26 January 2012

A Conversation with Lizzie/Ella of ellaQuaint

Who is ellaQuaint?

Lizzie / Ella Thomas

What’s your “handmade groove ?”

Paintings, Illustrations, Collages, Papery-things

What’s on your bedside table right now? (hey, no tidying up or censoring)

Alarm clock (:P), coffee cup rings, filigree lamp, a Michael Harrison print, a pile of books I have started (but not finished) an embroidered vintage handbag ( my Grannie's), a little kete made by a friend, a bowed clutch purse I got in Vietnam

Who are your creative role models? What music, books, images, poetry spark your creative fire?

I love looking through contemporary art and illustration books and magazines, craft magazines and blogs. Nature and animal based articles, etc; Pictures, pictures and pictures! I would list favourite artists and designers but I have far too many.

Music is such a biggie when it comes to getting into the old creative zone;lately I have been thrashing Feist, Florence and Lykkie Li. There seems to be a pattern there, girlie music you can howl along to.

Getting out amongst nature is also a goodie for getting inspired, even when the weather is feral it is such a great way to blast the cobwebs out of the old grey matter. I am lucky to live in Mt Eden so that is always a convenient urban nature fix.

What could you talk late into the night about with like minded people?

Art, design, nature,the state of the world, travel, activism, swapping embarrassing stories or just talking utter rubbish as you do after a glass of wine or so.

If you could go to three free workshops/creative events this year which ones would they be? What are they about?

Semi permanent; it's an interesting design symposium/workshop that I have yet to attend.

I would also love to do a course on ceramics or one on how to do encaustic painting. A business management course is probably what I should look into but I doubt it would be visually interesting.

How do you balance your creative life with your family, life commitments?

Ummm that is a work in progress . . . I am a lot better than I used to be. This year still involved a lot of juggling; night class,relief work and part-time teaching, as well as ellaQuaintness.

What is your favourite creative screw-up?

I have a lot of favourite 'accidents'. One is a crazy eyed toutouwai painting that I started years ago and decided that I liked him so much in his under painted state that I didn't want to finish him.

Kitchen table or studio?

I resort to my table when my studio / bat cave gets too messy (I also store bikes and other toys in there). At the moment there is enough order for me to be able to work again in my creative space and I love it.

Do you have a wish list? Can you tell us what’s on it?

To have an even more productive year than this last year while maintaining that work / life balance.

To be less squirrely.


To take more creative risks.

For Denniston plateau to be left untouched and for the government to respect the fact that we don't want deep sea oil drilling in our precious waters and . . . I had best not get started.

You can find ellaQuaint products ... here and here
And follow on Facebook .. here


  1. What an absolutely delightful read! And I have had the pleasure of meeting the talented lovely artist herself on several occasions. :) Thank you for sharing this with us! Your work is truly beautiful.

  2. I am a fan of Bird life, and your art work Lizzie is really lovely, cheers Marie


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