CC Me On It: David Craig Ellis

I met David Craig Ellis through the internet. While a seemingly dangerous place, a Craigslist post under the ‘Writing Gigs’ section sparked my interest. The post stated that David needed a writer to cover his upcoming art show. The art show was to serve as a celebration of David’s first art book release, titled, Doing Lines With David Craig Ellis. Jumping to present day, David has become a significant part of my freelance writing journey - he even helped me land a position with the Red Hook Star-Revue, a local Brooklyn-based newspaper.

Inspired by my daily dose of New York’s amazingly gifted and talented residents (like David Craig Ellis), I welcome a new series on my blog titled, CC Me On It. Each month, I plan on showcasing local artists around Brooklyn and New York City whose craft deserves to be seen, experienced or read. As my creative connect of the month, and first installment of the series, I welcome David Craig Ellis: in all his weirdness, youthfulness and never-ending list of artistic endeavors.


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David Craig Ellis, Canadian-born, Brooklyn-residing, is a jack of all trades. He’s a musician, designer, writer and actor, just to name a few. Ellis finds time for each of his artistic identities, as seen throughout three decades of success. For example, you may have seen him out in Dumbo, during the "Made In Brooklyn Tours," one of the highest rated walking tours of Brooklyn. Ellis’ studio is a must see for tourists from all over the world. Even Japanese Journalists travel to the studio in hopes of reporting on Ellis’ creative history.

An equally versatile and innovative man, it’s not surprising that Ellis is also a visual artist who publishes his daily doodles on any (and everything). Ellis wakes up every morning and makes a drawing with his morning coffee. Starbucks cups, paper plates from pizza joints, and even leftover trash from the subway have made their way into Ellis’ hands. “I will purposely not have anything to draw on so that I have to be inventive,” Ellis said.

This past September, the “First Thursday Dumbo Gallery Walk” brought New York locals to water’s edge in Dumbo, Brooklyn, a neighborhood between the Manhattan and Brooklyn bridge. Down the street, however, something equally fascinating occurred. From 6:00-10:00 p.m. that same night, Ellis celebrated the release of Doing Lines with David Craig Ellis, his first published art book. Fans, family members and pedestrians wove their way through the maze of barren hallway walls, coming face-to-face with Ellis’ studio, full of cutting-edge pop art.

I will purposely not have anything to draw on so that I have to be inventive.
— David Craig Ellis

The studio itself sits as a three-dimensional platform for art. Ellis’ art pieces from numerous shows line the left side, with articles from the past three decades hang closest to the doors. The overwhelming amount of press and clippings on Ellis are telling of his continuous success. Hidden in the back right corner sits Ellis’ recording studio, a bold yellow couch awaits one’s arrival. An enormous amount of band equipment boisterously rests upon the back wall, ensuring passers’ gaze.

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During the art shows, guests have the opportunity to view Ellis’ artwork and sample free beer and wine, as well as enjoy a free tarot card reading by Allie O’Dell. You can see more of David Craig Ellis and his art at www.davidcraigellisart.com/ and www.ellisstudiogallery.com. Catch Ellis hanging out at 68 Jay St. #B26 every first Thursday of the month, showcasing a radical, alternative interpretation of Dumbo’s First Thursday Art Gallery Walk. Enter through the basement and you’ll find your way into Ellis’ one-of-a-kind artistic lair.

Carly Quellman