Written By: Amanda Ly
Ellie Haus is an L.A native, who grew up in the San Fernando Valley, this (Fall 2019) was their final semester at PCC. "This semester is the first time I've ever taken college level art classes. I did take an art class in 9th grade, but that was so long ago I barely remember anything". Ellie found it very beneficial to take both foundation drawing and this art portfolio class. "Before taking any art classes I was scared of the art world. I felt like an impostor, that if I took art classes they would shun me. I was very happy to find my fears were unfounded". Ellie are planning to take more art classes here before I transfer.
Why do you like doing art?
If I don't do it, I feel unsatisfied. It's like if you eat a big meal, but for some reason you want something else.
You're full already, but you're missing something.
That's how I feel when I'm not doing something artistic.
So, I don't know if that's love, maybe it's a need.
What is your muse?
Perhaps my muse right now would be my dreams. I remember around 2-3 dreams a night and they're long, like watching a movie.
I might not be painting what I see, but the idea is incorporated into my paintings.
Dreams are our subconscious right? Or basically what we're thinking, so I guess they just help me see what it is I'm thinking.
How often do you create art?
Well, it depends on a lot of things. When I'm making it do I think it's art? How busy am I in my personal life, like school-work. Or how motivated am I?
When I have free time I generally work on 3-4 paintings a month, those would be things I think are specifically art.
When I'm busy I probably only get to 1-2 paintings a month and other small things I wouldn't really think of as art.
What genre of art do you tend to make?
Portrait paintings, I suppose?
Or if you're interested in what style of art, I'd say "pop-surrealism" maybe? But I'm not really sure, I'll leave it up to others to put me in a category.
It feels like asking a high-school student "what clique are you in? Jocks? Popular kids? Goths? Stoners?"
It's too presumptuous of me to say, "Oh, I'm this" when maybe others think I'm something else.
Which of yours is your favorite ? Why?
Which piece of artwork that I've done? I suppose my favorite is one I did of a girl with a penguin. But the catch is that in her hair there's bits of trash,
showing the pollution that harms the penguins.
Which piece of art in this gallery is your favorite? Why?
In this gallery I really love Stravoula's artwork, but especially her half black half gold lion. I feel like there's a lot being said in that piece.
To me it's showing the internal battle between doing good, or being good, of someone in a position of power.
Outside of this gallery, who is your favorite artist? Why?
I love Audrey Kawasaki's artwork. Her girls are so delicate but strong. She mixes the girls in with her wooden background
and I think that adds to the strength of the girls in her paintings.
What is your ultimate career goal?
Ultimately I want to be able to support myself through art, hopefully by having my pieces in galleries.
But, any career that lets me be creative and make a living would be great.
What was your thought process behind the art for the gallery?
I wanted to use this opportunity to start a conversation about humans and how we impact one another and the world.
I know that many people are already having these conversations outside of art galleries, but I feel like it needs to be brought up more in art galleries.
I'm very critical about what we're doing and I worry about our future.
What inspired you to make "Jokeher?"
She was in a dream. But, to be fair I probably dreamed her because I was seeing advertisements for the movie "the joker".
I did finish painting her before the movie came out. In my dream I was being accosted by these guys to smile and I was getting a bad vibe from them.
What's in her mind?
She's fed up with guys telling her to smile, that "she'd be prettier if she smiled more".
She's gone crazy because the guys are always saying that and because society
doesn't look to favorably on girls who stand up for themselves.
If a girl does talk back and tell the guy to mind his own business then she's seen as a problem. T
he guy suddenly plays the victim, he was only being "nice".
Is she making herself smile or someone else?
She's making herself smile.
What does the bang mean? Did someone get shot in front of her or did she shoot someone?
The bang is two things, it's an homage to the 1960's batman,
where the joker would hold a gun and "shoot" out a "bang" sign.
And it's implying that maybe the girl has gone so crazy she's shot herself.
What if other characters were a different gender? What would they look like? Would they do anything differently at all? If so, why? If not, why?
I've actually had a surprising number of people ask me to paint guys, or ask why I don't paint guys.
I'm not sure what they would look like, maybe they would end up looking very feminine.
Or, perhaps I'll paint them with idealized "manly" aspects, it would differ from culture to culture, so that would be a very interesting subject matter.
I think the guys would still be involving some issue, either societal or environmental. I would like guys to think they should be working on fixing this too.
What's the story behind "Jokeher?"
She's fed-up with men's constant cat calls.
What's the story of the untitled one?
The untitled one is about a girl who feels trapped by her society.
She's in a profession where everyone watches you, like an "influencer", an actor, or anyone who is a celebrity.
She's always feeling people watching her every move. And people fake supporting her.
It's kind of about L.A life, there's so many people who act like a friend, but only if they can get something by being your friend.
I see you like to use oil and acrylic a lot? Why is that?
I use acrylic for my backgrounds, because it dries fast and my backgrounds don't use a lot of blending.
I mainly use oil paint because it takes a long time to dry, I have plenty of time to mix my colors,to get the perfect shade
and I can blend them into one another. It's smooth and gives me the look I want.
What made you decide to use recycled boxes for your "Evolution" series? What is evolving ?
My teacher, professor Brian Tucker, told us we needed to think of how we wanted to hang our pieces.
Up until that moment I hadn't hung anything other than stretched canvases.
I thought I should have frames for my evolution series, but it felt wrong to buy frames when I had materials to make frames.
Like I said, I was always the "go-to" artist in my family, so being able to make something from nothing was my forte.
So, I looked around the house and found cardboard, a wooden box and magazines.
The ladies are evolving, the first lady is oblivious to problems around single use plastics, well she knows but doesn't really care.
Ellie Haus is a L.A native, who grew up in the San Fernando Valley. This is her final semester at PCC. "This semester is the first time I've ever taken college level art classes. I did take an art class in 9th grade, but that was so long ago I barely remember anything". She says it's *proven to be* very beneficial to take both foundation drawing and an art portfolio class. "Before taking any art classes I was scared of the art world. I felt like an impostor, that if I took art classes they would shun me. I was very happy to find my fears were unfounded". She is planning to take more art classes before transferring to PCC.
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