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ELLEN RUTT | On Making Intuitive Art, Going into the Woods + Our Inner Critics  | No. 30

ELLEN RUTT | On Making Intuitive Art, Going into the Woods + Our Inner Critics | No. 30

iTunes: click here || This podcast was recorded at the Detroit Foundation Hotel.

“If I find that being a full-time artist compromises the work that I need to make — I should just get a job. Like, a part-time job. And not that that’s easy, but if that allowed me the financial stability to make the stuff that no one will pay for in order to make it, then I would do that.”


HERE's the known.

Let me start by saying: I love this being. She as an individual. She as an artist. She as a soul. She as a friend. Although, as you’ll hear in the pod, our meetings in-person can be counted on one hand. That’s because when we’re connected with our intuition, it’s that much easier to spot a fellow like-minded soul.

She is a Detroit-based artist - arguably speaking, one of our most celebrated artists. Detroit wears her with pride. Walking the streets, one can catch her bright colored shapes placed on our most visible mural, livening up the walls of our burgeoning business sector in our WeWork’s, and waving proudly in flagship stores like Lululemon. She also, adorns the walls of local Detroiters, whose passion for the city isn’t complete without an Ellen Rutt piece.

She’s also frickin cool — and approachable. She’s a friend of a friend of a friend and always willing to strike up a conversation, leaving the listener on the other side slightly changed from the encounter. Visibly, she is bright — like her art, and her smile smiles wider than yours. Simply put: you can’t miss her, and you shouldn’t.

in this episode, Ellen bares all on her personal unknowns (see below), opening up on her battle with alcohol, the at times wildly loud inner-critic, and how she plans on bravely facing the road ahead in this next chapter of a nomadic lifestyle. Her trick? Listening. A tool she deeply developed whilst going into the woods.

My personal favorite part? When she divulges on art-making. It is as lusciously sounding as love-making. There is an art form to the art-making. A trusting in one’s body, one movement after the next. A response, instead of a reaction. Mmmm.. it’s good to add to your toolbox, whether you’re looking to make art, make love, or to make the next best decision. Listen, take notes, and if you need further inspiration, find Ellen’s art. It will speak in the very same sing-songy whispers her voice speaks in.

Ellen - you’re a frickin’ star. Thank you for this.


  1. I don’t know where my art career will be in five years or ten years. 

  2. I don’t know where I’ll live. 

  3. I don’t know how long I’ll continue to not drink alcohol. 

  4. I don’t know if I’ll ever have kids or want kids. 

  5. I honestly don’t know what comes next in my life. I’m about to embark on a semi-nomadic life a little bit and do some artist residencies because I grew up in and around detroit and I’m antsy. Will I be able to afford to do that? Do I get to do that?


“Sometimes I get caught up in not making a move because I’m concerned it won’t be the right one. Just keep going. Just make a move and respond to the move.

Do what your body feels. Follow the line. Follow the color and just respond to each gesture one at a time. When the day is done. When the sun sets. You’re done. That reminded me to just: make a move, and then respond to it: that self trust that comes with art-making. Art-making is just about trusting yourself and your gesture, that what you put down is the right one and if it’s not, don’t do it again.”


ellen’s question:

What makes you really laugh? What makes your belly hurt with laughter? Or, when was the last time?


Assemble Sound



iTunes: click here.

Available on GooglePlay, Stitcher + Soundcloud

Photography by: Herbert Taylor

ANDREW KIPPEN | On Hypnotherapy, the Subconscious, Social Constructs, + Energetic Beings | No. 29

ANDREW KIPPEN | On Hypnotherapy, the Subconscious, Social Constructs, + Energetic Beings | No. 29