Cheri Ellis is a multi-faceted Seattle artist, working across disciplines and design traditions. Cheri embraces the challenge of learning new techniques, methods and means of innovating. Her artistic career began in millinery, with 10 years of hat making, then transitioning into fashion design for the following 15 years. Throughout that time, she maintained her interest in painting, drawing and sculpting. Cheri's professional life took her from selling designs at the Freemont Market into the larger markets of fine fashion boutiques. Her work has been presented in a number of magazines and the book "Where Women Create / the Work Spaces of Extraordinary Women" by Jo Packham.

In 2012 Cheri made and evolutionary leap with her work as she envisioned a way to take all of her developed mediums and merge them into one project. She recreated her paintings digitally and then printed them onto fabric which she made into dresses. In 2013 an exciting concept emerged, driven by the desire to use her creative work to give voice to a social cause - the disappearance of honeybees. Upon hearing about Colony Collapse Disorder, Cheri researched the issue of the bees disappearance and fell in love with how bees live as cooperative social creatures.   The art work evolved into paintings and drawings about bees, taking inspiration from literature, mythology and the bees themselves."The Bee Story Dresses" became a ground breaking project that allowed for the bee art to be experienced as the fabric of a beautifully designed dress.  Since then a line of bee art swag has been developed, including stationary, postcards, stickers and prints.

Cheri has developed ways to digitally expand all of her visual art, using drawings in graphite, pen and ink, and various painting styles, to create a platform of designs that are very synchronistic and narrative. Her work translates beautifully into fabric used for custom fashion, accessories and interior design. In 2018 Cheri began to silkscreen the artwork onto t-shirts and thus began a line of products that would support/finance the development of her creative endeavors. Cheri has also been teaching silkscreening at the Vera Project as well as moderating open sessions where small groups of students can learn the art synchronistically.

In 2018 Cheri became a vendor in the Ballard Sunday Farmers market in Seattle. Beginning with the line of cards she has spent the last 4 years expanding the brand in a grass roots way that has been highly supported by her community. Being able  to connect with so many people by making the artwork accessible/utilitarian, has been extremely rewarding for Cheri. Not only financing the evolution of her projects, but has allowed her to constantly upgrade, fine-tune, and evolve her art forms.  With the COVID pandemic, the silkscreened and digitally printed fabrics were cut up and re-purposed into masks, both being sold on-line (Etsy) and at the market.  

Doll making has been a creative tradition for Cheri over the past 2 decades. The dolls have passionately developed alongside her other projects, fully embracing the art printed fabrics and story-telling elements of Cheri's work. The little rag-doll deities are sewn from canvas silkscreened with the t-shirt imagery, while the dresses are created from the digitally printed and silkscreened fabrics. The faces of the dolls are hand-painted with a highly stylized look emanating shamanistic and goddess-like personalities. Each doll has a head full of long felt braids which can be styled up with head dresses of vintage flowers and hand-made crowns. 

Currently Cheri is creating new artwork, adding octopus, moths, mushrooms and other flora and fauna, all still very flavored with alchemical sacred geometry elements. The "Bee Odessey" black and white drawings are being water colored and added to the line of cards and stickers, while digital efforts are merging all of the imagery to create whimsical depictions of the art printed dresses. With the pandemic just having moved through, 2023 should be an exciting time to find new ways to expand and share the brand!


'bees work for the good of the whole'