You are never too young to follow your dreams. Ella Wingate is an example of just that. As a 17-year-old artist, she has already received recognition for her work. In March 2021, one of her pieces was selected to be displayed at the Blanton Art Museum in Austin.
The Texas Art Education Association holds an annual Youth Art Month where several young artists all over Texas have a chance of getting one of their pieces put on the exhibit. Not only was her artwork showcased in a major museum, but Ella’s submitted piece ended up being chosen by the Office of the First Lady of Texas to be part of the 2021 Governor’s Gallery.
Ella’s exploration into art began with painting and drawing as a child. The summer before her freshman year of high school, she tried out painting for the first time and created a colorful piece that she was very proud of. Afterward, she started studying art more seriously.
Today, painting has become Ella’s preferred medium for art, specifically special slow-dry acrylic paint. Recently, she has also been exploring the world of digital art. The piece that was displayed at the Blanton Art Museum was created digitally.
Ella draws her inspiration from Françoise Nielly and Kildren. Nielly is a French knife-painter whose works exhibit a vibrant and colorful image of close-up portraits taken at various angles. Kildren, on the other hand, is a Korean visual artist whose primary medium is digital and whose works focus on adding contrasting elements, such as brightly colored doodles, to his work.
“Most of their paintings focus on portraits, but really unique and creative portraits using different textures and elements that create these amazing pieces,” Ella said. “I love detailed works, so I hope that people can look at my art and really observe the details that I put into it. I take such joy in adding in such small details like an eyelash or a sparkle on a jewel.”
Many of Ella’s ideas for pieces come out of nowhere. She will make a note on her phone of specific colors or concepts she wants to pursue further. After the initial idea, she does deeper research. Photos, magazines, and small everyday items are all used as inspiration for her next piece.
“I usually juxtapose a portrait along with somewhat random yet elegant objects or creatures,” she explained. “I do like to incorporate a lot of flowers, birds, and butterflies in my work.”
Now, in her last semester at Lamar Academy, Ella is continuing to move forward. She is currently waiting for her college acceptance letters to arrive but has decided to major in fine arts. Whichever college she goes to, her art will continue to be a major factor in the decisions about her future.