can imagine, binge on candy, and watch horror movies without bribing your friends to watch with you? Total goals! Halloween also brings with it a certain spooky aesthetic which I really enjoy! This year has been such a tough one, and I really am ready to celebrate Halloween and enjoy the season!
What do you love most about The Haunted Mansion?
There’s a lot that I love about the Haunted Mansion. Firstly, the level of storytelling and backstory for the Ride and all the characters in it is incredible, and the ride has so many details and was put together and designed with so much care and thought, I’m never done learning about it or finding new things in the ride to look at or learn about. I also appreciate the aesthetic and the spooky vibe that has been built off of it from its success, as well as in general I love how different it is from a lot of the other Disney rides. It’s spooky and quirky, but still maintains such a sense of fun. It’s truly like the happy haunts are just welcoming you into their realm (well, excluding our girl Constance who is definitely not there to be friends), and it’s such a nice mix of the spooky and the fun! Also, if you ever get a chance to see artwork and development for the ride, do it! The visual development and previs for the props, characters, and overall ride is incredible!
Who is your favorite Grim Grinning Ghost or room at the Mansion?
Ooh, good one! Hands down my favorite GGG is the Opera Singer right at the end of the Graveyard before you exit! She’s fierce and I always love hearing her crazy harmonizing come into earshot in the theme song when you go through there! She’s a ton of fun! My favorite room is the Ballroom because it’s just overwhelmingly cool! I wish you could just stop there and watch that forever, there’s so much in that room to look at and it is all done so masterfully!
The 2003 Haunted Mansion film with Eddie Murphy, yay or nay?
Yay! Although I would love to have a movie that really goes into details about the characters and ghosts in the actual ride, it’s quirky, cute, and I mean…Eddie Murphy is just adorable in it! It’s a great Halloween movie, not scary but offering just a tad of spoopy vibes and of course another way to celebrate the Haunted Mansion world!
Which is better and why: the traditional Haunted Mansion, or Haunted Mansion Holiday?
Okay, so I’ve never seen Haunted Mansion Holiday before! I WISH I had, but as I only just moved to LA in February, and have only been to Disneyland once as a result, have not been there yet during the holidays! But from what I’ve heard it is incredible and I’m excited to see it as soon as I’m able!
Would you like to share any stories/experiences/special memories that revolve around The Haunted Mansion?
I interned at Disney Parks last year in WDW as an Artist on the Live Entertainment team, and that team does a ton, notably all of the parades and holiday parties. Last year was my first year attending Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, and I was so excited when I was told there was a special Halloween parade that featured a Haunted Mansion section! And I gotta say, if you’re a big HM fan, it was an INCREDIBLE experience! The HM section had a ton of live performers, including a huge group of beautiful haunting ballroom dancers, Constance herself in a gorgeous spectral floating dress, graveyard diggers, and the hitchhiking ghosts! I’ve never seen a better parade and such a beautifully art directed show! It was incredible to see all the things I love from HM come to life and I’m going to be so spoiled at every parade for the rest of my life now because I’m not sure they can beat it!
Would you take a hitchhiking ghost home?
Absolutely I would! Sounds like a lot of fun to me! Win win scenario to be honest! All of the HM ghosties are always welcome! ….As long as it’s not Constance, that girl can stay right where she is in her attic please, very far from me.
Have you participated in the Artist Lodge Gallery before?
I have not! This is my first ALG, which is very exciting!
Where can readers find your work?
Most all of my personal work can be found on my instagram, my instagram name is @elliemation , http://www.instagram.com/elliemation . I have a website as well which is mostly portfolio based (and never as updated as it should be, oops!) which is http://www.elliemorlino.com , hopefully I’ll be opening an online store soon too with prints and stickers and such! Keep an eye out!
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