Eleanor Grosch's playful arrangements of line and form are sleek, minimalistic experiments in geometry. Whether it's an arched beak, a meandering tail, or the sleek lines of a bicycle, Eleanor's illustrations rely on sparsely articulated lines to convey shape and motion. Her understated colors complement the subtlety of her forms and soften her sleek geometric compositions. Well-known for her unique modernist perspective on the feathered, the furry, and the scaly, Eleanor brings a designer edge and distinct mid-century aesthetic to all of her artwork.
Eleanor draws inspiration from sources as diverse as the Spanish abstract painter Joan Miro and modernist illustrator Charley Harper. In 2010, Harper's estate asked Eleanor to redesign charleyharperprints.com. Eleanor's prints have even appeared on the site alongside Harper's work and that of Harper's descendants Edie and Brett Harper.
Eleanor was named one of Print Magazine's New Visual Artists of 2008. The New Visual Artist Review introduces and profiles thirty of the most promising rising talents in graphic design, advertising, illustration, digital media, photography and animation - all under the age of thirty. The competition is by invitation only with entrants being nominated by art directors, designers, critics and industry professionals. In the article, Emily Gordon writes, "Grosch walks a cheerfully nonchalant line between cute and cool, using [...] a menagerie of whimsical imagery."
Always the 'class artist,' Eleanor began developing her style, and a fascination for animals, in her early teens. "I'd draw during class and then more when I got home," she remembers. One thing that hasn't always been constant has been her confidence in pursuing art as a profession. In an interview with Philadelphia Magazine, Eleanor recalls hearing a professor say, "'In five years, only one person in this room will be making a living doing art." As a fledgling art student, Eleanor remembers thinking, 'It's not going to be me.' She jokes that, "My big goal was, 'I hope one day I get a chance to make something for someone for free.'" Since then, Eleanor has learned that a confidence in your work is essential. "You have to have good self-esteem about your work. Assuming someone's going to like you is a good start."
Shortly after graduating from art school, Eleanor landed her first gig illustrating and designing a poster for the Orpheum in Tampa, Florida. "I used to dance there, and I remember seeing my poster up for the first time!," she says "What a thrill!!" The design was for the first of many band posters, the sum of which ultimately caught the attention of an editor at Nylon Magazine. Since then, her work has appeared in magazines, books, products and packaging, as well as in corporate advertising campaigns. Eleanor has worked with clients such as Keds, The San Diego Zoo, Oxfam, Starbucks, Chronicle Books, Land of Nod, Urban Outfitters, and Shutterfly.
Eleanor's first experience with licensing was when Keds launched a line of her shoes in 2006. Modeled in print ads by Mischa Barton, known for her role on the TV series The OC, the shoes flew off the shelves and Eleanor Grosch as an art brand had arrived with a splash. Since then, her work has appeared on a variety of licensed products, from Giro helmets and Alien Workshop snowboards, to wall art for Muralstick and stationery for Marian Heath and Tiny Prints. Her gulf-inspired luggage tags for Zehno also appeared in Print Magazine's 2011 Regional Design Annual. Sale of Eleanor's tags benefitted the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana, a non-profit organization that advocates for Louisiana's wetlands.
Marian Heath recently released a line of nine glitter-embellished greeting cards featuring Eleanor's artwork, which they describe as featuring her "smart, hip aesthetic and trademark graphic style." Her feathered friends are on trend in the UK as well, with seagulls and skimmers appearing on Printermakers cards by the publisher Art Angels. The biggest volume of card designs can be found at Tiny Prints with dozens of print-on-demand custom stationery and card products.
In addition to her work as an illustrator, Eleanor also runs Pushmepullyou Design, an online shop selling art prints, t-shirts, accessories, and housewares. Inspired by Dr. Dolittle's two-headed llama, the name 'Pushmepullyou' captures Eleanor's love of animals and her whimsical sense of humor. For all things Eleanor, from greeting cards and magnets to wallets and tote bags, visit http://www.merchline.com/pushmepullyou/.
Eleanor's work has also been featured in Grain Edit, Design*Sponge, Philadelphia Style, Philly Mag, NYLON Magazine, and The Art of Modern Rock. Eleanor has been a guest speaker at the 2010 HOW Design Conference and at Dallas AIGA. Eleanor is also a recipient of the PETA Libby Award, which is awarded for the quality of animal-friendly products as well as the nominee's enthusiasm for animals.
Wherever she looks, Eleanor is drawn to clean lines and striking colors. To see more of her work, visit www.justeleanor.com.
Click here for downloadable items - desktop wallpapers and a high-res printable letter sized promo.
Q&A with Eleanor Grosch
Use three words to describe your style. Simple, bold, colorful
What is a typical work day like for you? How do you portion off your time? I usually start at 8 with a nice breakfast and then get right to it; I find I'm most productive in the morning. Then I gotta move around a bit so I clean the house for about 30 minutes or go to the gym. Afternoons I usually need a break also, so I watch some TV for another 40 minutes or so in-between working. I try to stop at 5PM these days, but I find that I'll often draw something in the evening.
A genie grants you three wishes. What do you wish for? Probably a quick-travel system of some sort, slightly longer hotter legs, and a never-ending income stream for my Mom so she could retire right away.
What is your ideal assignment? Anything where I get a solid concept. I love the challenge of conceptual thinking. You're dressed like a mime on the front page of your website. What's the story behind that? That came from a fun photo shoot with my friend, photographer Brae Howard. I think I've always loved mime makeup, so we went for a couple of shots with that look and it turned out to be my favorite photo. Plus, it makes me look fun, which I think I am most of the time!
What's the best way to get over a creative block? Do something completely unrelated - take a bike ride, do something physical. It usually straightens me out really well.
What's one tip you have for other creative professionals? Never, ever, stop making your work. Someone will like it eventually! I think the people who "make it" are those with staying power.
What is your favorite part of living and working in Philadelphia? I love the small, cute scale of the city. It's bike-able and walkable and has lots of the cool things that NYC has but in a cheaper and less tiring way. I'm just not cut out for a place like NYC, so it's nice to live in a city where there's a slower pace.
If you were reincarnated as an animal, which animal would you be? Definitely a flightless bird. Probably an ostrich - big legs, long neck, fidgety. I've even been dressing like a female bird more and more lately: beige, gray, brown - dull colors for safety.
Do you have a favorite movie? For the past 10 years, it's been The Fugitve. We'll see if something tops that...
I hear that you're also a trapeze artist. How did you get started? Is it hard to balance your passion for trapeze with your illustration career? N/A - I quit since I was so awful at it!
What are some sites you have bookmarked in your browser? I love my brother's blog: www.lifeisrealgood.com - he's biking around SE Asia right now. Sounds very cool but very tiring and difficult. I love his writing style; it's super funny with short sentences. Also, catalog-choice, an opt-out service for those annoying catalogs companies keep sending us all.
Do you listen to music while you work? What's the best and worst type of music for getting things done? No, I usually watch TV or have silence. Music, for me, is better for home-repair jobs. Sundays I get my little groove on to R&B while I'm painting or fixing or cleaning. So fun!
If you could be anything besides an illustrator, what would you be? I would love to be a smart computer person or someone who does hard physical labor part time. Or maybe a house cleaner? I'm really good at cleaning.
What is your ideal studio like? It's my couch!