This week's featured artist Ellie Szymanska-Saleem of Artwork by Ellie, creates delightful images of pets and animals. Ellie is a proud, "Cat Momma," a children's book illustrator and a pet portrait artist based out of Dubai. Her soft, sweet style makes one feel as though they are actually petting the fur of the animals she is capturing in her work.
I have always been drawn to animals. I've been painting and creating all kinds of critters since I was a child - horses, cats and dogs... snails and spiders. I love them all! My cats and bunny continuously inspire me to create more art.
I mostly do digital art now on my good ol' Wacom tablet ( a Wacom tablet allows an artist to draw with a pen onto a tablet and the drawing is immediately seen on the computer screen). I love how it lets me mimic traditional art. Having many pets and limited space makes it the most convenient medium to use.
I've always had cats growing up, two of which are still alive and well, living with my parents. When I left the family home and got married, I really wanted a cat of my own, but my husband wasn't too convinced. We settled on a rabbit at first and that's how we got our ditzy bunny, Schnuffel. A few months after we got Schnuffel, I saw an ad for the cutest Persian kittens that needed new homes and I started pestering my husband for a cat again. He agreed (albeit reluctantly) and that's how we got Tipper. Tipper is the one who started it all. My husband fell in love with him instantly. Next year we adopted Simon, an adult cat with a foggy eye, from a local animal rescue group called the bin kitty collective. But I somehow knew that it wouldn't just end at two. Fast forward 5 months and I came across an ad through the same rescue group for three kittens that were found abandoned in an apartment. This is how we got our Yuki. During the summer of 2015 we got our youngest two cat-kids, Elsa and Lenny. To me, they’re not just pets but much much more and I wouldn’t be able to picture my life without them.
I’ve been doodling for as long as I can remember. Art is something that I’d always come back to no matter how busy I was in life. It has a soothing effect on me. However, I only started taking it seriously in 2014. I make it a point to draw something everyday.
Hachiko: A Dog’s Tale, The Lion King and 101 Dalmations.
One word: LOVE. I think it all starts with animals. I don’t think one can love humans and hate animals, and vice versa. Our humanity starts with them.
This constantly changes. I sometimes finish a piece and think that it’s one of my best only to start noticing flaws in it a few days later. It can be frustrating at times but I think it’s something most artists can relate to.
You can find Ellie online at:
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