ABOUT THE ARTIST
Hello there! I'm Danielle Marx, founder and illustrator of Ellie Design. Welcome to my little corner of the world!
My love of drawing is part of some of my earliest memories. In a way, it's always been a part of me. Same goes for living with Spina Bifida, which means I've spent most of my life in a wheelchair. But hold the sympathy! If there’s one thing I’ve learned about handicaps, it’s that we all have them in some form or another. I just don’t get to hide mine. Instead of letting it be what defines me, I’ve let it fuel my inner strength, passion and creativity.
I’ve always been active, pushing the boundaries since my youth. Before I could even drive a car (which I do with the help of hand controls), I was a dancer performing onstage across Ohio. I learned to swim using only my arms. I’ve been surfing on the San Diego coast. And I recently picked up downhill mono-skiing. And while I have loved each and every one of these experiences, none of them have given me as much of a thrill as putting pencil to paper and creating something new.
Life experience has taught me that creativity can turn nearly any obstacle into a joyful and rewarding experience. And my favorite outlet for creativity remains drawing and illustration. I honed my skills while getting a Bachelor of Art from Anderson University in South Carolina.
ABOUT THE ART
The mission of my artwork is to celebrate the strength, dignity, grace, and diversity of womanhood through illustrations of historical and modern fashion. I'm drawn to historical women's fashion because fashion is a statement about who we are and how we want the world to see us. And drawing it also gives me the chance to highlight some of the incredibly brave, strong, and courageous women who have come before me and paved the way so I can be independent. I often think about how different my life would be if I had been born 100 years ago. If I had survived birth, I would've been confined to my home, dependent on others to do almost everything for me, and unable to experience much of the world. And even if I wasn't born with a disability, I would still be dependent on a provider to have a home and not be completely destitute. What a terrible way to exist! But because of the people who have come before me, I've been able to live independently, travel, and have all kinds of adventures! History and fashion help me remember the people who's decisions made the world what it is today (for better or worse), and the impact I can have on future generations. And it doesn't hurt that the clothes are fabulous!
If you have any questions or comments, feel free to contact me. I’d love to hear from you! And if you want to see more of my artwork and some behind-the-scenes stuff, follow me on Instagram and Facebook.
ABOUT THE TOOLS
The majority of my drawings are done using either graphite pencil, or a combination of Prismacolor® Markers (artist-quality illustration markers), colored pencils, and Pigma Micron Archival Ink Pens on heavy duty drawing paper (called Bristol paper).
Graphite pencil drawing was my first introduction to art, and the thing that got me hooked. I have always been fascinated with the way they can be used to shade in different ways to mimic fabrics, textures, and facial features. Using them was my first experience in the joy of creating something from nothing - the realization that I had just created something that had never existed before is something I'll never forget, and is something I still feel to this day when I create a new illustration.
I first used Prismacolor® Markers in college for a pointillism project. But then I decided to try using them in my own way, and found that the way they blend and saturate the paper in sometimes vibrant, sometimes subtle ways was amazing. I was immediately struck with how much I loved them. I went on to do a whole series of drawings for my Senior Show using these amazing markers, and haven't stopped loving them since. As I've grown more and more comfortable with them, I've looked for other ways to use them and create even richer pieces, even researching other artists who use them to see their techniques. I found that creating a base layer with the markers, and then adding details with colored pencils creates a rich and vibrant affect.