Ellen Rutt is an artist in every sense of the word. Her artwork takes many forms: from paintings and murals to installations and wearable art. All made with her distinct artistic voice – a mixture of primary colors and layered abstract shapes.
“Honestly, I always wanted to be an artist but it somehow felt like an impossible dream,” she admitted in an interview with Playground Detroit. “It wasn’t until I worked at a big agency in a windowless cubicle designing ads for shit that people don’t need and perpetuating a culture of needless consumption that I realized I would rather fail at being an artist than succeed in advertising.”
That realization and discomfort gave her the motivation she needed to commit to her art practice. “I wanted to quit right then and there but instead worked tirelessly during every hour spent outside of that cubical until I was able to support myself independently,” she says.
She has since exhibited her multi-layered work at MOCAD, PLAYGROUND DETROIT, Red Bull Arts Detroit, Heron Arts, and has painted murals are featured in cities like Detroit, New York, Chicago, Canada, and France. She also amassed quite a fan base on Instagram, with more than 30k followers and counting.
“Art feels like my whole life because through art I am able to envision a world that doesn’t yet exist,” Rutt says. “I’ll admit I am not great at the work/life balance and if an artist’s job is to notice, if you’re awake, you’re on the clock.”
We highly recommend you follow her progress on her Instagram page (and elsewhere).