art, artist colony

Artist Colony // Elly- Cactei


It's time again for another Artist Colony! I have a really great line up of Creatives for you guys so with out further ado, meet Elly. Elly is the genius behind 'Cactei', an online store that sells pretty much anything. From uber cool t-shirts to inspirational badges, this girl has some serous talent. I sent over some questions for Elly and she kindly answered, letting me (and hopefully you guys) learn a little more about her.

-What made you decide to set up a shop?

At the very beginning of starting an Instagram account I just made posts of my drawings, and a lot of people started requesting that the designs were put on shirts. So I made a Society6 store as it’s super easy and my designs can be on lots of cool things, not just tees.

-If you could be one artist for a whole day, who would you be? Why?

I’d love to be someone like Van Gogh, just to experience art culture during that time period. But then I’d love to be someone like CJ Hendry who is living the dream in NYC, living off her art.

-Explain your drawing style?

I don’t necessarily have one style, I guess the most popular is the simplified cartoon versions I draw of bands/movies etc. I just focus on portraying the subject’s characteristics as simply as possible, but enough that it still looks like them. Then I add circles on their cheeks, mainly just to add some fun and so they can be identified as a style I guess.

My style in regards to portraits is a bit less structured. I don’t really know what I want to achieve, so I normally just try to represent the subject as accurately as possible. I’d like for my portraits to have a bit more to them though, something that makes them mine. Still working on it.

-Is it still evolving?

Definitely! Even just as I scroll through my Instagram feed looking at old band drawings, there is a massive difference in how my style has evolved. They’re now a bit less cutesy looking and more accurate I’d like to think. I don’t know where it will go next because the development isn’t necessarily intentional, it just kinda happens.

-Who/what inspires you?

I’m inspired a lot by other teen artists I follow on Instagram such as @foxyfries, @namalas, @plantimal, @greazi, @lillchlo, @theskinnyartist, @lacun.a there are so many that isn’t even the beginning. They’re all extremely talented, some in different mediums but they’re artists nonetheless.

-What would you like to be/do after school?

I’d love to be able to live off my own art, freelancing and building my own name as an artist. I can’t really see myself doing anything else, but if I have to think practically somehow involved in a magazine or graphic design company perhaps.

-5 facts about you?

- I love a good movie; my favourites are Kill Your Darlings, Submarine and The Art of Getting By.

- I love music, I have no musical talent whatsoever but I get excited finding new bands/songs.

- I’m determined to succeed.

- I suck at talking about myself because I can’t think of anything interesting anyone would want to know about me.

- I love ice cream.

-How do you shake off artist block?

I find I don’t often get ‘artist block’ as such because almost all my drawings are based off real images, so there isn’t a lot of creativity involved. I’m more just fussy about what I choose to draw, so if I want to do a portrait I’ll spend 1 hour trying to find a cool photo and by the time I find one, I’m not in the mood to draw :/ I often look to Instagram or Tumblr for ideas though when I’m out of ideas.

-What is the best advice you have ever been given?

I haven’t been given a lot of advice really. Shoutout to the first few people who wanted my designs on shirts, that was a good idea.

-Describe your personal style.

Umm whatever I like! I often don’t think through whether what I buy will go with anything I own, I just buy it, which is sometimes dumb. I wear a lot of denim, and black. I like long skirts or dresses, plain shirts, my denim jacket, and a few bits of silver jewellery.

-Describe your workspace and/or send in photos.

I normally work at my desk in my bedroom, but will sometimes draw just on my bed or when I’m bored at uni. I have to keep my desk pretty simple as it’s not very big, so I have a shelf in my cupboard where I actually keep all my art supplies. I have a lot of posters and random things stuck to my walls, bare walls are boring.


Thank you Elly for being so cool, creative and apart of Artist Colony!

If you guys like what you see and want to purchase one of Elly's designs head over here, or check out her instagram.                If you missed out on my last Artist Colony click here to meet Marta.