Leigh Ellexson is an extremely talented artist based in Cincinnati, Ohio. She creates whimsical art by hand and has found international fame on Instagram and YouTube. We are so inspired by her current 365 project, where she creates a new piece of art each day! Meet Leigh Ellexson Art at our 2017 Ohio Explored Holiday Maker Mart on December 3rd!
Tell us about your local business.
My name is Leigh Ellexson, I am an art school drop-out based in Cincinnati, Ohio! I spend most of my time making cute art along side my dog, Toad, and my parrot, Hercules. My business is focused around custom watercolor pet and home portraits. Though you can always find me doodling animals and flora in pink on the pages of my sketchbook or filming videos for my YouTube channel! I want to inspire people to practice what they love and to find it consistently in their lives.
What drew you to your craft?
I've been painting/drawing since I was small. I was jealous of my older sister, 3 years old than I, who could color flawlessly inside the lines of our coloring books. At least, as far as I could tell, it was flawless. After that I decided to take any opportunity to pass up learning an instrument or joining a sport, to draw or create whatever craft I was into at the time. I'm still going strong.
What is your favorite thing you have ever made?
Well this is a tough one. Favorite thing I have ever made... dang. Okay. Honestly, lately I have been all about making videos. I'm finding editing them and the result super satisfying! So probably my most recent Studio Vlog. We're just going to go with that because thinking about all the art I've made is crazy.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
I always wanted to be a vet because I love animals (if you didn't know that already, now you do). After we put our family cat down I knew that wasn't an occupation I could handle...
What is your creative process?
My creative process revolves around color schemes. For example, right now, I'm loving pink, blue, and yellow. After I've decided on my color scheme, which I stick to for about a week, I hunt down a cute subject to suit my palette. Or I force it to suit my palette, grab some art supplies and I get drawing in my sketchbook. Though I am usually consistent with my color palette for a while, I am always mixing media and using different supplies to keep myself interested.
What advice would you give yourself 10 years ago?
Keep drawing even if it looks ugly.
Why is it important to support local artists & makers?
Since I am based online I don't get a lot of local business. Though I am always looking for local makers to support. There's a happiness in the trade where you can see who you are supporting through a product you can trust. (I sound like a commercial, but I actually think that) I feel that supporting local artists and makers will inspire makers who are not yet sharing their work/creations to try it out. I'm not sure if this is true, but I hope it is!
Why do you love doing what you do?
I love getting people inspired to make. I've found the more I share my work, the more people are reaching out to me saying things like, "I haven't drawn for years, but after watching your videos/seeing you on Instagram I have started again." Messages like these seriously MAKE ME SO HAPPY. If just sharing what I do can help people create I am so happy to be doing what I am doing.
What advice do you have for other women who want to start their own businesses?
If you have an idea try and decide whether to do it or not in 20 seconds. I've seen lot of people have tons of idea then they consider, "Should I do this? Should I do that? Will it even work?" and they end up doing nothing. Giving yourself a limited amount of time to decide to start a project, a business, an idea, can help push you to start before the anxiety sets in.
What is your favorite thing about Exploring Ohio?
I love the local feel to it and the visual hunt to find gems in the Ohio community. Makers, landscapes, people. It's hard to find such a visually appealing local community here in the Midwest. Such a wonderful way to represent local artists and makers!
Meet Leigh Ellexson Art at our Ohio Explored Holiday Maker Mart!