I created a segment via my YouTube channel where I wanted to focus on women in different areas of the creative field. I felt like this would be a great way to bring awareness that there are many people out there that deserve to be heard and overall just show appreciation to the women in the arts.
For my first interview, I wanted to shine a light on a dope artist coming from Chicago, IL named Ellie Rivera aka 10BagsofLemons. She is a visual artist that focuses on graphic design and illustration and her style is just overall intriguing to me. I was able to sit down with her and get an understanding about her and her artwork.
Lexii Dee - Can you briefly tell us who you are, where you’re from, etc.
Ellie - My name is Elizabeth but I go by Ellie. I was born and raised in Chicago (Humboldt Park area). I basically do graphic design, illustration, oil painting, etc.
LD - When did you realize creating was your calling?
E - When I was younger, I was into dancing and I would draw here and there but it would mostly be drawing of buildings. However, about a year and a half ago, I was at the lowest point in my life and something hit me where I just wanted to express myself. I started out doing self-portraits and ever since then, it became more of a story rather than just drawing portraits.
LD - Tell me about your brand 10BagsofLemons. How did you come up with the name and the purpose behind it?
E - When you think of a lemon, what comes to mind? It can be sweet, sour, refreshing, and detoxifying and that’s how I view women. We can be all of that. When you could include 10 bags of them, it’s just a whole lot of feminine power.
LD - How would you describe your art style?
E - I put myself in a graphic designing/illustrating category. My art is mostly based on women being sexual but being soft. If you take a look at my color palette, it’s supposed to make you feel like it’s a woman who did it. The message behind it is a little provocative, but it’s like I’m going to show you that I can be sexual but also be soft as well as showing you a little bit of the dark side to me.
LD - A recurring theme I noticed in your work is that it seems like you are your own muse. What made you want to do that?
E - I’m the person that I know the most. I don’t look for outside inspiration. I feel like nothing compares to what I see inside and what I fell for myself because nobody knows me as well as I know me. Whatever I put out there, nobody will know if it’s the truth or not but I will. As long as I know that, someone could relate to it. Everyone has their own truth.
LD - How did you embrace sharing such a precious part of your self with others? What was it like for you in the beginning to share your work until now?
E - I was a little scared because I didn’t know what people would think of me and it would make them look at me differently. A lot of people knew me as the girl that does styling or dresses nice and i went through a period where I was going through a depression stage. I disappeared from the scene and wouldn’t go out at all. I had to really look at myself. I’ve never been the person to be like “Hey! This is me and this is really what I do/am about.” At the same time, it’s like who cares. Sometimes I’m hesitant on what I put out but then again it’s like whatever.
LD - Would you say putting your work out there was clarifying for you and helped you get through the things you’ve dealt with?
E - Absolutely. That’s my number one therapy. My art is my therapy as is my love. Nothing comes above it.
LD - How important is it, to you, that femininity is essential in the creative field?
E - Everything needs a woman’s energy/perspective. It just creates a balance. A lot of men think with their ego; they think very straight minded. There’s many of them that don’t see both sides to anything. I feel like when a woman is brought into the equation, it helps with the way things are viewed and put together. Everything needs a woman’s touch.
LD - If you could tell your younger self or any younger girl that want to do what you do, what would you want them to know?
E - Look at yourself, believe in yourself, and be open. Don’t let people tell you what to do. Be careful on who you surround yourself with and look at the people that are doing or want to do what you want to to and gravitate towards them.
For more flavor like this follow Ellie Rivera at 10BagsOfLemons
Dinner Land Network - Lexiii Dee