One of our favorite local artists is Ellebrux! This talented lady makes beautiful art & jewelry in Cincinnati, Ohio. Join us as we welcome Laura from Ellebrux as our July 2017 Ohio Maker of the Month!
Tell us about Ellebrux.
I am Laura Brooks and I am the creative energy behind Ellebrux. Ellebrux is a handmade business created with a love for color, surface, and craftsmanship. I work out of my home studio in Northside, Cincinnati making embroidered paintings and hand-painted wood jewelry that I sell online, in local gift shops, and at weekend markets.
What drew you to your career path?
I have always dreamed of making beautiful things for a living. As kid my parents always took me to all kinds of outdoor markets and I always admired the independence of the people selling their art and goods. When I decided to stop working for big business and make a career out of my painting I knew that I wanted to get into the sun and sell goods at markets and fleas.
Where did your business name come from?
Ellebrux, is a phonetic spelling of L. Brooks, my first initial and last name. My nickname in college was “L. Brooks” or as one friend alternatively spelled it “Ellebrux”. When I first got Instagram I used “Ellebrux” as my handle and quickly began selling paintings and building relationships with other creatives. When I decided to become a real business I toyed with the idea of changing my name to something less abstract, but in the end I’m glad I kept it! It feels very much a part of me and I am happy that I’ve had it since day one.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
I always wanted to be an artist. What that looked like changed over the years but I always knew I wanted to make things.
What is your process from concept to creation?
I work in a way where something is always being painted while another is drying, and I always try to do all the things I hate (like sanding canvas, the worst) on a separate day where I can just listen to a podcast and blast through it. This way when I get into my studio it’s just smooth sailing mixing colors and going from one thing to the next in a nice workflow. I rarely sketch these days; I usually just browse through my paints and have fun with it. If a certain color palette sells like crazy I’ll keep working with it, and if there is something I loved that didn’t sell well I’ll sell the last ones and never make them again. There are many aspects to owning a business that are stressful so I like to keep my process happy and light, and I feel like that energy is reflected in my work.
What advice would you give yourself 10 years ago?
Ten years ago I was about to start college with the goal of becoming an artist. I wish I could have told myself I already was one! That would have taken away a lot of the pressure I put on myself over the years.
What has been your favorite thing about the Ellebrux journey so far?
I love it when I have people come up to me at shows and tell me that they have something I made that they love. Whether it’s a necklace that they get compliments on, a painting hung in a special place, or a gift they gave that was really appreciated. It makes me feel like I’m on the right path, and my business is healthy, and all my hard work is worth it.
What has been the biggest reward of starting your own business?
I love working from home and setting my own hours. I can lean into the ebbs and flows of my creativity rather than trying to schedule huge amounts of creative work after coming home from another job. For me it has been a much happier and more productive way to live and create.
What advice do you have for other women who want to start their own businesses?
As I have been growing my business in the last few years there have been so many resources that have helped me feel prepared for all of the chaos of starting a business. I would encourage women to insert themselves into spaces that will give them every advantage to meet people and learn from more experienced business owners. In the past year I took Co-Starters through Artworks and attended Midwest Craft Con, both of which were really fun and inspiring.
What is your favorite thing about Exploring Ohio?
I love finding new colors, textures and wild places throughout Ohio. There are so many beautiful trails and small towns to explore and appreciate. My mountain paintings actually came out of an appreciation of Appalachian culture during my time exploring the communities beyond Ohio University. When I find myself in a new city the energy and architecture is equally inspiring in my work. There is so much to enjoy here!
Follow @ellebrux on Instagram!