Featured Artist Ellen Hooker
4 minutes

Featured Artist Ellen Hooker

- edited by: Ame Cowan

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A Sitdown With Ellen

Ellen’s designs are truly one of a kind and she is always coming up with new styles and new projects. She has become a local favorite and has always been a very supportive member at The Atlantic Beach Arts Market. Here’s a little glimpse into her world…

Why do you do what you do?

I was curious as a child growing up in the Philippines, as my mother was a school teacher and once in a while she would visit her students in their homes and I would go with her. There, I met crafters weaving mats and baskets using died vines and palms. I would sit and observe them working. I was fascinated about it, I would ask questions and try to practice with them. With those ideas, I would go home and start making crafted décor or pieces for home displays. I then used my crafting skills with my children for many years. My skills became more needed as I started making fun accessories and jewelry for them. Also, I’ve always designed my own items for me to wear. Everyone that sees me notices my creations and that’s when I began making my jewelry to sell.

Where is your work space and what brings out your creativity?

I started working at a small table and later as I progressed, I needed more space. Recently my son joined the U.S. Navy, I have now taken over his room and turned it into my studio! It’s been very busy for me and a great place to spark my creative ideas. My focus is in resin materials which is fun to make for accessories and jewelry. I am currently in the process of making more projects that will be displayed at the Atlantic Beach Arts Market soon.

Do you have a favorite piece you’d like to talk about?

I love all of my original creations! I am most passionate about making hair accessories, this truly brings out my creativity. I’m fascinated about all creatures of the sea, especially mermaids.

How is your personality reflected in your work?

Although I have never attended a formal art school, I have researched and observed proper techniques to craft my creations. I make beautiful designs from all of the colors and shapes I see around me in nature.

How do you overcome creative blocks?

Patience is my main challenge as I await for the materials to arrive! Sometimes, I have to make myself sit down and re-plan my original designed idea. Most of the time, it comes out better than the original idea. I always feel successful finishing each project. I’m very proud to have a very strong will to overcome any challenge that comes my way.

Are there any spaces or designers that have inspired or influenced you?

One designer by the name of Patricia Nash, particularly inspired me when I heard her story. She started when she became a mother and her talent and creativeness turned into a successful business. My children inspired me to create and I rediscovered my natural skills. There was a time when my daughter was in grade school, it was a Halloween book parade and her book theme was “The Princess and the Unicorn”. I was hoping she would choose to be a princess but, instead she wanted to be the unicorn! It was a challenge of how I was going to pull it off but I did. I had turned her into a beautiful unicorn. Since that moment, I have been excited in every event of my children’s life. I would personally custom make their accessories for friends and giveaways at school events, such as bracelets, necklaces ,tags or even corsages. It’s been an amazing experience as I expand my creations and now turning it into a business.

Now, my creations have their own place at The Atlantic Beach Arts Market and have become many locals favorites! They usually catch the eyes of visitors and tourists as well.

Please come see our Featured Artist and 90+ other vendors at The Atlantic Beach Arts Market located at 1805 Mayport Rd. Open everyday 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Much Love,
Ame Cowan

Suggest a Story: FCL is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so when you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.

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