Meet the Maker Archives - Love Australian Handmade
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We’re All Mad Here by Hannah from Twinewood Studio

Photo Credit: Eva’s Sunday

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INSIDE THE STUDIO. By Elisha from Blue Roan Studio

“If you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life”


At the heart of any small business is a human being with a dream just trying to make it work… second to that is limited funds and limitless hours of hard work. My name is Elisha and I am the owner and creative hand behind Blue Roan Studio.

I am currently employed as a Graphic Designer Monday to Thursdays and run Blue Roan Studio in all the hours in-between.

My love for art and creativity started from a very young age. I was drawing confidently with texta’s from the age of two and started professional art classes when I was five. Art was my strongest subject throughout my schooling and I started portrait work in my early teens. When I was sixteen I was asked by a local racehorse trainer if I would draw all his highest earning horses – my pictures were going straight to the pool room! This was when it dawned on me that my drawings held real value. I then started to dabble in the art of portraiture as gift for friends and family throughout the years that followed.

Blue Roan Studio was born in early 2016 when I was looking for someway to reawaken my love of sketching, which had been pushed aside for my Graphic Design career.

Like most things it was a VERY slow burn. I would go months at a time without any work and then BOOM, another commission would roll in my door. To begin with it was a juggling act trying to gauge how long each portrait would take, so the slow start was exactly what I needed in those early days.

While I found Facebook adverts worked well in driving people to my page, the Love Australian Handmade group on Facebook was where I received the most support.

Twelve months in and the work really started to snow ball. I was receiving so many orders and consistent work, so I decided to reduce my full time job to four days a week in order to give me some breathing space and time to complete the commissions without burning myself out.

Working 2 jobs is tough, in a busy week I go to work 9 til 5:30, get home around 6:15 cook dinner then sit straight back down and work another 2 to 4 hours on a portrait – this is often the case every night of the week. I always find the tough weeks worth it when I get amazing feedback from my clients. Not to mention I know I’m one step closer towards my ultimate vision of working for myself full time.

I am the proud fur parent to my own pocket rocket called Matilda, or Tilly as she is more affectionately known.

She is just shy of 8 years old and a Heeler mix. If it were up to me I would probably have another twenty dogs and some horses as well. Having a passion and love of all creatures great and small means that I know what my customers want in their portrait. They want their pet… not just a drawing of their dog or horse, but a drawing that really captures the personality and quirkyness that they know and love. Every portrait I create is created as if it were my own. If at the end of the drawing I feel as though I wouldn’t hang it on my own wall, I start again! No portrait leaves my hands unless it’s one hundred percent perfect, even if that means extra hours, cause when you love what you do that’s just the way it is.

What’s in a portrait?

All commissions begin much the same way with a light pencil outline of the subject sketched on a piece of acid free artist paper. I always start each drawing from the far left of the page and work my way across, as I am right handed. I place a sheet of paper over where my hand rests so I don’t smudge or mark the paper as I draw.

Each commission takes on average 8 to 10 hours to complete, it involves layers of led pencil in both shadings and stroke work. Often hundreds of carefully drawn tiny lines will be involved in making up a very small section of an animal’s coat. My favourite part to draw on all of my portraits is the eyes. I truly mean it when I say it awakens the portrait and brings the subject to life. Take the eyes away and it’s really just a bunch of strokes and shadings on a page.

I like to take my clients on the journey with me. From the moment their booking arrives I send through little updates on the progress of their commission as it happens. After each portrait is completed, it is then sealed, framed, carefully packaged and sent on its way to the lucky new owner.

Pet portraits are a beautiful way to create a personalised lasting memory of a beloved pet and also make impressive gifts for those hard to buy for people in your life.

If after reading all of this you think you need one in your life, I would love to work with you. Please get in touch and orders can now be placed online at I also now offer Afterpay.

Have a wonderful day, and give your fur friend a cuddle from me!

Elisha x

Passion for your Product – A Small business start-up story ‘In These Moments’

Life, the day to day events involved with our working lives, our social lives and a little downtime. Well.. If you are like Susan and I and have children it’s working lives, family lives with a sprinkle of a social life and very little downtime! While it often feels like ground hog day we have so much to be thankful for. Especially living in Australia, where so much opportunity is out there if you have the motivation and persistence to work for it.

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