Brighton Creatives caught up with pet portrait artist Finnley Elliott and asked her a few questions about why she does what she does, enjoy!
Good afternoon Finnley, how you doing today? Can you please tell us a little about yourself?
Hello! I am very well thank you! People are often surprised when they first meet me to discover I am in fact a girl! My parents liked the name so much they decided it didn’t matter whether I was a girl or a boy, although they changed the spelling slightly to make it more feminine. I am originally from Fittleworth, a little village in West Sussex. I studied at Camberwell University of Arts London and lived in the city for 5 years. When I left uni I was very frustrated as I was doing jobs I hated just to be able to afford the rent and had no time to make art! I decided to move back to Sussex so I could focus on my creative projects. I’m currently based in Brighton and love it here. It’s full of friendly, creative, dog loving people.
You paint and draw pet pawtraits, what made you start drawing loveable pets and how rewarding do you find it?
My Pawtraits happened completely organically around two years ago. I decided to paint my friend’s cat for her as a birthday present. When I saw how happy she was when I revealed her gift, I thought that painting pets may have some potential. I’ve always loved animals (especially dogs) so it completely made sense that I should combine that with my art. I set up an Instagram (@finnleyelliottpawtraits) at the end of 2014 and I haven’t stopped painting since. It is incredibly rewarding as I get so many lovely messages from happy customers who are genuinely thrilled with the likeness I managed to achieve. Who wouldn’t want to paint pets all day?!
How do you find your commissions?
I’ve been very lucky to of had a constant stream of interest and orders since I started. Most of my business comes from customer recommendations or social media. Instagram has been a massive help to me, it’s an incredible tool and has connected me with customers all over the world. I have orders from Canada, America, Australia even Japan!
In addition to pet portraiture, what else do you turn your hand to?
I really enjoy working in pencil as I actually studied Fine Art Drawing at University, so when I’m not painting pets, my subject matter tends to be mountains. I spend hours intricately drawing magnified sections of them, with the end result looking abstract or otherworldly rather than a simple landscape. I’m also currently working on some paintings of Staffordshire Figures for a series of prints I’m planning.
What advice has influenced you that you’d like to pass on?
Don’t get disheartened if your not noticed straight away keep going and learn from your mistakes.
What’s in store for the future, what can we hope to see from Finnley Elliott?
My main aim for the coming year is to collaborate with more brands or another artist. I’m working on developing a series of products and taking part in some pop up exhibitions and fairs around Brighton. Hopefully it’ll continue to go from strength to strength!
Can we take a peak at your workspace?
You certainly can! I’m lucky as at the moment as I have a home studio. I’d describe my workspace as a continuation of my paintings lots of pastel, cute things and pretty patterns! I have my paintings dotted around and I’m a massive collector so it’s filled with all sorts of odd things bird cages or nests, cacti, animal skulls, things that inspire me and make me happy to look at.
Twitter : @finnleyelliott
Facebook : @finnleyelliottpawtraits
Instagram : @finnleyelliottpawtraits
Website : www.finnleyelliott.co.uk