7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #455: Featuring
Up-and-Coming Illustrator, Ellen Shi

h1 October 25th, 2015 by jules

(Click to enlarge)


It’s not the first Sunday of the month, which is when I tend to do my student-illustrator features here at 7-Imp, but I’ve been rather unorganized lately and haven’t done one in a while. So, why not today?

This morning I’ve got some artwork from Ellen Shi, who graduated in the Spring from RISD. Ellen has been an SCBWI scholarship recipient and has had work chosen for shows at the Society of Illustrators. I love the image above. Beautiful, yes? Just watch out for those wolves. Always.

Ellen tells us about herself and her work below, so let’s get to it. And I thank her for visiting.


(Click to enlarge)


Ellen: Hello! I’m Ellen.

I recently graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), majoring in Illustration, and I’m an aspiring children’s picture book illustrator.


(Click second image to enlarge)


I grew up in the great state of New Jersey with busy parents, so I spent most of my time in between bookshelves at the library, in front of a TV, and daydreaming about far off places and people. I love when certain elements—like color, shapes, texture, composition, and story—fit together perfectly. So, naturally I found my home in children’s books.

I work primarily and traditionally with acrylic, gouache, and colored pencils with some light digital editing. But I’ve been trying to figure out a way to transfer the way I work completely into Photoshop.



The first book I wrote and illustrated was in Senior year and is called Red Blue Hullabaloo [below]. It’s about two make-believe countries who don’t exactly see eye to eye. Here’s the text from the first page:

There once was a land called Arnavootloo, full of with people who dressed in the color blue, and right next to Arnavootloo was Kanakoosted, which was filled with people in red.

I’m hoping someone will like it enough to publish it!


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Right now, I am taking online classes to improve my foundation and technique, while working on building my portfolio. I’m also looking for jobs and an agents/artist rep.

I like to keep busy. If I could draw/paint every day for the rest of my life, I’d be the happiest person alive!

Thanks so much for featuring my work!


(Click each to enlarge)


All artwork used by permission of Ellen Shi.

* * *

Note for any new readers: 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks is a weekly meeting ground for taking some time to reflect on Seven(ish) Exceptionally Fabulous, Beautiful, Interesting, Hilarious, or Otherwise Positive Noteworthy Things from the past week, whether book-related or not, that happened to you. New kickers are always welcome.

* * * Jules’ Kicks * * *

1) My mother gave me my late brother’s beautiful guitar, the one he loved and played so often.

2) I got tickets for all the Danielsons to see Star Wars when it opens.

3) I got tickets for two of the Danielsons to see Laura Marling live in November.

4) Thoughtful gifts and notes from thoughtful friends.

5) My husband did some serious tech support work on the blog. Spam and spam-bots were tripping things up for me and making 7-Imp hiccup a lot, but it’s all fixed now.

6) Fargo, season two.

7) The free-month trial (speaking of television) of HBO Now. We’re such suckers, but there are oh-so many good things to see on there (including this very good mini-series).

What are YOUR kicks this week?

9 comments to “7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #455: Featuring
Up-and-Coming Illustrator, Ellen Shi”

  1. You all, comments were inadvertently closed for a while. I’m sorry if anyone tried to leave some and couldn’t. We’re trying to fix (as noted in my kicks) spam problems here, and somehow comments got closed for this post. ACK! All fixed now. I hope.

  2. Lovely interview! Ellen is a rare talent and I’m greatly looking forward to her future picture books.

    PS: There should be a an additional ring in Dante’s Inferno for spammers and such cyber parasites.

  3. Hello Imps

    Thanks for sharing Ellen’s lovely images. Those elephants are beautiful.

    Jules – Those sound like fun tickets. I am gun shy about the new Star Wars but my sister has already told me that we’re going.
    Hello to Antoine


    1. Walks in woods
    2. Owls
    3. Something called apple pie sangria
    4. Putting on costumes
    5. Coming into the homestretch for Inktober
    6. Sold some more mini sketches https://www.etsy.com/shop/atlanticmo?ref=hdr_shop_menu
    7. Getting excited to see the Original Art show at the Society of Illustrators this week.

    PS My daughter and I decided that if you want to decorate for fall, move to New England. We’ve got spiders, haunted looking houses, gourds and squashes of all kinds and leaves everywhere.

  4. The swingers in the snowfall is my favorite, Ellen. I wish you well on all your future projects. Thank you for sharing your work here today.

    Jules: Happy you all have some exciting events to attend in your future. I am sending you loads of love.

    My kicks:
    1. Rain
    2. Kind neighbors
    3. Wonderful new hair dresser
    4. Seeing a university production of Chorus Line
    5-7 Spending time with Xena

    Have a great week everyone!

  5. Hello Moira! I have enjoyed all the Inktober artwork! I wish I could see all the images at the Society of Illustrators this week. Heading over to your Etsy shop again. ☺

  6. Happy Sunday Imps!

    Love the scary but beautiful woods in the first illustration, and the swinging in the snowflakes is magical and fun, thanks so much for sharing Ellen!

    Jules – what a lovely gift from your mom. The upcoming outings for the Danielsons sound very fun. Thanks for the recommendation – had not seen that one yet.

    Hi Antoine!

    Moira – owls and walks in the woods sounds wonderful. What kind of owls? Hooray for selling mini-sketches!

    Margie – kind neighbors are the best. Daisy and I send greetings to Xena.

    My kicks this week:
    1) A happy Monday.
    2) Celebrating a work victory with wine and sushi.
    3) Busy work week.
    4) Actually having a completely clean house (for 1 day, anyway.)
    5) Friday night on the couch with Daisy and a movie.
    6) Halloween Birthday Party with SNL theme last night – I was Dooneese, hostess was Pat, lots of amazing costumes, fun people and karaoke.
    7) 11 pm soccer game after the party – we won.
    8 ) Waking up to pouring rain this morning – lovely sound, as we really need it.
    9) Cold rainy Sunday – time to bake and watch football.

    Have a wonderful Halloween filled week everyone!

  7. Thanks, Antoine, for telling me about Ellen’s work.

    Moira, kick no. 7 is especially exciting. Wish I could go with you.

    Margie: I looked at your name first and wondered who “Mar” was. I love it, though. I’m glad that you, like me and my oldest daughter, are a pluviophile.

    Rachel: More rain! As I already mentioned on FB, I wish I could go to an SNL-themed party. What a good week you had.

    Have a good week, all!

  8. You’re very welcome, and thank you to all the other commenters for saying hello—such a friendly place.

    Also, I gave the interview another read and, this time, caught your first kick of the week; it is a very touching tale.

    Kind regards from the East Coast.

  9. Ellen Shi’s image of Little Red Riding Hood and multiple wolves is BRILLIANT!

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