ArtCenter: What are you working on right now?
Ellen November (BFA 73 Illustration) fiber artist, curator of the upcoming exhibition Mapping Out: I’m doing work around Gun Sense using an aerial view of Virginia City Municipal Center overlaid with a gun to pay homage to the 12 city workers who lost their lives to gun violence. I’ll also be doing a piece featuring <Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., with the same homage.
AC: What’s the most unique thing you’ve designed?
EN: My most unique piece is called House of Guns, a replica of the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. made up of automatic weapons. The piece speaks to the refusal of Congress to bring gun sense laws to the floor for discussion and was part of a show called Threads of Resistance, which toured the U.S. for two years.
AC: How do you define success?
EN: Success is when an idea I have resonates with the viewer. No explanation is needed. Success is also the engaged feeling I have while working in my studio.
Don’t feel the need to conform to someone else’s style or idea of what your form of expression should take or should look like.
AC: Do you have any superstitions?
EN: Not really, but I think people can try to put a curse on you.
AC: What’s the design cliché you’re most tempted to use?
EN: I try not to be too obvious.
AC: What’s the one tool you can’t do without?
EN: My sewing machine.
AC: What’s the first site you look at when you open your computer in the morning?
AC: Where do you go (online or offline) when you’re taking a break?
AC: What do you do to detox from media and screens?
EN: Hand-sewing or digital jigsaw puzzles.
AC: If you could trade jobs with anyone for a day who would it be?
AC: What book is on your bedside table?
EN: Becoming by Michelle Obama.
AC: Describe a moment in your childhood where you first identified as a designer.
EN: Third grade. I knew that if I concentrated very hard, I could create a terrific drawing.
AC: If you could have a superpower, what would it be?
Submit the Alumni Q&A questionnaire to share your story. We want to hear about your accomplishments, what you're working on and your advice for future ArtCenter students.
AC: What’s your most irrational or rational fear?
EN: Rational: heights; Irrational: living inside an M.C. Escher drawing.
AC: What’s your most prized possession?
EN: A bowl I brought back from South Africa that depicts mothers and children in 3D.
AC: Where is your happy place?
EN: My sofa.
AC: How would your closest friend describe you?
EN: Interesting and entertaining.
AC: What’s your best piece of advice for an ArtCenter student who’s interested in following your career path?
EN: Be true to yourself and your own style. Don’t feel the need to conform to someone else’s style or idea of what your form of expression should take or should look like.