Throughout high school, you’ll meet kids that have it all figured out (or at least think they do). These are the ones that have created a fool-proof life plan at the age of 15. Sounds ridiculous, right? Fear not, because as time goes on you’ll soon find out that there is no such thing as a life plan.
In fact, it’s perfectly okay to not have no idea wtf you’re going to do once you’re in the real world. You might try to cater your career to what you studied in high school but soon realise that perhaps high school didn’t really offer a variety of options. Especially if you’re someone that just wants to create.
You’re often told that there is simply no money in the creative industries. Eventually, if you’re told this enough, you end up deciding to switch to a job that’s considered safe, and put aside your passion for the sake of bringing in a pay check each week; for a sense of security.
But, there a few of us that don’t put our dreams on hold forever. Ellie Hopley is one of those people.
“It is just the coolest thing to see people all over the world enjoying and wearing things that I have created.”
That’s Ellie, a 26-year-old artist who has built a quirky art empire under Shuturp. From Queensland, Ellie created her Shuturp instagram account four years ago to store her random drawings. Now, with over 50,000 followers and features in publications like ELLE Magazine, Ellie has taken her creativity and turned it into a business that sells unique (and fucking amazing) prints on t-shirts, tote bags and socks to name a few.
Growing up, Ellie said she wanted to be David Beckham (honestly we don’t blame her). But when she graduated high school, reality kicked in and she realised she had no idea what she wanted to do with her life.
Ellie ditched the idea of uni (like a lot of the crew at Year13) and partied instead of sitting in a lecture hall listening to someone drone on for hours on end. To support herself, she worked a variety of jobs and continued to publish her illustrations.
In 2016, Ellie took the plunge and began her journey as a business owner under Shuturp after she discovered that people liked her artwork.
“I never intended for it to become a business at all but I am so glad that it did! It was a beautiful accident.”
One look at Shuturp and you’re able to grasp how groovy Ellie and her art is. While her quirky illustrations scream tongue-in-cheek humour that appeals to the masses, a connection can be made to how openly Shuturp discusses the good and bad of everyday life.
“I think it’s super important to share both. I think Instagram is super fake and full of people showing only the good so I want to use my platform to share the bad too. People appreciate it and relate to it, that’s why I do it.”
Ellie knows life isn’t always peachy and speaks about the years she has struggled with depression, anxiety and an eating disorder.
“…you can definitely learn to cope with it if you have the right tools and support around you. I am very lucky to have my partner and my mum in my life to support and love me through the hard times.
It always comes and goes [anxiety/depression], but knowing it’s going to pass is something that helps me push through.
The best part is knowing that I am helping in some way.”
We’re not going to sugar coat it- creating a business out of your art can be a huuuuuuuuge task in it’s own right and if you chuck in mental health it becomes even tougher. Self-doubt can riddle you silly and you’ll find yourself struggling to even take the first step.
Despite this, Ellie assures like-minded creatives that you have to be confident and make big (and expensive) decisions to progress. If you have the passion, you will succeed and eventually, you’ll be gettin’ paid to do what you love- to create.
As for advice she wishes she heard when she was younger:
“Don’t waste the best years of your life worrying about many calories are in a sandwich.
You will get your heart broken but it won’t kill you.
Your parents are just trying their best to love you.
Appreciate your mum/dad’s cooking and washing your clothes.
Don’t be afraid to say no.”
She’s even recently adopted the cutest little puppy, Toast. If that doesn’t convince you to check out her stuff then we don’t know what will.