Interview: Ela Hosp on Using Multiple Media, Going to Art School, and Knowing Your Value

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Today's interview is with the lovely Ela Hosp, an artist and YouTuber living in the Midwest of America, creating a wonderful and eclectic variety of pieces. We had a chat about their artistic past, and their hopes and dreams for their future works. Ela prompts young creatives not to change themselves for a perceived benefit, but to stay true to what they want to create. A lack of experience should not allow others to walk over you. For more inspiration, keep reading...

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Magic & Musings:
Thank you for taking the time to answer some of my questions, Ela! Would you like to introduce yourself and what you do? 

Ela Hosp:
Of course! I'm a non-binary artist and YouTuber who lives in the Midwest. 

Magic & Musings:
When did you first get into creating art? Is this something you’ve been formally trained in? If you did study it formally, would you say this was a good or bad experience regarding allowing your creativity to flourish?

Ela Hosp:
I've always been creatively inclined. I actually didn't take any art classes until my freshman year of high school and ended up not liking my art teacher, so I only took classes through the art center in my city. I didn't even think about pursuing art as a career until my senior year, so I took a tonne of art classes to get work for my portfolio. I would consider my first "real" art class to be the foundations course I took my first year in art school. After completing that, I definitely felt like I'd been trained and had the artistic knowledge to conquer just about anything. Foundations was a bit rough for me specifically because of how my instructor discouraged our own artistic individuality and creative styles. But now, looking back, I appreciate how she stripped everything else from us and taught us the structure and fundamentals of art so we could excel in any medium.

Magic & Musings:
When did you first start sharing your art with the world and did you find yourself overcoming any hurdles regarding your confidence?

Ela Hosp:
I started making zines when I was fifteen. They were just filled with doodles and poems and playlists and I sold them for like $1 on Etsy. I remember being really nervous about people not liking the stuff I made, but actually ended up selling a ton of zines which was a great surprise. Social media, Instagram in particular, really helped boost my confidence about my artwork. It’s really great how much appreciation and support you can get on there.


Magic & Musings:
On Magic & Musings I love talking about non-binary and female-identifying artists and their work. Which artists, if any, would you say have been influences on your work? Do you have any favourites to look at when you need a spark of inspiration?

Ela Hosp:
According to some of my art professors, my work in terms of color is similar to Yayoi Kusama’s, which is an insane compliment. I’ve always loved her so it’s no surprise that subconsciously my work would resemble hers in some ways. I really look up to my art friends and their work is usually the most inspiring to me. I get so excited when I see my friends post something they’ve been working on. I’m just like YES! You are great and I’m your biggest fan. I have some crazy talented friends.

Magic & Musings:
I love Yayoi Kusama! I have an edition of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland that's illustrated by her. It's so colourful and trippy; I love it.
Of all of your projects, which are you the happiest with and why?

Ela Hosp:
Probably the wearable sculpture I did back in March. I love working with fibers and conceptually I think it is one of my best and most well executed pieces.

Magic & Musings:
This is a question I like to ask purely because of the variety of answers I get! I’m really interested in how people work and get things done. Do you have a particular place you work or find yourself the most productive? Are there a particular set of things that need to be in place for things to get done, like a milky cup of tea or a particular album of music you listen to? 

Ela Hosp:
Having a designated studio space is super important for me. I am 100% influenced by the environment I’m in. Since I’m not in art school anymore where they give us a studio, I had to make sure my bedroom could also double in function and be my studio. I have lockers and a pegboard and other really weird stuff you wouldn’t normally see in a bedroom. It kind of looks like a woodshop, but I absolutely love it, it’s one of my favorite places in the world. I also HAVE to listen to music while I work, and it has to be music I already know so I can sing and bop along. Sales is probably my go to music for eliciting good and creative energy.


Magic & Musings:
What do you do if you find yourself stuck in a rut creatively?

Ela Hosp:
I’ll get out my old sketchbooks and give them a look through. I almost always find ideas or color combinations or themes that I was interested in but never got to carry out.

Magic & Musings:
What tools do you use to keep yourself organised?

Ela Hosp:
I think my best advice would be to find a place for everything. If everything has a place, it’s easier to put things back where they belong after you use them. 

Magic & Musings:
You already work in a lot of media, but is there another medium you would like to explore working in next?

Ela Hosp:
I REALLY want to get into needle punching. I just learned how to Turkish marble paper and I have a printmaking class coming up. I just want to learn as much as I can, I don’t think I could ever just pick one media to work with forever.

Magic & Musings:
What one thing do you wish someone told you when you were first starting out working in this field?

Ela Hosp:
Oh, that’s a hard one. Probably that a lot of people will try to change you to benefit themselves. Stay true to yourself and what you want and you’ll be fine. Don’t let people take advantage of you just because you aren’t as experienced as them. What you have to offer is valuable and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.


Magic & Musing:
Onto a fun question! Can you recommend everyone reading a book you've enjoyed recently, as well as a film and an album or song? 

Ela Hosp:
YES! I’m currently reading Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler and it’s sooo good. I’m not usually one for dystopian stuff, but her writing is amazing and her concept of religion is really thought provoking. This is gonna sound lame but I really don’t watch a lot of movies. I’m 20 and the last movie I watched was Coraline. I watched it for the first time a few months ago and it was incredible. The animation, the soundtrack, everything, perfect. Also, I can’t stop listening to Lorde’s new album Melodrama. It hits me right in the gut in the best and most beautiful way possible and I will be a fan of her work forever.

Magic & Musings:
Lorde, our Lorde and Saviour! That album is absolutely superb from start to finish.
Is there anything else you would like to say before we finish? How can people find out more about you and your work? 

Ela Hosp:
This is something I’m personally struggling with right now so maybe there is someone else out there who needs to hear this. You don’t just have to stick to one thing. You can be an artist and a writer and a teacher and a doctor and a pilot and anything you want to be! You don’t have to make up your mind now or ever, do as much as you can, change your mind as many times as you want. Oh, and you can find me basically all over the internet! I’m @sweetcartilage on Instagram and Depop, and my YouTube is youtube.com/elahosp17!

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