In this video series I share tips, ideas, stories, places and experiences with you that will inspire you to live a creative life. You can follow along with my series here on my YouTube Channel. Be sure to subscribe while you're there so you get notified as I publish new videos about art and design.
I thought I would do this so that you could learn a little bit more about me and kind of understand why I do all the things that I do. So first, my name is Ellie McIntosh, and I am an artist and designer. I have been pretty much doing art for the last, probably 15-16 years in various forms. I started out as a sculptor, and then in early college I took a painting class, and I just fell in love with painting. I sort of married those two things. I still do mixed media and incorporate some of the mediums that I used to use. Later, I decided I wanted to have more control over the spaces that I was painting murals in or my artwork was hanging in, so I decided to enroll in college. I had a passion my entire life for architecture.
So I enrolled in the Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design, and I learned so many things there that I really apply to design in many ways. So when people ask me, "What do you do?" I usually say, "I'm a designer." And what I mean by that is I design so many different things that it's hard for me to really categorize what it is that I do. Something, I always get stumped on when people ask me.
So I approached my design career a little differently than a lot of interior designers do, in that I really think of space and its functionality from both an artistic perspective. I think I have sort of a unique perspective on space because I grew up with a brother with disabilities, and I also grew up, spent my summers at the family farm, which I live in now. My grandparents were both pretty tall, so all the things in the house were built to their specifications. So early in life, I really learned about space and the function of space differently than maybe most people would have approached it.
I also grew up in a family that had a deep appreciation for art. So there's something that was ingrained in me early on; our house was filled with art, growing up, both at the farm and other family members' houses when I was growing up. My Aunt Kathy, who I never knew, was an incredible artist and it's kind of funny though, I've never met her, I have a lot of traits that are similar to her. So in those early years, I really started to embrace art and design, not realizing that there was such a connection that was happening.
Not long after I graduated with my design degree, I ended up being diagnosed with cancer. At that time, it was really challenging for me because all that creative-ness that was just ingrained in me, suddenly disappeared when I was going through chemo, and I found that the only way to bring back the creativity was to start painting. I didn't care what it was. I was just gonna start painting even if it was terrible, and it really taught me a valuable lesson; that sometimes you just have to get started. So I started painting a large mural, and I call it The Menagerie. And this piece, I'll kinda share with you at the end of this video and tell you a little bit more about it, really helped transform me. It was a piece that all of a sudden, by the time I finished it, I had so much creative energy happening I almost couldn't contain it.
As a young person, I did not really learn how important it is to be in the moment, to be connected to whatever it is that's happening and not be too forward thinking. You still have to be forward thinking, but having those connections. So this series that I'm going to record is really going to go through all of those things that are important to me that I found helped me connect to my creativity. And whether you're an artist, or a banker, or you just like looking at art, any type of field that you're in, creativity is something that can be part of your life, whether you're creating something or not. And I think that having that connection to creativity is really a key to feeling a sense of fulfillment. So everything that I share in this series is going to connect with that but it's all gonna be different. It may be art that I'm creating. I might be talking about design things. I might just be talking about the environments that I'm in and what they do to inspire me, or some of the things that I just do regularly to be creative.
I will start by saying that the first thing I do in the morning is have a cup of coffee; one, so I can wake up, but I always take a little bit of time every morning to just get that creative time flowing. I make my to-do list, so I get that linear part of my brain off my list, and I'm able to really connect with what I need to do for the day.
I hope that you will like this series, and I hope that it will bring you a sense of fulfillment, and if nothing else, a fun way to start your day. And I look forward to sharing more with you. Here's a little bit more about the piece that I used to transform throughout my healing process with chemo, and what really brought me into this new way of living.
The Menagerie is a piece that really has kind of like a secret garden look to it, that I worked on when I was sick. And you can see that I kinda spread the canvas out on my garage floor, so that I could stretch and use my arms and rebuild my strength. And once I finished it became like a center piece for my house, and I ended up hanging it in the section of my stairwell that had this big empty wall. And it made for a great place for me to reflect every morning when I came downstairs. For more videos and inspiration for living a creative life, you can click or subscribe below. And you can also come over to my website at www.elliemac.us.com and look at all the fun, exciting things that I'm working on, take a workshop with me, commission a painting, or work on a really fun design project with me.