One of Ella Grace Ivey’s favorite dresses is a shimmery purple one. With touches of magenta and gold and a tulle-like texture, it flares out as a whimsical and glowing party dress. But it’s not something she’s worn. This dress is one that she’s imagined and brought to life with watercolor.
These fashion sketches are just a part of many artistic endeavors for Ella Grace, a junior at Homewood High School. Along with her apparel designs, formal and casual, she does calligraphy, portraits, notecards, painting and sometimes combinations of each—all captured in posts on her She @studio.eg Instagram account.
“It’s my creative outlet,” Ella Grace says. “I’ve always been an artsy kind of person.” When she first started her Instagram account, she posted her doodles and explored with different techniques, and then in ninth grade she began telling more and more of her friends about the account and making new products.
Art helped her work through different anxieties that year. “That’s how I discovered my gift. It helped me relieve stress to paint and draw,” Ella Grace says. “People don’t know that ninth grade was rough for me, but I’m open about it because, in the end, everybody struggles.”
After she began posting more sketches and scripts, more people started following her and asking her to make things. She started off selling notecards and then did some individual projects, and everything grew from there. Although it all started with some of her friends asking her to write their names in cursive, Studio EG now has more than 700 followers interested in her designs.
Ella Grace’s talent covers a wide range of mediums and forms, but she sees them all connect with color. The vivid paint she uses bursts off the page, flowing and blending into other colors and bringing a cheer to her work. Whether it’s a fashion sketch or a calligraphy design, her work is happy, positive and bright.
As she explores new paints and techniques, Ella Grace’s also crafted her own vivid yet minimal style. “I’ve always been naturally able to play around with paint, but I’ve become simpler with it,” she says. “It’s more focused on the main subject.” When she does portraits, she focuses more on the essence of the person than the realistic details, like in the painting of Queen Elizabeth she gave her mom this past Christmas. She crafts the outline, and then lets her color do the rest.
With about three years of investing in this creative outlet, Ella Grace has gotten to do some big projects. She addressed wedding invitations for a family friend and created a banner for a neighbor’s Williams Syndrome fundraiser walk. “I feel honored that they asked me to do meaningful projects,” she says.
Ella Grace has also been able to show her work in a few art shows here and there. She first set up shop at one of Prodigal Pottery’s shows her freshman year, and her most recent one was the Sweet Peas Garden Shop show last fall. She’s always surprised by how many followers she’s gotten from her different projects.
Between cheer and show choir, school and college tours, Ella Grace spends her weekend free time on her art whenever she can. But, she is looking at making it a bigger part of her life in whatever college program she decides on. Right now, she’s looking at Auburn University’s graphic or apparel design departments, expanding her interest in her fashion sketches.
She’s never even taken an art class in school, but it’s something Ella Grace looks forward to pursuing. “I’ve always been known as a good artist, but I didn’t expect it to turn into something,” she says.
To see more of Ella Grace Ivey’s work, follow her on Instagram @studio.eg.
Ella Grace’s Favorites
Best dessert? The half-baked cookie at Urban Cookhouse
Go-to dinner spot? Pizzeria GM
Place to shop? Shoe Fly
Favorite color combination? Probably deep purples and blues with light golds and pinks.
Art-making tip? Don’t give up! No art is perfect, so don’t get discouraged if something doesn’t turn out the way you expect it to. That’s just where the real beauty in art is found!
Dream job? It’s pretty lofty, but probably working for Vogue or something!