Creative Space: Elle Battung
Elle Battung has a way with words, letters if we're being specific. She can do beautiful lettering—on walls, on paper, on cloth, on patches, and even on cookies. We get to know where she draws inspiration from, how she got into lettering, and what her big dream is for her art. Read on and get to know this lovely artist.
Introductions first. Who are you, how old are you, and what do you do?
I'm Elle Battung, I'm 25, and I'm a freelance illustrator/graphic designer. I also decorate cookies with my mom for Cuki @cukiconfections and I teach kids' art classes once a week.
What got you into art and what brought about your fascination for letters?
My parents both love art and encouraged all of our artsy pursuits. They also valued good handwriting and made sure my sisters and I practiced. Those were my favorite lessons, and I wrote in cursive as often as I could, but I still remember the first time I saw decorative lettering as something I could be good at. I think I was 10 and my mom brought home this book by Susan Branch called Christmas Joy and I fell totally in love and spent months upon months copying every single word out of that book, hoping I could one day write like her. I learned to love my own style, but I still adore Susan Branch.
You work with a lot of different mediums, but what's your favorite? Do you have a go-to store for supplies?
My favorite medium is whatever I'm working on at the moment! Right now I'm in a sewing phase and want to embroider flowers on everything. My go-to store for supplies is my mom's storeroom. There's always something I can use there, haha! If I have to get something new, I'll go to National Book Store for art supplies or the thrift store for interesting fabric. Sometimes I buy from Craft Central or Scribe.
When is the best part of the day for creating?
I always get ideas very late, and can't go to sleep until I've started on it and gotten it out of my system. I like working in the dead of night, when everyone's asleep. I'll be up cutting paper until I hear the birds.
Do you have a memorable project that you'd like to share?
Painting a whole book of words on the wall at Restock Cafe was definitely a milestone for me. It was the first time I'd ever painted anything of that scale. It was so fun being surrounded by coffee smells all day and talking about art with people who came by, and I liked climbing up and down ladders. I didn't even mind having people watch me while I worked, which I usually can't stand! After that project all the mural commissions started, which are so fun for me and I'm super thankful for that first gig.
What is your dream project or who would you love to collaborate with?
My dream project would be a large-scale paper art show that people could walk through, and maybe a pop-up book version, too. I'd also love to do a series of floral illustrations, that showcase our own local plants and flowers. I've had this on the back burner forever but I really should get to it! I would love to collaborate with Rob Ryan. He was the person who inspired my paper cut romance and I love the writing he includes in his pieces as well.
Who do you follow on Instagram for inspiration?
I follow way too many people! I go on following sprees depending on what I'm obsessed with at the moment (which right now is natural dyeing). But a few lettering favorites would be @caseyligon, @foxandflourish, @homsweethom, @alimakesthings, @feasting, and @annariflebond. Seeing what they make always makes me want to make, too. Locally I love @othersashas, @punziella, @kittyjardenil and @mikaberatio!
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