Tell me a bit about yourself and your business?
My name is Elana, and I’ve been an English teacher in South Korea since 2014. I moved here after studying Afrikaans for six years in South Africa. These days I’m also a freelance illustrator. Life is full of surprises!
What inspired you to start illustrating, and when did you know it was what you wanted to do?
I have always enjoyed drawing, but was encouraged to pursue a career in Afrikaans language studies after high school instead. To be honest, it never occured to me that studying art, or being an artist, would be a viable career choice.
I arrive at birthday parties and special events with hand-drawn cards and pretty packaged gifts, and draw in cafes daily … that’s just who I am, and what I love to do, and not something I thought of in terms of a career. This year, however, I decided to share my daily drawings on Instagram, after my best friends encouraged me to “start a business”. People responded with so much love and kindness! I’m still dipping my toes into this new territory, and feel excited about the new chapter.
What made you choose the business name you did?
Of all the beautiful possibilities I might one day try out, I decided to start with what won’t ever change: my name. It’s not fancy, but it’s real and truthful … exactly what I want people to feel when they see my work.
What is the best part of your job, and what is the most challenging part?
The best part of being an illustrator is the process and the rituals that go with it. I love going to cafes, ordering a drink, and sipping on it while getting some rough ideas on paper. I sit there for hours, and time flies. It’s fun! When I started taking commissions, I had to Google the difference between a quote and an invoice. The financial side, and dealing with admin regarding payments and price structures, are not fun. This has definitely been the most challenging part.
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned, and would pass along to others just getting started in your field?
Start, even if you don’t feel ready.
If you could pick one unique service offering, which would be your favourite, and why?
I love drawing inspirational, strong women!
What is your current beauty routine, and what beauty tips can you share with us?
I use Primera and Lush beauty products to cover the basics: cleaning, toning and moisturising. Korea is a beauty product hotspot, but finding affordable, eco-oriented cosmetic products can be a tall order. I stick to products from these brands, and occasionally try a face mask for fun.
Most days, I prefer not to wear any make-up. When I do wear some, it’s mascara, BB cream, and lip balm.
What beauty products can you not live without?
My friend gifted me with a menthol and eucalyptus lip balm form Smith’s Rosebud Perfume Company. I use it daily now, and will buy a new one soon.
Do you have any exciting plans for the future that you want customers to know about?
Yes! I’m moving back to South Africa next year, and will soon also launch my website.
What are your hobbies and what do you do to relax?
I like long walks, watching Netflix comedy shows, and going to the Coin Norebang (Korean Kareoke) with friends.
I was fortunate enough to meet Elana on instagram and was so impressed with her work. I asked her to work her magic with one of my wedding photos, and I absolutely love it. I plan on framing this one, and I definitely will use her services again.
Social Media Usernames if available and Contact Information:
Website: elana-esterhuyse (Online Shop)