There’s a chill in the air which means it’s almost time to release our latest LCBO Beer! Brew 0006 is a Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Porter and we are stoked to share it with you. It’s hitting shelves by the end of October so keep an eye out. A new beer means a funky new label and we were thrilled to work with Dani Ellis on this one. Dani is a frontline worker at Ross Memorial Hospital and lives in Port Perry Ontario who is reclaiming her love of art this year. We loved the cheerful artwork that Dani put together for the label, and thought we’d find out a bit more about her and her art. Read on for our Q&A with Dani, and follow her on Instagram at @d.ellis.art
How did you get started as an artist?
I have been drawing and painting since I was a little kid. For as long as I can remember, I was able to draw well before I could even legibly or correctly write my own name. I liked to draw NHL hockey logos, hockey players and I honed my skills by drawing real-life objects while I was at home or visiting with my Nana & Papa. I tried to replicate those objects as accurately as I could and with as much detail as possible. This led to my love for art where I would continue my studies in Visual Arts at York University from 2006 – 2010.
Do you have one particular style or medium you most enjoy working in?
I don’t have a particular style as I like to dabble in many different styles of art. In my final year at school I was focusing on Surrealism. I do prefer using graphite as my medium of choice when it comes to working on paper. If I were creating digital art like the cookies I created for Brew 0006 then I would typically use vector brushes on my iPad in Adobe Fresco or Illustrator.
While I was in school, I worked with many different styles and mediums within the drawing, painting, sculpture and digital photography streams. York University’s Visual Art & Art History program is very interdisciplinary which creates well-rounded artists. It is important as an artist not to limit yourself and to be as open-minded as possible. Sometimes we may have to depart from what feels comfortable to us to fulfill the needs of a project. Sometimes we have to get comfortable with the uncomfortable in order to grow. As the saying goes, “a jack of all trades is a master of none, but oftentimes better than a master of one.” I would say I definitely live my life in this manner and in multiple
We love the adorable label you put together for Brew 0006 – was there any particular inspiration or vision that led to the final design?
The inspiration behind this design comes from the idea of paying respect to the process and honouring the evolution of a product. It is important to understand that you can’t get from step A to step Z without going through all the other steps that are in between. Brewing beer and baking is a science. If you miss a step or are careless then you will inevitably fall short on quality and the anticipated outcome will be lost.
The evolution of the cookie changes throughout the design giving a little bit more life and diversity to the artwork. I wanted to capture visual imagery that reflects the making of the dough, to the formation of the final product, to the consumption and lastly, the crumbs when nothing is left. I also didn’t want to stray too far away from previous designs that were accepted by SOBDL. I think keeping consistency in branding is key, but at the same time, I tried to emulate that similarity with my own little twist.
Is this your first beer label? What’s your favourite part about seeing your art on a beer can?
Yes, it absolutely is my first label! I couldn’t be more grateful and humbled to have had this opportunity. I think the best part of seeing my artwork on a beer can is that it can reach a pretty far and wide audience. It isn’t limited to just hanging on a wall somewhere in a gallery for only a select few to see. Everyone who enjoys beer, anyone who shops at an LCBO will have a chance to buy Brew 0006. I couldn’t be happier. It was such a fun experience.
Do you have a favourite style of beer?
Oh man! This is difficult as I love so many styles of beer. I would say my main go to beer I usually stick to is a lager. I am a huge fan of the Red Vienna Lager at Old Flame Brewery in Port Perry, ON. Another brew of theirs that is my all-time favourite, best enjoyed in the fall and near a fire of course, is the Raven Black Lager. I would say it looks similar and tastes just like a stout, but it doesn’t sit heavy like a stout. If you can’t make it to Port Perry, ON or you can’t find it in your local LCBO, then I highly suggest trying Hop City Brewing Co. 8th Sin Black Lager. If you can get your hands on either brew, you’re winning.
What’s next for you in 2022?
I have no idea! During the pandemic it has been extremely uncertain for so many of us. I am literally a leaf blowing in the wind. I am more open to change right now than I ever have been in my entire life. I am honestly trying to become the best version of myself every day. Embracing the unknown has been a huge game changer for me. I am not so worried about not having all the answers anymore. A goal for 2022 is sharing amore true, authentic me with the world. My hope when it comes down to art is that this could be a step in the right direction. If I get to create more beer can artwork, I am all for it.
Where can folks find your art and support you?
You can find me on Instagram @d.ellis.art, it’s where you’ll find some of my latest work. Feel free to message me if you have any inquiries. Thank you SOBDL for all your support. It is greatly appreciated!