Today we’d like to introduce you to Jeff Ellison.
Every artist has a unique story. Can you briefly walk us through yours?
I have found a very unique niche creating framed pop culture 3D paper dioramas and hand cut silhouettes. In a span of five years, I was able to go from creating small art pieces for my friends to becoming a published cover artist for a variety of comics and novels.
It started with me buying a frame at the local dollar store. I was unhappy with the frame because it had a weird foam spacer between the glass and the photo that didn’t look right. I tossed it in the closet and forgot about it. Valentine’s Day was approaching, and my wife and I were very tight on money. My wife had recently gotten into watching “My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic,” and while researching possible Valentine’s day gifts for her, I stumbled upon a group that made paper shadowboxes. I threw together a 3D “Derpy Hooves” piece using the dollar store frame, double sided tape, and leftover resume paper and my first 3D piece was made.
I posted it on Facebook, and through the encouragement of my friends and family, I built up the courage to made more of them. I started using archival quality glues and paper along with larger frames, which allowed more layers for my art. Soon commissions started coming in, and I had my first artist alley booth at the 2016 Game On Expo.
The business has been growing ever since, and my art has improved drastically. My crowning achievement so far was my cover for Zen Intergalactic Ninja published by 1First Comics which debut at the 2018 San Diego Comic Con. You can find me and my original art at local shows including Phoenix Fan Fusion (formerly Phoenix Comicon), the Game On Expo, Taiyou Con, and Saboten Con.
Please tell us about your art.
My art can be described as framed 3D paper dioramas and matted silhouettes. Each of my pieces is cut by hand using only an X-Acto knife and layered to create a unique art piece. I make what I love, so my art is a celebration of nerd culture. If you peruse my convention display or my art blog, you will see a lot of older anime, comics, and overall nerdy subjects.
The reason why I avoid using technology like Cricut machines and laser cutters, is I want people to be able to experience owning original art. My wife and I have been attending nerdy conventions since 2009, and we love to commission art by comic creators. There is something special about having a one of a kind original piece that was created just for you. I want people to experience that when they come to my booth or commission me online. I want them to know that I sat in my art studio and meticulously cut every paper piece for them and that it wasn’t mass produced by a computer. So far this approach to selling only original art has been successful as I recently sold my 1,000th original art piece during the 2019 Phoenix Fan Fusion.
Given everything that is going on in the world today, do you think the role of artists has changed? How do local, national, or international events and issues affect your art?
My art is a celebration of nerd culture and a reminder to some people that art exists outside of a computer screen. Often times, people get lost in technology and only consume digital media, and they forget how it feels to get your hands dirty and create something you are proud of.
When you walk down artist alley at a convention, you will notice a flood of mass-produced art prints that were created using Photoshop and other digital art mediums. When people arrive at my booth, they are often taken aback when they learn that each piece is cut by myself and that I found this hidden talent when I was in my 30’s. It is never too late to learn new skills and to go against the norm.
How or where can people see your work? How can people support your work?
If you would like to see my art in person, I have booths every year at Phoenix Fan Fusion, the Game On Expo, Taiyou Con, and Saboten Con. I also appear at various mini-conventions at ASU and ASU West.
I also have an online presence on Instagram at @jeffellisonart, Facebook at www.facebook.com/jeffellisonart, and my art blog at jeffellisonart.blogspot.com. I post photos of each of my original pieces, but the photos never do my art justice.
Most of my published cover art are convention exclusives, but you can purchase the novel “Obsidian Blues” by J.S. Miller that I did the cover art for on Amazon.com and I can be commissioned through email at email@example.com or through Facebook messenger.
- Website: jeffellisonart.blogspot.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/jeffellisonart/
- Facebook: facebook.com/jeffellisonart