I’m Ella Johnston, an artist and illustrator, homes and crafts journalist and stylist. I launched my art and illustration brand in 2012 but in reality I have been drawing everyday since I could hold a pen – it’s so much more than a business for me, it’s who I am.
As an artist I examine birds that appear throughout the UK, wild flora and fauna, plus plants that humans like to nurture. My work explores the personal bonds we build through our encounters with the natural world.
I’m inspired by Japanese ink drawing and print making, botanical and avian illustrative prints of the 19th Century and Regency portraiture. My minimal background invites the spectator to scrutinise, de-construct and interact with her subject; evoking a sense of investigation while highlighting the fragility of nature under threat.
I live in lovely Wivenhoe, Essex, on the edge of the Colne estuary marshes, where I’m also one half of a small independent publishing company, Dunlin Press. During my career I’ve edited Homemaker, Let’s Get Crafting and Papercrafter magazines, as well as the M&S Home catalogues and Restaurant magazine. I’ve also written for Cath Kidston and You and Your Wedding. My illustrations have featured in The Guardian, Boots Health and Beauty, Firewords art and literature magazine, Jamie Cullum’s The Eighty-Eight, Crafts Beautiful, Homemaker and more. I love writing and reporting, but art, design and illustration are my greatest passions. I want to show you how to inject an artful edge to your home and give you some insights into my drawing process. My drawings and paintings have been exhibited in gallery spaces in London and the south-east and are sold locally and online. Through my work I’ve occasionally popped up as a presenter on television and crafting in videos for clients. This blog aims to celebrate the creative life. Whether it is championing great design, curating spaces that allow your artful side to flourish, making your own unique home accessories or simply wishing to enjoy a great drawing, Ella’s place is here to beat the drum for the aesthete in all of us.
So what happens round Ella’s place? Art is made (a lot), illustrations are showcased, ideas are explored, great designs are created, beautiful things are crafted, interiors are decorated, furniture is upcycled, friends and family arrive, guests are entertained, music plays, food is cooked, culture and philosophy are discussed, we walk through the countryside, books are written… great things happen at Ella’s Place.