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Artist of the Month - August 2006

Greetings from Brittany Ellis!
By Annabelle Numaguchi


Brittany Ellis

Greeting card designer Brittany Ellis, 18, the featured Artist of the Month for August, says she started making her own custom cards about five years ago.

“When I was about 13, I was learning how to scrapbook,” she recalls. “I loved it, but soon got bored with how long it took me to finish a page. I was talking to some members of my family and they said I should make cards for awhile because they were quicker to finish.”

“So I tried it, and they were right,” she said. “The cards were not only quicker, but also more fun to make, because I could use more of my imagination with the design, size, and style, etc.”

“I started by replicating some samples that my family had lying around, but I soon started making my own designs,” Ellis added.

Ellis’ custom creations are blank inside, but they feature a variety of artistic adornments and color combinations.

Ellis keeps busy making a variety of cards, including wedding announcements with thank-you cards that match. When asked if she could make 100 or more of the same exact card without getting tired, she replied, “Oh, I’ve actually done three or four hundred invitations, plus matching thank-you cards. It’s actually funner to do them in mass production, because you can just sit there and cut out a whole bunch of the same thing at once, and not really have to think about each one.”

“It might be mindless work sometimes, but I love it,” added Ellis. “It really helps take your stress away.”

Other types of cards that Ellis is often asked to make are baby announcements, birthday invitations, graduation cards, thank-you cards, and get-well cards. “I can make cards for any occasion,” she added. “ I’ve done a lot of hunting and fishing cards for dads and grandfathers. Also, someone wanted a card for a lady who loved chickens, so I made a cutout of a rooster.”

Ellis keeps a sample of almost every card she designs in a catalog, which is now approaching 200 examples. “I enjoy making replicates of them, or designing more,” she said. “I really love the designing part. I still keep sketches of design ideas on paper and file them until I have a chance to actually create them.”

“That’s the thing I love the most about them, is that customers can make suggestions to do something differently, either by changing a design I’ve already made, or by creating a whole new idea. I really love it when people give me input and suggest change,” Ellis said.

“I’m always thinking of and creating new designs,” she added.
Ellis also enjoys riding horses, and was the first runner-up in the 2005 Canyonlands Rodeo royalty. Running for rodeo queen that year is when Ellis says she started to get serious about selling her cards.

“I had been making cards for family, friends, and acquaintances, and they all loved them,” she recalls, adding,. “But when I ran for rodeo queen in 2005, I realized I needed funding for traveling, costumes, horse maintenance, and other things. I set up a booth outside of City Market to see if I could raise money selling some of my cards.”

“While I was down there, a woman asked me if I would like to put some of my cards in her shop downtown and sell them,” Ellis added. “I got really excited about that, and made up a bunch of samples for her to order from. I thought, wow, if she likes my cards so much, then I bet more of the shops downtown would like to see my work. I traveled down Main Street with my catalog and soon had a variety of shops that wanted to carry my cards.”

Ellis, a 2006 graduate of Grand County High School, is currently getting ready to begin attending college this fall at the CEU extension campus in Blanding. She plans to major in early childhood development.

“I love working with children,” Ellis said, noting that she also works regularly as a babysitter. Ellis’ artistic abilities aren’t limited to the visual arts. She is also an accomplished singer, and has performed at wedding and other functions. She also won a karaoke contest at a local restaurant a couple of years ago.
Ellis’ favorite size of card to make is 4.25 inches by 5.5 inches, which allows her to create four cards from one standard 8.5 by 11 inch sheet of paper. “But I also make larger cards, if needed,” she says, noting that her fees go up as the cost of the materials increases. She generally uses double-sided tape to stick each of the cutout pieces to the card. In addition to using various types of paper, Ellis also utilizes a variety of three-dimensional objects on her cards, including metal decorations, string, ribbon, cloth, and other items to add texture and interest.

In addition to cards of all varieties, Ellis also creates family calendars, scrapbook pages, gift bags, plus mini-cards and gift tags. She also makes decorative “wirajigs” - custom shapes made out of twisted wire.

For more information about Ellis’ custom cards and other creations, contact her at 260-9663 or e-mail her at brittanyatgchs@yahoo.com.

 

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