Student Artist Spotlight: Eliana Fergus

Brody Pierce

Eliana Fergus is a junior at the University of Wisconsin-Stout, majoring in graphic design. She works as a graphic designer for the Involvement Center.

What sparked your interest in art?

“So my dad actually went to college for illustration. He eventually got jobs with art and design. My mother is also a very artistic person. She likes to paint and do a whole bunch of different crafts and other things. She is an activities coordinator now at a nursing home, so she is constantly doing art. So, art was always kind of present in my family. I had an early love of it as a kid and they really helped me nourish that love for art, and I knew that I wanted to do something related to that when I was older for a job. I wanted to like the kind of job I was doing, not just do it for money.”

What styles or mediums do you prefer?

“I like all sorts of styles. I typically do mostly pen drawings, but I enjoy acrylic and watercolor and digital artwork. So anything from flat designs in [Adobe] Illustrator to paintings to architecture. Anything can really pull out my interest—which is kind of a problem sometimes because I find myself spreading my interest in different art forms so wide that sometimes it’s hard to nail down one specific style. On the other side, I feel that it helps me in every area [because] I dabble in so much and so many different styles that I hope when I get older and develop my own styles, it’ll be easier to sample from each of the ones I have enjoyed to create my own unique [style].

Do you take influence from any artists in particular?

“Robert Mcloskey, Dr. Seuss, Jan Brett and a lot of illustrators, I get a lot of inspiration from. Celtic styles, like old ones, I use. Any children’s book illustrator. Gram Bass, who illustrated a book called, “The Eleventh Hour,” which totally blew my mind when I read it for the first time. It’s a beautifully illustrated children’s book and the imagery is what really tells the story. This book, along with some of the other books that my dad had on his bookshelf like, “Make Way for Ducklings” and “The Eleventh Hour,” are what made me want to become an illustrator. Granted. I’m in graphic design right now, but I hope to someday illustrate a children’s book. Those types of artwork that tell a story and has incredible detail just blows my mind, and I hope that I’ll be able to do that as well with my art.”

What are your plans after college?

“If you had asked me up until this point, I would have said, ‘work at a graphic design company and figure out some freelance stuff eventually.’ Now I think I’m still going to work for a graphic design company for a couple years. Honestly, as soon as I can I want to start doing my own artwork. Start illustrating, start making prints. I actually did all the art for a game this summer and got it published. So hopefully doing some more game design art as well. Finding a solid way that I can do what I love full time is ideal. I have a lot of dreams—things that I’d like to do—different achievements and goals that I want to set for myself. So, I think this year and next year it’ll be a bunch of problem solving for me and figuring out what I want to do and how am I going to get there.”