#LivesOfArtists…With Ella Walker
What time do you wake up?
I wake up around 8am.
What do you eat for breakfast?
Fruit and coffee.
Describe where you produce your work, and why you chose that space.
I make work at my studio, which I share with my partner, Nathan. I choose to work at this space for a few reasons: My studio is in Clapton which is a short commute from my house in Hackney. The studio building is an industrial unit, which means the ceilings are very high, allowing me to work on a large scale. I enjoy the space most for its large south facing windows which allow good natural light throughout the day.
Do you have a particular daily routine that helps you work?
I wake up and go to the studio, there I eat breakfast and drink coffee, I set the radio. In the morning, I will warm up with small studies and move on to large works in the afternoon. I have multiple works ongoing at the same time – this stops me from getting stuck on one work and allows the work to develop as a series.
Where do you go for your creative sparks?
Art books, magazine clippings, YouTube videos, podcasts.
What are you currently working on?
I am continuing to work on small paintings on paper. These works are ongoing and often become studies for larger paintings. I have a few large pieces on canvas on the go too.
What do you do when you need to reset your mind?
Jogging along the canal in East London. Reading. Watching a Fellini film.
Who was your most important mentor or inspiration?
I don’t have a mentor but I have been lucky to have had support from my peers and other artists that I admire. In my work, I get inspiration from art history, cartoons, films, fairy tales, poetry, stories from my childhood, and theatre.
Who do you speak to when you need a second opinion or who gives the best feedback?
When I am painting, my partner Nathan gives me the best feedback. Sometime his feedback is very direct and I don’t always agree, however, our discussion always provides new insight into the work. I appreciate our countless conversations about our art and life.
What’s the best advice you have ever been given?
My dad gives me the best advice about working hard and being resilient.
If you weren’t an artist what would you do?
In my dreams, I would be a performer of some kind, maybe an acrobat or mime artist.
How do you switch off from work in the evening?
Not look at my phone, read, prepare a nice meal.
What book are you reading right now?
Angela Carter, Fireworks: Nine Profane Pieces.
Who is the other artist working today that you most admire?
There are so many more than this but here are a few: Lisa Brice, Sanya Kantarovsky, Kris Lemsalu, Lucy Stein, Cindy Sherman, Karen Kilimnik, Monster Chetwynd, Cecilia Vicuña.
If you could have lunch with any artist from across time, who would it be and why?
Giotto, I would love to hear about daily life in the late middle ages and to talk about the Arena Chapel frescoes.
What are you most proud of in your career?
My career is young, so I’m always looking forward and hoping to keep developing my work. I am so grateful for all the help I have received so far and I am very proud of my first solo exhibition Cosmati Floor and Wax Fruit at Huxley-Parlour.