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In Another World, by Eliana

Click on Entry to enlarge

ellie entry page.png

Eliana's Instagram: @saucy.eliana

A Conversation with the Artist

We interviewed Eliana about her views and artistic journey.

So to start off, what inspired you to join the zine?


Ellie: I like art, so it seemed like the right place to join! 


Interviewer: Awesome. Was there anything particular about the Zine that interested you? Or was it just like another creative project you wanted to join?


It's probably my first creative project. I haven't really done anything outside of school.

So with your zine entry, what was the creative process like making it? Was there a specific approach you took or obstacles you faced in the process? 

So when I heard the prompt, I did a few sketches on paper, just to get an idea of what I could draw. The things that came to my mind were reading, music, and the fantasy worlds within my book, so I wanted to put that all into one piece for your Zine. Then I brought my final idea onto Krita, did a cleaner sketch, line art, colour, and lots of shading. It was probably the first landscape I did that was this detailed. 


I love that you wanted to integrate the fantasy into the artwork. The figure is reading about a fantasy world while sitting in a fantasy world. That's really cool. 



So, this next question is something I think about a lot. I’m not sure about you, but I’ve always associated specific music or songs with pieces of artwork. I was wondering if you ever connect music with art, and if so how? 


I feel like ‘fantasy bar’ music would be the type I would think of.


What do you mean by ‘fantasy bar’? 


Like the music you’d hear in a bar in a fantasy world — where elves and stuff would dance and play instruments. That's the kind of vibe.


Ohhhh gotcha. Yeah, I could definitely see that — I like that! Do you ever connect music with art in general? Or like when you're making artwork? Are there any sounds or music that you think of when you're making an art piece?


Oh, not just for art. When I'm doing work where I don't need to listen to something important, I just go on YouTube. Lots of people make these playlists, and it's just so much nicer because each playlist would have a theme. Sometimes it’s more calming to listen to, and sometimes it's more quirky. 


Is there any particular theme or genre that you like to listen to the most? 


I'm not sure how I could describe this, but it’s like that funky type of music? If I could think of one song, it would probably be Welcome to the Internet by Bo Burnam.


Oh my god. I love that song. I totally get what you mean by more funky type music.



Speaking more broadly about your art, are there particular artists, concepts, or colour palettes that inspire your work? 


I like going on Pinterest because I don't really have an aesthetic that I go for. I usually draw based on whatever reference interests me. 


Are there any particular artists that you are inspired by?


I do have a lot of artists that I take inspiration from, but I can’t remember them off the top of my head. 

In terms of your art, do you ever explore mediums other than visual art? (Music, writing, etc) 

Yeah, I like doing a lot of creative things. I like writing, and I like to sew things once in a while.


Like, clothing?


Yeah! I made a corset once. I took some jeans, like 10 with different patterns and colours, then sewed them all together. I still have to clean it up a bit and get some string to tie up the back. But, yeah.


Is this something you've been doing for a while — altering or sewing clothes?


I don't do it as often as I would like because I can’t go to the fabric store that often. But, yeah. 


And then tell me a little bit about your writing.  


I have a lot of ideas, just for stories in general. Then there's this one trilogy that I'm hoping to write. It's going be a fantasy novel, but it’ll have more genres in it such as romance. I’m planning it right now, and it’s a lot to think about.


Oh my god, that's so cool. Tell me more about this trilogy. 


The main character is going to be a woman of color who lost her parents to war as a child. She’s  first put into a foster family, but they don't really treat her that well, then she eventually is able to land a job at a Palace maid of whatever Kingdom she's in. Over a few years, she’ll become the princesses' side or head maid. Then the main problem in the story, or at least the first one, would be that the princess gets kidnapped while the main character is away. And when the main character comes back, she’ll deal with this issue of wanting something, then something bad following afterward. That’s a recurring theme I want to add. But yeah, that's the basics. She’s going to have to go off, find the princess, and meet people along the way.


That's a cool concept. While the princess kidnapping thing might be something that’s a more common story, you put a unique twist on it with that recurring issue —  the idea that every time she wants something, something bad has to happen. 

What are your earliest memories involving creative expression? 


In fourth and fifth grade I had a friend who was really into art, and I feel like she kind of helped me get more serious about it.


How have people in your personal life influenced your art journey? 

Definitely that friend of mine, and I feel like the rest of my friends helped by supporting me. They were always around to help when I asked questions about my art from a non-artists point of view.

In general, are there any themes or topics that inform your artwork?


I'm Christian, and I feel like a lot of people can misunderstand what that means. Because a lot of people have made lots of mistakes, saying that God made them do something terrible, and I want to clear that up in my work. 


Do you mind talking a little bit more about that? Like, how do you want to clear that up? And what exactly do you want to clear up?


I want to clear up that a faith should not be represented by the people who follow it, because I know that not everybody is going to be good. When you read the bible, people take interpretations for themselves, and sometimes their interpretation is wrong because their interpretation can hurt people. (Because the original thing would’ve said to do the opposite of hurting people). So, I want to clear that up by showing a story where there is a better representation of religion. And even if there are bad people who are following a religion, I want people to learn that you shouldn’t judge the faith solely on the fact that some bad people follow it. You can not like a specific person, but they shouldn’t be your reason for not following the faith. 


Oh, I understand. Yes, that makes a lot of sense. If you don't mind me asking, how has your personal experience been with this sort of issue in real life? Like, is there anything you’ve experienced that has made you want to address this problem in your work?


Some of it is personal, but most of it is because I hear a lot of people talking about how Christianity as a White man’s religion. Or even in history class, when we bring up this topic the discussion will be about colonizers and such. But like, colonizers don’t represent the religion as a whole. That’s why it’s personal to me. 

Do you ever feel obligated for your work to have a “deeper,” or more profound, meaning? Do you think that “deeper” meaning makes artwork more valuable?


I feel like that's a problem I might have. Most of my pieces don't have meanings behind them, and I feel like I should kind of start thinking about that more. Because most of the time I just draw whatever’s on my mind — my art doesn’t deal with serious things or stuff people would usually put meaning into.


And you feel like you should put more meaning into your artwork?


Yeah, a little bit. Not every piece has to have a meaning, but once in a while, I should make one or two pieces that have more to it.


Do you feel like the depth of the meaning behind an artwork makes it better or worse?


I feel like it can make the artwork more relatable to the viewer, which would cause them to like it more. But it also depends on their personal opinion, styles — what they like or what they experience.


Yeah, I agree, that makes sense. When you do have artwork that does have meaning, or maybe just even with artwork that doesn't have meaning- or as much meaning other than just like you were drawing what you like to draw- Do you ever feel hesitant to show other people that artwork? Or if there is a deeper meaning behind it, are you ever hesitant to tell people about that meaning?


Definitely, like if you have a deeper meaning, and especially if it's personal to you, I feel like it would be harder to explain that meaning. And it'll just be like, a lot more difficult to put out in general.

How much do you think creative ability is an innate talent? Versus a skill, you can work at over time?


I feel like I wasn't born with the majority of my artistic talents. Um, I have had some creative talents, but I feel like most of it I've just developed over time. And practice.


Going back to your creative process, what role do you think emotions play in it?


The question is whether I feel like I have enough creativity to draw certain things — and that changes depending on how I'm feeling at the time. When I draw something, and it doesn't come out the way I wanted to, I won't draw for maybe the next day or two. 


What do you mean by whether you have enough creativity to draw what you want to draw?


Because sometimes I might not have enough of that creative mentality to create things. Sometimes it can be solved by watching videos, listening to music, finding Pinterest references, but sometimes I just don't feel like drawing. Because I feel like the work won’t come out with the expectation I have in my head.


I remember that when we talked about your sewing, you said you didn't know if you wanted to make it a career because you don't want to have to force it. When you can’t get into that creative mood, does it bother you?


Most of the time I will try to get in the creative mood. but if I don’t, I just shrug it off I guess — move on to another one of my hobbies. 


Oh, what are some of your other hobbies? 


I enjoy doing a lot of random things, like crocheting. I like playing volleyball. And right now, I'm trying to set up stuff to become a streamer.


Oh, that's awesome! One of my sister’s best friends also just started streaming. My sister was designing the layout for the coming soon page and such. That's so cool.


Yeah. I feel like as an artist, I have a little more help when it comes to this stuff. Because I can just make my own things.


Yeah, definitely. What would you stream? Art stuff? Video games?


Like a little bit of both!


Do you have any upcoming projects you’d like to talk about? 

Just my book and streaming in the future. I’m really focussing on trying to start a community for my streaming. It’s really hard. I’m trying to start a Reddit, but there’s no one there except me. 



You want to plug your Reddit right now? So, people who are listening can go and check it out. 


Yeah! here it is (linked). feel free to talk about anything on there. I’m pretty active. 

Our last question — what’s something that’s made you smile this week?


Just when a conversation with my online friends comes out well. Most of the time, I’ll start the conversation. But after the “hi, how are you doing?” stage it’ll just stop, and I feel it’s harder. I’m on the more shy side when talking to people, so it’s harder for me. So when a conversation comes out nice, it makes me happy.  



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