Elina Ellis, Cambridge, England.

Illustrator. Co-founder and Artistic director of Fairies & Co. Fairytude Editor.



If you met my Mama… I don’t expect you ever will, but if you eventually met my Mama, she would have told you what an adorable, smiling baby I was. Always happy, friendly and bouncing, the kind of baby you’d never want to grow up. Which of course I did in spite of my mother’s wishes. Don’t you find that talking about one’s mum is a sweet, although somewhat embarrassing conversation starter?

My goal in life is simple. I want to be happy. Not the rich-happy, not jetset-happy, nor fab-and-glam-happy, just simply, unpretentiously, cosily, sweetly and beautifully happy. And I am pretty good at being happy! I see, I admire, I fall in love in a blink of an eye. I make sure that not a tiniest bit of the simplest magic goes by unnoticed and unappreciated. I make a fuss about spring blossoms, rusty bicycles and children’s smiles. I am an expert at good illustrated books, warm socks in front of the fireplace, morning walks, early bakery rides and late-night wine tasting in friend’s kitchen. There is nothing extraordinary about being happy. It’s an everyday affair.

I am a business-woman. I sell my art and illustrate children’s books. I work with art agencies, publishing houses and private clients all over the world. Sometime ago I traded an ordinary day-job with regular paycheck for a life for the joys and thrills (and horrors) of freelance artist’s life. I am constantly looking for new ideas and opportunities to live off my biggest passion. I share stories about my own journey, about things that keep me going and habits that help me organize my super-busy life, about people who inspire me and businesses that make difference, about way to change the lives of others and your own life. Because, hey, it’s your own life!

All posts by Elina

New Year’s Resolutions


A few days ago I woke up with an extraordinary thought. I don’t know where exactly it came from, but it made me very very happy. My thought was this – I CAN DO ANYTHING! I mean it. All my life I was making excuses for not doing things I love because of the circumstances. Wrong job, wrong partner, wrong location, and so on. If only I could get things right, I would really spread my wings! A few days ago it dawned on me. I’ve done it! It was long and it wasn’t easy, but I got rid of

A Free Range Human: Marianne Cantwell

Marianne Cantwell

Marianne Cantwell is my personal hero and undoubtedly - a real fairy! I came across her book Be a Free Range Human long before I knew anything about her. I was planning to quit my cosy, convenient, boring and unfulfilling office job and plunge into a whirlpool of creative business. Was I scared? I was petrified! Was I doubtful? Of course I was! I was looking for a confirmation that I was making the right choice. I didn't need another motivational book. I needed realistic advice on making my ideas work and living my own way. And this is where Marianne comes into story. Her book inspired me more than anything I've ever read! I follow her blog and Facebook page, admire her light and wise attitude to life, love her open smile and her honest, compelling and REAL essays and stories. I wrote to Marianne asking for en interview for Fairies and Co. And she agreed!  

The colours of winter magic

Winter Colours 6

Today I will tell you about colour. And about winter. As an illustrator and a creative person, I am in constant search of beautiful colours and colour combinations. I store them all on our Fairy Pinterest together with my other inspirational finds. Generally, I am a big fan of pastels, limes and burgundy, although my colour preferences change depending on my mood, time of the year, fashion and people around me. These days I am in love with winter colours. May be because winter is almost over and I am missing it in a way, may be because I am in a slow, thoughtful mood and winter colours suit me better. I want to share with you some of my Pinterest finds showcasing the gorgeous winter palette.   

Come take a walk with me

Country walk

Every morning I take a walk. It is one of my favourite rituals. I have a shower, answer e-mails, eat my breakfast, put my walking wellies on, take my camera and step out of the door. I never know where I want to go. It is not about "where". I pick a direction - north, or south, or south-west and walk. I walk through long and narrow village streets, apple orchards, cemeteries, fields, forests, past grazing farm horses and wooly sheep, past hay stacks, rivers and small lakes.  

St Valentine’s Day Ideas and Inspiration

Ideas for St Valentine's

Can you believe it's almost February? Which means St Valentine's day is already lingering in the distance winking and blowing us kisses. It is one of my favourite days of the year. There are lots of things worth celebrating, but love should be on the top of the list. It's hard to come up with something original for St. Valentine's, but I diligently rummaged Pinterest for cute ideas and inspiration and look what I found.  

The Magic of Pinterest

Fairies and Co pinterest account

I am often asked what resources I use on a daily basis for my illustration career. What websites, social platforms or blogs I turn to for help and inspiration. For a long time I answered with a long list of very useful links. Now I answer with one word - Pinterest. I am a visual learner. I relate to the world through images. My ideas, my plans, my dreams are images in my head. And I am constantly image-hungry. I am looking for textures and patterns, interesting compositions, faces, poses, colours and moods. I am looking for a spark, an idea, a sign. Even when I don't know what I am looking for exactly, I just flick through inspiring images until I see something that moves me, something that triggers my own imagination.  

5 Creative Ways to Wrap Presents from Pinterest

Christmas gift wrapping ideas

I am sure most of us are wrapping presents or attempting to wrap presents this week. I know I am. This month I rummaged through Pinterest for new trends and uncommon ideas and, of course created a whole board dedicated to great gift wrappings. I selected several truly brilliant ideas that have inspired me and, I hope, will inspire you as well. Here are my top 5 wrapping ideas discovered on Pinterest.   

Twyla Tharp, The Creative Habit

Creativity is an act of defiance

Do you find it easy to live a creative life? I doubt it. Nobody finds it easy. You might find it exhilarating, meaningful, fulfilling, but never easy. I know. I am living one. And no matter how talented and energetic you are, sometimes you feel deflated. Sometimes you think that all great ideas deserted you forever, sometimes whatever you do doesn't feel good enough. What do you do in such cases? Where do you go? Who do you ask for help? One day I saw this picture on Pinterest. There was something absolutely magical about this woman, about this image. I wanted to know who she was, why she looked so peaceful and free, and how on earth she could hold that pose! So I did my research, and found out that Twyla Tharp is one of America's greatest choreographers   

The Magic of having your own Business

The magic of having your own business

Lets talk about business. No! Lets talk about Magic. Or even better, lets talk about the magic of having your own business! “There is no place for magic in business!” – I hear you say. Business is serious. If you want to succeed you have to work hard, be tough and keep your eye on the ball. You are probably right, but not quite. Let me tell you my story. I work for myself from home. I have my own business. I illustrate books for children, I do private commissions and draw fairies in what you might call my spare time.