Perhaps one of the most intriguing and mesmerizing qualities of an artists’ spirit is the ability to see the world in a completely different light. Through their eyes, everything is art—be it the right light bouncing of a brick or trash squished into a storm drain. Take a look at how the talented Ellen Rutt sees everything around her through the lens of her instagram account.
Based out of the ever offbeat Detroit, the murals and graffiti splashed around this colorful city filled her with a love for art that fully encompasses the viewer. Ellen works on a large scale quite often. Take a look at a few of her past projects here.
I got to watch as Ellen sprayed a few finishing touches onto this bewitching mural. Active lines dance around the surface with colors abuzz, inspired by a clipping from Life magazine published in the 1940’s. This piece sits in the middle of the Eastern Market District, accompanied by many other murals and giants works.
Tips for Mural Painting from Ellen Rutt:
- Give yourself at least twice as much time to paint it as you think.
2. It might look dorky but always have a headlamp, a work belt, and a respirator. If you’re really in the zone and it gets dark, a headlamp allows you to keep working, the work belt keeps you from constantly going up and down ladders unnecessarily, and the respirator is just good to have whenever you use aerosols.
3. Ask people to help you. It’s super fun to work with other people and it’s way easier to carry ladders and big buckets of paint with more than one person.
4. Sketch it out ahead of time. If you plan ahead in the beginning, it will get easier to improvise later on.
5. Get comfortable with the idea of peeing outside. It’s actually super fun.
6. Also BRING RAGS!!!!! LOTS OF RAGS. If you are clumsy like me, you will inevitably spill paint, or step in it, or just somehow get it on your face.
A word of advice from Ellen to other young women hoping to get out there and leave mark on their community:
“Just go out and do it! Start small, maybe paint a wooden fence, or see if a neighbor will let you paint their garage door. Once you get one project under your belt, it’s much easier to approach people and propose something larger. Plus, you will learn soooo much after the first time.”