Conservation Biology, Illustration

Ivory on her throne

Blessed are those who conquer the natural world.

"Ivory on her throne" (Arlene Ellis, 2014)

“Ivory on her throne” (Arlene Ellis, 2014)

Cynthia Moss, who runs the Amboseli Trust for Elephants, in Kenya, has been studying and protecting elephants since 1968. She says she’s “heard these same arguments forever…”

Moss sees firsthand the impact a death of an elephant has on the survivors, especially the death of a female. “The killing of a female is probably more devastating for other individual elephants because they live in tight knit families. In Amboseli, you’ll see a family of 20 individuals—grandmothers, mothers, nieces, cousins, sisters. They stay in the family their whole lives and are very bonded.”

When a female is killed, the repercussions can last a very long time, Moss says. If the mother of a three- or four-year-old calf is killed, the calf will die. The survival rate of elephants up to 20 years old is even compromised if their mother is hunted. And if a matriarch is shot, “it’s absolutely devastating. It will have ramifications for years.”

Moss says that over her decades of work she has never once been persuaded by any of the arguments in favor of sport hunting. “The loss of an elephant is a tragedy,” she says. “And killing an elephant or any other animal for fun is abhorrent.” 

-National Geographic

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Illustration, Life Lessons, Textile Design, Work In Progress

So this is what my subconscious comes up with after listening to Alan Watts lecture about our brains, the universe, reality, God…

Inspired by eastern art and philosophy…

Just an internal conversation…

Converse Neuronal Bling (Arlene Ellis, 2014)

Converse Neuronal Bling (Arlene Ellis, 2014)

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Illustration, Science, Work In Progress

What inspires a drawing?

"Chronic Ambitions" (Illustrated by Arlene Ellis, 2013)

“Chronic Ambitions” (Illustrated by Arlene Ellis, 2013).
8×6

What inspires a drawing? For me, it usually begins with a need to release some baggage that threatens to slow down my day. First a voice whispers, “I must draw something.” Then an objection arises, “but what are you going to draw?” And finally a stubborn retort, “I don’t know! But if I don’t, the desire will stalk my thoughts. I will see sinuous lines where no lines exist, shadows where there should be highlights, reds where you know there should be greens!” Then I dive into a sea of images, images that seem to infect the wallpapers lining my dreams. I bring them into focus. I introduce them to each other and let them mingle. Finally, I set the mood with some music and record them dancing.

"WIP Chronic Ambitions" (Illustrated by Arlene Ellis, 2013)

“WIP Chronic Ambitions” (Illustrated by Arlene Ellis, 2013).
8×6

"WIP Chronic Ambitions" (Illustrated by Arlene Ellis, 2013)

“WIP Chronic Ambitions” (Illustrated by Arlene Ellis, 2013).
8×6

“The venom of the lionfish, delivered via an array of up to 18 needle-like dorsal fins, is purely defensive. It relies on camouflage and lightning-fast reflexes to capture prey, mainly fish and shrimp. A sting from a lionfish is extremely painful to humans and can cause nausea and breathing difficulties, but is rarely fatal.” -National Geographic

"Chronic Ambitions" (Illustrated by Arlene Ellis, 2013)

“Chronic Ambitions” (Illustrated by Arlene Ellis, 2013).
8×6

"Chronic Ambitions" (Illustrated by Arlene Ellis, 2013)

“Chronic Ambitions” (Illustrated by Arlene Ellis, 2013).
8×6

 

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Commissions, Sustainable Design, Textile Design

I designed lungs for Hank and Cupcakes!

"See Through" Lung illustration by Arlene Ellis for Hank and Cupcakes

“See Through” Lung illustration by Arlene Ellis. Commissioned by the band Hank and Cupcakes for a t-shirt design. (For women.)

I recently completed a collaboration the adrenaline-inducing band called Hank and Cupcakes. You really need to check out their live shows. They’re amazing! The band really liked my lung illustration “I breathe patterns”, which featured a cross-species tapestry of organic patterns encased in the shape of lungs. They asked if I could design a set of lungs for one of their t-shirts. In keeping with my artistic theme of showing an interrelationship among all species, I illustrated lungs composed of seahorses, beetles, octopus tentacles, and polyps. We named the design “See Through,” which is one of the songs off their new ‘Naked’ Album.

T-shirt manufacturer: Alternative Apparel (check out their commitment to social responsibility)

If you’re interested in commissioning an illustration, contact me at Organic.Lyricism@gmail.com!

"See Through" Lung illustration by Arlene Ellis for Hank and Cupcakes

“See Through” Lung illustration by Arlene Ellis. Commissioned by the band Hank and Cupcakes for a t-shirt design. (For men.)

"See Through" Lung illustration by Arlene Ellis for Hank and Cupcakes

“See Through” Lung illustration by Arlene Ellis. Commissioned by the band Hank and Cupcakes for a t-shirt design.

"See Through" Lung illustration by Arlene Ellis for Hank and Cupcakes

“See Through” Lung illustration by Arlene Ellis. Commissioned by the band Hank and Cupcakes for a t-shirt design.

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