Monday Funday: Signs by Chris Ballas

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Sign maker Chris Ballas‘ art show during First Friday Santa Cruz earlier this month reminded me of two things – all the signage I saw cruising around town on my bike as a kid and a list of my adult vices including beer and tattoos. Adorning the walls of Rosie McCann’s Irish Pub & Restaurant were hand painted signs from the young artist who values traditional hand lettering technique and exudes old school style.

Merging art and function, Ballas’ work is clean, simple, and approachable. His art showcases an attention to detail and honors classic craftsmanship. Not overworked nor complicated, his pieces are much more literal and still playful. With such a clear and creative point of view, Ballas is definitely an artist to keep an eye on!

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Hump Day Hot Seat: Sophie Elliot

Fresh Friday Finds alum and Philly based artist Sophie Elliot is in the Hump Day Hot Seat today. Get to know more about this family oriented mixed media artist as she answers questions provided by Finch & Ada. Don’t forget to check out Sophie’s artwork currently displayed at two Mugshots Coffeehouse locations through July 1st. Thanks for stopping by today, Sophie!

Sophie

Photo courtesy of Sophie Elliot

1. Who are you?

I am a fun, friendly, and feisty artist living in Philadelphia… better known as Sophie.

2. What do you do?

Currently, I am living in the Museum District in the lovely city of Philadelphia. I work as a sales associate part time and am a freelance artist every chance I get! I love going on new adventures in the city with friends and am positively influenced by the brilliant artistic scene that most would refer to as the society of the “starving artist”… ALWAYS hungry for new inspiration.

3. When/Where/How did you get your start?

At the age of nineteen, I was headed into Manhattan to begin my schooling as an Interior Designer at The Fashion Institute. While there, I was accidentally placed in an advanced Fine Arts drawing course. This is where I soon realized my passion for drawing and the wonders of impressionism. After only a year at FIT, I moved to New Jersey to study at Mercer County Community College where I would gather all my foundation courses and move on to my studies at Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia. Between my course work at Tyler and attending the Community College in Philadelphia I gained a well rounded understanding and appreciation for the arts and what they have to offer me…. and yes, that is four schools in four years (ha-ha) with a degree in Art and Design.

4. How long have you been at it?

I have been studying art since 2008 but have been creative and artistic since I was a little girl.

5. What is the most important thing we should know about you?

I am extremely caring and have a wonderful sense of humor. My art reflects who I am and the beauty I see in the world. I focus on shapes such as silhouettes but intertwine underlying complexities in the simplest of forms. I have been referred to as an old soul, but lets be honest… any old soul has it’s new visions. It’s what you do with those visions that matter.

6. Is there anyone else in your field that you particularly admire?

I admire my mother who is a writer. She has taught me the power of thought and the true depth of emotion.

7. What other types of art are you in to?

I love all aspects of art! I am envious of all performing artists – their courage and discipline is something to admire.

8. You got any crazy hobbies or unique talents?

I grew up in an extremely creative family. My mother and father are both writers, my older brothers are musicians and writers, and my twin brother works for a brilliant publishing company in Manhattan. Being in a musical household, I was taught the piano at a young age and became classically trained in voice from ages eleven to nineteen.

9. What’s your favorite vice?

My favorite vice would be my middle of the night cravings! I always eat a bowl of cereal then go back to bed…. it must be the gremlin in me!

10. How do you make it over the creative hump?

The best way for me to make it over a creative hump would be to listen to music and just go at it! It’s when I think too much that it becomes a task rather than an art.

11. You eat food? What kind? Like to cook?

I LOVE food. I have already mentioned my cereal obsession as listed above, but on a daily basis, I eat very healthy. My two weakness at this moment are bananas with chunky peanut butter and a bowl of Greek frozen yogurt.

12. If someone was to write a craigslist missed connection about you, what would it say?

“GIRL WHO TRIED TO STEAL MY PUPPY OFF THE SIDEWALK” – I have a     weakness for puppies… but who doesn’t!?

13. What is your most prized possession?

My most prized possessions are my own thoughts and imagination.