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New Products!

Unicorn Card (c) Ella JohnstonI have new products on my Not On The High Street shop; a unicorn card, a hare greeting and a beautiful eucalyptus art print. All are taken from my original watercolour and ink drawings.
Hare Card (c) Ella JohnstonMy hare and unicorn prints have been incredibly popular at various art fairs with many people asking if I was going to produce co-ordinated greetings – well nobody can say I don’t listen! The new Eucalyptus botanical print is a bit of an indulgence to be honest – I simply wanted one for myself. Botanical print (c) Ella Johnston

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Sharing the love with Not On The High Street #LoveIsReal

Love is Real, NOTHS (c) Ella Johnston

Today I’ve had fun doing my version of the Not On The High Street “Love is” tag. The company has sent it to its partners so they can spread the love in the run up to Valentine’s Day.

I think love is an important message to communicate at any time, no more so than in these turbulent, uncertain times. For me kindness and compassion goes hand and hand with love. Kindness to your partner, to your friends, to strangers, to yourself and to the planet we all share; the latter is why my sign is nature-themed flamingo illustration. I created the illustration with pencil and my spare pink and white poscas.

Love is Real, NOTHS (c) Ella Johnston

You can see more LoveIsReal tags here

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Drawing of the week: Badger

Badger Illustration Ella Johnston

This week I’ve drawn a badger.

I’ve been experimenting with woodland creature drawings with watercolour and ink over the past couple of months and I must admit I’ve had so much fun illustrating this charming animals.

Badger print from Not On The High Street ellasplace.co.uk

Actually I’m quite drawn to my woodland folk so I’ve made some of the drawings into prints. My hare, badger and fox prints are now available on my Not On The High Street shop.
Fox print Ella Johnston

Hare print Not On The High Street ellasplace.co.uk

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Drawing of the week: A rainbow unicorn!

Unicorn Print Ella Johnston. Available on Not On The High Street.

I know. Me? A rainbow unicorn? Drawing of the week? Yes, yes and yes.

The unicorn is a very special drawing for me as it meant doing something out of my comfort zone and taking a bold step.

Last month I visited the Not On The High Street partner day – it’s a great event for all the sellers on the site to come together learn from each other while also getting insights and advice from the NOTHS team. One of the services they offered was a clinic looking at my shop and evaluating all my products. To be honest this was a big deal for me – after creating the illustration, designing the products, shooting them, writing the products and marketing them, sometimes criticism, however useful, constructive and helpful, can be hard to take. But I have resolved this year to take the advice, learn from any criticism and act on it and most of all not to take things personally. So I made use of this years clinic for my shop.

Actually I received very little criticism. I was on trend, my products and photography were really good and I got the word ‘beautiful’ a lot (always good). I just needed to work on my SEO and put some of my products into a more lifestyle setting. After all that stealing myself it was one of the most positive experiences I’ve ever had.

Unicorn Print Ella Johnston. Available on Not On The High Street. God, this is getting to be a long story, sorry.

Anyway I asked the women running the clinic if there was anything I could do to improve my offering, anything my style could be suited too, anything new I could try. “A unicorn” they said, “Create a range with a unicorn.”

Okay.

But I don’t do girly stuff. I don’t do fanciful stuff.

Why don’t I?

Why don’t I try something I’ve not explored before?

So I set about answering this brief. I wanted to do it with enthusiasm, integrity, honesty and love, like I do with all of my illustrations. After lots of visual research, I got really excited about this new challenge and set myself seven days to create the illo then get it onto a print and get it into the shop.

I picked up my watercolour paints and fine nib black pens and went to work. Dr B was quite surprised, he envisaged a mythical, goth type creation instead he got a handsome steed with a rainbow mane – a girly unicorn!

Unicorn Print Ella Johnston. Available on Not On The High Street. So here is the unicorn print. I’m immensely proud of it as it represents more than a drawing but is a symbol of my journey as an illustrator and as a person, leaping into the unknown and trying something new. I’m hanging this bad boy in my office now to show me why it’s so important to keep striving. You can buy my print on Not On The High Street. 
Unicorn Print Ella Johnston. Available on Not On The High Street.