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Posted on Jul 05, 2018

Q&A with Elesq

"I’ve always used art as a kind of refuge from anxiety and a tendency to overthink. In breaking down certain emotions and reconstructing them on a page, I find myself less intimidated by them."

Elliana, who goes by L, is a traditional and digital artist from North Carolina. Peep her Instagram page @elesq (pronounced ELL-ÉSK, emphasis on the second syllable) and you'll see that her work is both gentle and thought-provoking all at once. The fine lines and repetition result in pieces that are both peaceful and full of movement.

Tattoo design is no new feat for the 21-year-old artist, who sends her social media followers tattoo designs for $10. Get to know the artist below and be sure to check out her full inkbox collection.


How would you describe your art?

I’ve always had a hard time describing my own art. These days, I’ve settled referring to it as minimalist linework with elements of surrealism ... But that’s a bit of a mouthful, don’t you think?


When did you first consider yourself an artist?

Despite art being my full time career for a few years now, I didn’t have the confidence to call myself an artist until recently. I think this self-doubt is something a lot of artists struggle with. We know that there is a difference between making art and being an artist, however it isn’t easy seeing when you’ve made that transition yourself.


How has your art developed over time?

My style hasn’t changed much since I was a kid. I hated coloring books and preferred to draw my own line art with pens, rarely ever filling them in with colors. However, it wasn’t until high school that I truly settled into the style I have now. Since then, I’ve gotten more comfortable with mixing mediums; copic markers, construction paper, pressed flowers, and occassionally watercolors ... when I’m not feeling too lazy. (Haha)


A lot of your drawings seem to focus on peoples’ heads/minds - what’s the meaning behind this?

I’ve always used art as a kind of refuge from anxiety and a tendency to overthink. In breaking down certain emotions and reconstructing them on a page, I find myself less intimidated by them. Plus, as someone who’s a little more head over heart, I tend to gravitate toward issues of the mind rather than focus on emotions that may only serve as distractions. I think this is probably why so many of my subjects are mind/head related.


We see that you offer tattoo designs for $10 on Instagram, why did you want to do this for people?

I love the idea of people connecting with my art enough to get it tattooed. I used to charge nothing for people to get a drawing of mine done, and would only ask that they show their support by purchasing something small from my shop if they’re able (ie. a sticker, $5 post card, etc). Unfortunately, I had to add a mandatory $10 fee recently due to the overwhelming amount of people who failed to follow through. Of course, I try not to be bitter about it. It happens to every artist, I’m sure.



Is there anything specific you consider when creating a tattoo design for someone?

Placement is always important. The shape, style, and flow of a piece really depend on where the client wants it to be located. In addition to that, I like to keep my designs relatively simple, and try to avoid shading or anything else I may find distracting to the design’s central message.


How does it feel to know your art will be on someone’s body permanently?

It’s an incredible feeling knowing that something you’ve made will stay with another human being for the rest of their life. No higher form of flattery comes to mind.


Do you have any tattoos yourself?

I have four tattoos, though if I had the money for it I’m sure I’d be covered in them. Three of my tattoos were done by professionals and one is a stick and poke I (drunkenly) gave myself one night. (Would not recommend, haha)


Check out L's Instagram to see more of her artwork and check out her inkbox collection here.