“Elmi has been drawing for as long as she can remember, and it has always been a big part of her life. She started drawing alongside her brother, spending hours creating their favourite characters from books, films and cartoons – their dad still has a big suitcase full of their work (note to dad – you could be sitting on a goldmine in years to come – early Elmi’s).
When she was 10, she joined a children’s art school alongside her brother, producing still lifes and landscape throughout her teenage years. Later she returning to drawing and painting whatever she found inspiration in – mainly nature, including, she says, “works that some people might find a bit morbid and dark, but I find beautiful”.
“I like combining what is conventionally perceived as light and dark in my drawings, for example skulls and flowers.”
After turning 20 she decided to expand her creative horizons by taking a short course in silversmithing. This gave her the basic knowledge to create sterling silver jewellery pieces, which she designs and makes from her home.
Her inspiration comes from a variety of diverse sources – from audiobooks to the works of other artists. Or sometimes, she reveals, “from nowhere”.
She joined Made in Croydon to link up with other artists and makers. “At the time I didn’t know any other makers in Croydon and being a part of a group of likeminded people is very motivating.” She describes it as a great community of supportive people, with regular markets run locally. The markets, she says, “are well advertised and very busy, which is great for business”.
And future plans for Elmi Art?
“I’m not much of a planner. I like the freedom of going with the flow and no deadlines.”
You can browse Elmi’s work and meet the artist at the Made in Croydon Christmas market at Boxpark on Sunday December 1. Her work is also available to buy online at Etsy.com/uk/shop/elmiart , you can follow her on Instagram at @ElmiArtChaos and on Twitter at @ElmiZils.