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Five minutes with ... Ellen Lee

Five minutes with ... Ellen Lee

Adbusters art director Ellen Lee heads down under for We Can Create in Auckland shortly.  Here's a sneak peek into her day job and artistic life.

My first job was ... as a 'piano teacher' to three 10-year-old girls. Piano teacher is in quotes because I don't know if you could really call me that, but amazingly, I got paid for it. I taught them really basic things, basic scales, really easy songs like When The Saints Come Marching In. We had a ‘recital’ at the end of the year, which involved them playing songs they had learned over the course of the year and then me playing for them. It was cute. And great.

And now the title on my business card is … art director at Adbusters magazine.

Which really means … a person that makes things come together and go smoothly, scrawls crazy sentences on paper and scans it in, roughs up pages.

My day starts with ... waking up, eating oatmeal, heading into work, putting off checking emails for as long as possible by talking with people at work, seeing how their night before went. Then looking at my emails, answering them and dealing with anything that comes up from them, before I know it it's lunch.

And ends with ... going home and making dinner and maybe watching a movie then maybe reading and passing out.

And in between, I ... depending on the day, I meet with the editor in chief and founder of Adbusters, Kalle Lasn and we talk about the upcoming issue and ideas and concepts to try out. A lot of time is spent playing around with these ideas, seeing if they work and making them into something great. Also many times throughout the day, someone (or everyone) usually makes me laugh by telling me some story or joke.

My first artistic memory is ... drawing 100 ice cream cones for some sort of counting exercise in kindergarten. I was amazed that I could draw so many ice creams.

If I wasn't doing this, I'd ... recently I'd really gotten into wheel throwing pottery. Every spare minute I could, I was making the same vessel over and over but with different glazes and patterns and I was so fascinated and excited by this process. Everything looks completely different once it comes out of the kiln, giving such unpredictability to what you were doing. So I would maybe try my hand at being a potter.

I'm inspired by ... tenacity, kindness, and honesty.

I can't live without ... sleep, family, friends and quiet.

True 'style' is ... recently we had this quote from Gore Vidal in an issue of Adbusters that I think is a nice answer to this question: "Style is knowing who you are, what you want to say, and not giving a damn."

My work in three words is... colorful, loose, and eager.

We Can Create is held on October 27 at Auckland's Mercury Theatre.