A rare form of Down’s Syndrome means Ella Evenson’s artwork takes longer to complete, but the talented teenager just loves to paint and is already taking on international commissions
At just 13 years of age, Ella Evenson produces art that she’s able to sell through a social enterprise called Art Rabble – an organisation specialising in selling artwork by artists with disabilities. Ella has Mosaic Down’s Syndrome – a rare type which means things can take longer for her to complete, but she’s brimming with positivity.
She says: “I was born with a diagnosis of Mosaic Down’s Syndrome. It makes me determined. I started painting in my summer holidays in 2019 at our kitchen table and now I have my own art studio. I have a big table and all my art materials in there. The other week I put mummy’s old radio in my art studio, so now I listen to music when I paint.”
Ella had her first exhibition in 2020 in the Art Rooms in Kings Heath which she describes as ‘a really great experience’. Her work is uplifting and optimistic using bold colours that raise a smile. Ella experiments with new techniques and styles using acrylics, watercolours and alcohol inks and enjoys abstract art, looking particularly to Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning for inspiration.
She says: “My favourite painting is abstract painting because I love using different tools to create with like a sponge, tin foil, a plastic knife or fork. It’s really fun experimenting and exploring with paints and objects I have at home.”
Ella gets her ideas from what she sees on trips and holidays painting ‘abstract flowers, plants, trees, birds and the seaside’. Ella’s mum is a big support. “Mummy always encourages me to paint because it relaxes me. I am calm and happy,” says Ella. She also says that Lisa Lim, founder of Art Rabble is encouraging ‘because she believes in me’ as well as Cristina Bowman from a group called Diffability. Ella says: “Cristina reached out to me and now I do online art workshops for children with special needs. I love painting with them.”
Ella’s also spurred on by people buying her work and has sold many commissions around the world. She says: “My clients in the UK and internationally encourage me because they believe in me. It’s everyone encouraging me, believing in me! I love my colourful paintings being in homes around the world!”
Ella is the youngest artist sold through Art Rabble. She’s had a real confidence boost from selling her work and feels good about the donations she’s been able to make to Down’s Syndrome Awareness month and the Australian Bush Fire Appeal thanks to the sales. She says: “This was great because my paintings helped others.”
Currently Ella juggles painting with school, generally creating after completing homework on a Tuesday and Sunday morning. In the future, she would like to make a career of it. She says: “I would like to keep painting when I’m an adult. I would like to paint like I am now and have an online shop, do art workshops and children’s art parties. I would love to design T-shirts and have my designs on clothes!” The big-hearted artist also says: “I love being with people and I think I would also like to work in a nursery, doing art with little children or in a care home, doing art with elderly people. I also like the idea of working in a supermarket.”