Free Halloween Card Download

I had never even heard of halloween cards until this year! But since we are more apart than usual this halloween it seems a good reason to make my own. Feel free to print as many as you like to send to family and friends this Halloween. Fill it with best wishes, ghost stories, horror movie recommendations or recipes for halloween snacks!

This download is free for all to enjoy as a halloween gift from me to you. If you would like to support my spooky art journey and access monthly downloadable artworks including things like phone wallpapers, art prints, halloween bunting and greeting cards then please take a look at my Patreon page. You’ll also find plenty of behind the scenes content about my artworks and first looks too 🙂 and it only costs a couple of quid.

You can find my Patreon at https://www.patreon.com/ThisIsSianEllis and access the digital halloween card download at https://we.tl/t-pHsVhoYuEl

And if you are looking for something to do check out my top halloween movie recommendations at http://sianellisillustration.co.uk/2019/10/27/halloween-special-movie-recommendations/ and http://sianellisillustration.co.uk/2019/11/03/halloween-film-recommendations-round-2/

Plans for a Socially Distanced Halloween

Oh BOY has this been a hot topic. I mean, I understand why. This Halloween is a halloween like no other. People care about the holiday, they are worried about it. I am sure that when we see a less niche holiday like christmas come under the fire of corona we will see a similar panic on a larger scale. But let’s get one thing straight….

Halloween is NOT cancelled

The insistence it will be has been such a peeve for me this year. No one can cancel halloween! Who even could? How even could you? There might be cancelled events or activities, sure, but you simple can’t cancel the whole thing. Even in the event of a full lockdown no one can stop me decorating my living room, putting on some scary films and stuffing my face with snacks. 

Happily, there is much more choice for events than I anticipated. I know that things could still get cancelled, but it would be a shame not to book them in. If all goes sour then I have a bunch of refunds to look forward to to spend on decorations , snacks and movie rentals. I will have the halloween I always thought I might. The main point being, I will always have a halloween!

Sucky Timing

The saddest thing for me is that this is my first halloween to myself and it’s probably not going to be the best. For the last few years I have been running halloween events with my old job. Now that job is no more, reclaiming halloween is an excellent perk. It’s just a shame I know I have missed out on so many events for the past few years and for this year it will happen again. Well…almost! The choice is smaller but I can certainly fill my week with spooky fun!

The National Trust’s Ghost Walks After Dark 

The National Trust are running these adults only event in a number of their sites. You book a slot and get a guided nighttime tour with ghost stories. Just seeing these venues in the nighttime is unique enough! To get ghost stories too is such a treat! I would absolutely love to be able to wander round Whitby Abbey after dark and listen to some ghost stories. But Whitby is a title far to go for an evening ghost walk. The great thing about these events is that you can pop your postcode into their site and it brings up the events closest to you. To be honest I hadn’t even heard of Bolsover castle before this (sorry). Just half an hour away from me as it turns out and so I am all booked on for spooky stories in a castle at night. Eek! (That’ excitement rather than fear though!) Tours are running 28th-31st October so I have booked it before halloween to fit as much hallowfun into the week as I can!

Daisy Dukes Drive in Halloween Screenings

This is another event taking place all over the UK. It will be the first time I have ever attended a drive in screening. They have lots of films on offer throughout the day and into the night. I’m a little dubious of the screening quality of films being shown outdoors in the daytime. But I was really spoilt for choice with the listings. Each screening has characters in attendance too. Kiddy friendly Beetlejuice types for the day time and who knows for the nighttime. Seriously though, what the hell character can you include for a screening of ‘The Blair Witch Project’? I decided to pick a film that I know will be great but I haven’t watched for a while. I know I certainly abuse the play button on my favourites that are available on streaming services. So ‘Scream’ it is for me. You can even pre book your snacks which i found more exciting than is necessary. The timing of the screening means I can even sneak some nighttime activity too if I find something else pop up.

Haunting my own House

This is the one thing I can do this year that I haven’t in previous. After decorating huge event spaces for events and knowing that I either won’t be home or will be exhausted for trick or treating time, my house doesn’t usually get decorated. This year though? My plan is to go all out. I’m gonna transform my house into a haunted house! I will definitely share more with you when I do!

October Excitement feat. Mab’s Drawlloween Club 2020


This year more than any other I remember, Oct 1st felt like Christmas Eve. It’s been such a tough year we have all needed something to look forward too. Plus, with my art being my full time job now I am immersed in the spooky world more hours a week than ever before. The day felt like Autumn, instagram was flooded with October excitement and I even found a chocolate apple in Sainsbury’s. October 1st was a good day.

The most exciting part of the day though? Mab’s Drawlloween launch! This is my third year taking part. It is a great opportunity for me to see how much I have grown each year as an artist. It’s a great chance to find new artists. Plus it is just an all round fun thing to take part in. I always find prompts that don’t inspire to start with me that I end up creating something I really like for. I know that this year will be my best one yet and I am determined to get something for every prompt. 

Pencils at the Ready!

This year I tried to get a head start, was adamant I’d get a head start. Day one showed up and I didn’t have a prompt ready! That’s not to say I didn’t have any drawings ready, just not for day one! I had done the classic thing of drawing the prompts that jumped out at me. Despite being only a few days in I have already come up with some pieces I am really pleased with. This year I am trying to go big, bold and funny! I always like my drawlloween to have a bit of humour, but this year I want to make sure it is in abundance en every piece. They’ve had a really good reception for it so far too. Engagement has been really strong on my instagram posts. I have gained new followers and had a few requests for prints too. And I have only posted five days of drawings as I write this. 

I wish it could be drawlloween as Everydayyyy

I know that there are other drawing challenges throughout the year but this is the heavyweight for me. A spooky prompt list always resonates with me strongest. Aughost only came on my radar this year so i wasn’t very prepared. Perhaps I can make a big to do of that one in 2021. It is always a challenge to finish the whole list but I am determined to do it. I know I’m going to be sad when it ends too.

So many drawings, so little time

I have one product under wraps inspired by my Drawlloween 2020 so far. There are also some other ideas sloshing around in my head, including some prints for sure. I am excited to see what ideas come out. They are as much as suprise to me at this point as they are to you guys! I am sure I can get some fun things from it to add to my store by the time Christmas comes 🙂

Jump over on my insta to follow my Drawlloween 2020 journey https://instagram.com/thisissianellis 

Halloween Pet Portraits


I recently introduced Halloween Pet Portraits to my commissions. They are my first ever digital only Etsy product. I’m going to talk a bit about my thinking behind them and the first ones I have completed.

Digital Art in a Digital Age

Before now all of my commissions have been drawn in fineliner pen. This involves an initial pencil sketch that is then completed in pen and then posted recorded delivery to the customer. Through offering new digital portrait options I can offer more affordable commission opportunities. It is a faster method of producing art and involves no postage costs. For this reason I have also begun to offer digital house portraits. I will continue to offer my traditionally drawn commissions as I think that each method of illustration creates a very different finished result.

Post-postage 

The benefit of not using the postage system is not just that the customer is saved postage costs, but that portraits are received immediately upon completion. This is especially important as an option in a year where the Christmas postage system will be under particular strain. It also means that I can accept commissions up until a later date that ordinarily and the turnaround time is quicker.

The First Class

I was so happy to get such a great reception for these portraits and to sign up my first customers within hours of announcing the portraits. It was great to hear their ideas and see their gorgeous familiars! There’s a choice of colour portraits, black and white or with a colour pop. I can incorporate any halloween costume, film character or spooky idea that you can come up with. I love chatting through ideas with customers.

Through completing my first batch of portraits I am definitely loving adding these to the shop. I am a big animal lover and getting to see everyone’s adorable pets and having the honour of drawing them is a huge win!

Revisiting the Studio

I thought it might be nice to revisit my studio. This is because I am still excited about it. I love showing it off! Plus I haven’t shared it here since I first moved in. I’ll just cover some of the new bits since then.

Firstly though I want to recap on how much I love this place! I LOVE it! I am so excited to come here everyday. It has been two and a half months since I moved in. This place feels so much like home. I have my packing corner, my work corner and my cosy corner. Plus everything has a place. I have my paint trolley, packaging storage and my library. I even have a shelf and area just for Dot. The organisation of my studio helps me day to day so much. Efficiency means I can do things quicker. It also helps me feel more professional. I am just in my element here. 

My Spooky Studio Garden

I have gotten so many pants you guys! I got a bit obsessed. Plants bring great life to a space. They also make sure you have to come in and look after them. Stops you working at home in your PJs too much! I’m still working out what sort of plants will thrive in this space though. I think it suffers from hot summers and cold winters so they’ll certainly be tested! I have gone for spooky planters and am planning to add little ghostly touches. This is why I call it my spooky garden. Ghosts with plants feature in a few of my pieces of work so I am excited to have my own real spooky garden for real.

One Man’s Trash…

My new paint trolley is also a pride and joy of the studio. The best thing about it is that it was free! It was the exact trolley I wanted for ages. But it was so expensive and I spent so much on my studio I couldn’t justify it, Luckily for me Martin spotted one in a skip! I was convinced it would be gone by the time I got there. Either that or it was broken. I was in luck. It was in perfect condition and there waiting for me. 2020 definitely needs more wins and this was certainly one. How could you put something so wonderful out in the trash? Crazy!

What’s Left?

There’s not much left to do. I’ve established that I need to amend Dot’s corner a little. This is so that I can get an extra shelf in. I have too many books. Too many tchotchkes. A load of stuff. I definitely have the space for it and i don’t think Dot is going to hate having her bed moved next to the radiator. 

I still need to create my big hue flag and get some more wall art. There’s no need to rush these things though. Plus the best problem to have as a freelancer is being too busy to create this extra stuff. 

Zap Creatives Interview

I was recently interviewed by the folk at Zap Creatives and am sharing it here for today’s blog 🙂

Hello Sian! Let’s start by you telling us a little bit about your background and how your business started?

Hello! I have always drawn and made things since I can remember. But I have only been running my business for about two and a half years. I used to keep all my drawings a secret, I was shy about sharing them. However, my friends and family encouraged me. I have only became a full time artist now in 2020! 

We love how your work is spooky yet super cute at the same time! As a full time artist, what do you get up to? 

A typical day for me usually starts with me doing my emails and checking my social media from home with a cup of tea before heading to my studio. It’s based in Sheffield city centre so I usually walk in with my pup, Dot. We have a bit of playtime before I start working on whatever commissions I have on that day. When it’s time for lunch we head to the park for a run-around and then the afternoon will be mostly more commission work or packing orders, usually while listening to a spooky stories podcast. I prefer to work a day that is a slower pace but a bit longer since I find working in the evening a lot more productive. 

Three things that inspire your designs and creativity? 

Ghosts, cartoons, and silly jokes!

What’s your favourite product you have ever created and why?

Oooh, this is such a great question! It’s tough to answer, I love all my products. But I would have to say I love my earrings because I am a huge fan of statement earrings. I’m actually wearing some of my earrings I designed as I write this! 

I always want to create things that I would love to have, in the hope that other people would love to have them too! 

What’s your favourite Zap! product?

The plywood charms are perfect for earrings. They are super lightweight which is a big deal when you love giant earrings. I can wear them all day and they don’t start to feel uncomfortable. 

I love how Zap! Creatives have so many products that are recycled or responsibly sourced. As creator I try to make a conscious effort to be eco-friendly. 

What advice would you give to an illustrator starting out wanting to get work made into products? 

Chat to your customers and your social media followers to find out what sort of thing they are interested in seeing. Think about what you would love to have that you can create yourself. Otherwise, just try it! If you are worried about the initial costs of trying new products there are so many crowdfunding platforms out there. You can also have pre-orders and if you can excite other people enough about something new that you want to bring out then you can make it a reality together!

Which film do you never get bored off? We are guessing it is going to be a spooky one haha?

The Addams Family Values is constantly on my rotation. I love to put it on while I draw since I’ve seen it so many times I don’t need to pay loads of attention to it but it still always makes me laugh and I never get bored of it. 

Other artists that inspire you? 

There are so many amazing artists out there! I love artists like Mab Graves who work across a variety of mediums because I get that feeling. I love artists who just create spooky art all year long too and I have loads of amazing pieces in my studio by artists like Jelly Koe, Defective Pudding, artists who make stuff that is adorable and Halloweeny all year long.

Where can people buy your amazing products and find your work!?

You can buy my products on Etsy at www.etsy.com/uk/shop/thisissianellis and check out my Instagram @thisissianellis

Instagram 3k Giveaway


You’ve probably seen that I currently have a pretty epic giveaway on the go. I thought I’d take this blog opportunity to look at the sweet haul on offer. 

To start I want to offer a huge thank you to all the wonderful artists who donated something to the giveaway. I wanted to approach artists who I thought would help create a good aesthetic for the giveaway and would also be people that my followers would enjoy to discover. There’s no point running a giveaway asking people to follow someone whose art they don’t enjoy just to try and bag a freebie.

When I finally had all the prizes together and could lay them out for a photo shoot I was instantly jealous of whoever was going to win! It was tough to get them all in a shot that I could use on social media. I hope it’s done justice to the fab prizes on offer!

You can find out more about each artist by following their instagram handles tagged on the instagram giveaway post 🙂

The Dark Times

The lovely Hattie has donated these incredible bat cut outs that seem to have taken over instagram! It seems that every self respecting goth aesthetic account has rightly gotten on board. They are a brilliant statement display. Her paper cuts are wonderful and she included some adorable ghost stickers too.

You’re So Cool

We’ve got a couple of bold black and white prints donated by the wonderful You’re So Cool. The ‘No feet’ Beetlejuice ghosts are my fave! Her work is full of all the creepy films we have nostalgia from when we were kids and the music of our teenage years! Whatever your fandom there’s something for you 🙂

Stella Box Designs

I love Hachley’s lino prints! It’s such a wonderful printing technique I definitely need to carve in (pun, wahey!) more time for myself to practice. You might have even spotted her ‘stay spooky’ pumpkin print in my studio. She has donated the gravestone print and I love the use of negative space on the bone fence. 

The Littlest Spook Shop

We got a great little bundle of adorable prints from The Littlest Spook Shop for the giveaway. I’m always going to love a cute little ghost and these guys are no exception. Plus Laura’s included  the most adorable little spook pin! The pin is based on the popular Polaroid ghost print and the detail and finish on it are lush!

Nox Caleo

You guys all know how obsessed I am with spooky jewellery. It’s ridiculous. The little Nox caleo ghost earring and matching necklace are totally adorable! So much so I may have run over to the store to pick myself up some spooky treats (I told you I was jealous of the giveaway winner!)

Saffron Reichenback

The pin game is strong with this one! We’ve got some super wicked stickers and a glamour ghoul and bat girl pin. These awesome pins are definitely gonna boost someone’s collection and they are a really good statement size too. I love how they have a kinda undead 1920s vampire vibe about them!

Box of Goth

You may have spotted a sneaky secret surprise gift in there too. I personally am a humongous surprise fan. When my fiancé proposed it was the biggest surprise ever and he said he just knew that that would be the way I would enjoy it the most. He was right! If someone could just plan me a surprise wedding now that would be great! Unfortunately I know that isn’t going to happen but I can quench my surprise thirst with mystery subscription boxes, hurrah! I have signed up to a few different ones and I loved my surprises from Box of Goth! So I was super stoked to be able to include one of their mini mystery boxes in the giveaway.

If you look hard enough you can have a little peek at some of the contents but I purposefully kept them packed away in the spirit of the mystery box. The little coffin box is the cutest thing ever and you will often see mine pop up on a product shot on my insta feed from time to time. It’s just too cute!

Foxx and Raccoon

This super sleek bats in the moonlight print by Foxx and Raccoon is a super inclusion in the giveaway! I love how sleek Hk’s work is. She has lots of one off and bespoke pieces on offer too so her profile is definitely worth a visit for some gothy gifting! 

Then there’s me!

I’ve added some of my brand new A5 size prints to the giveaway and a pin to add to the super pin haul (there are at least 5 in there!)

I’ve also included some stickers, despite being too much of a silly billy to include them in the photo. 

It’s going to be super lovely when I get to tell the winner that they’ve won on Tuesday! Who doesn’t like giving out good news? I once had a job where every Friday I had to ring someone who had won £1,000 on our weekly lottery and it was always the best way to wrap up a week. I do love playing Santa with these giveaways. 

If you haven’t entered yet, the winner will be drawn Tuesday 15th September and the giveaway is open worldwide. Just head to www.instagram.com/thisissianellis to find out how to enter!

Halloween as a Spooky Artist- the Best and most Difficult time of year

I know it’s gonna surprise some of you guys when I say that spooky season can be tough for spooky artists. I know that others of you might be thinking ‘it’s early September why is she talking about Halloween?’ Halloween comes to the UK the moment the first Code Orange siren sounds as far as I’m concerned. For those of you who might not know about code orange, it’s the moment that high street stores start to sell their halloween range each year. In 2020 it came as early as July and some stores seem to be wrapping up their Halloween offerings already. This isn’t the norm though. It’s definitely a symptom of a corona code orange.

What won’t be a suprise is how much I love halloween. Scary films, spooky decorations, amazing haunted events. I’m still hopeful that there will be something wonderful to experience this year. Even if it is an online event or a socially distanced drive in cinema. This will be my first Halloween in a couple of years that I don’t have to work too. My pumpkin carving time is back, woohoo!

Get to the point Sian, why is it TOUGH?

In short it’s tough because all the non-spooky folk jump on the spooky wagon. It’s weird to spend all year as a bit of an outsider only to have that month or two where everyone gets on board. That goes for artists, crafters, shoppers and the high street. A lot of whom are happy to put their spooky back in the closet on November 1st and not think about it again for a year. So in essence, not my typical customer. The art I create is very much for people who have embraced the spooky lifestyle. I don’t think that there are too many other people interested enough in just their halloween to be following an account for spooks 365 days a year. 

So as well as it not being super likely I will find too many new customers, my existing customers are suddenly kids in candy shops. I know this, because I am too! There is a short window where spooky is normal and you can fill up on halloween treats from a range of high street stores. People wait all year for it, and some save up especially too. October is definitely a month to stretch the bank account if spooky shopping is your deal. So it’s understandable that a lot of customers are focused more on buying what they can only buy at this time of year, as opposed to their favourite all year round halloween stores.

From Halloween is Everyday to Halloween is Everywhere 

Ultimately though it is my absolute favourite time of year. Maybe next year I’ll embrace the drop in custom as a chance for me to take the time off. So I can enjoy all the spooky things I love about Halloween! As some shops are already winding down their halloween stock it might even be possible for small spooky businesses to get a bit of a surge again this year. At the end of the day though, that’s not what matters. Enjoying the holiday and all it has to offer is something I have been doing long long before I had my business and I intend to keep it up.

If you have good suggestions for halloween plans this year, including online events or films to watch let me know!

Market Announcement: Darksome Arts and Craft Virtual Market “EVERYDAY IS HALLOWEEN”

This is a big one, baby! It’s no secret that Covid takes the trophy this year for messing everything up. EVERYTHING. Finding any kind of silver lining has been tough. I lost my job, I couldn’t meet my newborn nephew, and I was still a lot luckier than a lot of other people. Taking part in the Darksome Art & Craft market is definitely a silver lining for me!

A Weekend market in Halloween town

Last month I was interviewed by the Halloween arts and Travel Podcast. The podcast is US based and we talked about the differences in markets in the US and UK. Primarily Halloween and oddities markets. We talked about how these things don’t exist in the UK. Which is a huge shame I’m sure you’ll agree! I always look upon them on social media and dream I could attend!

When I saw that the fabulous Darksome Art and Craft we’re running an ‘Everyday is Halloween Market’ online I didn’t think twice about applying. I didn’t want to hold my breath though. With so many talented artists on their books I knew it would be competitive. Plus applying from the other side of the world felt like a big of a punt for sure! When I got accepted I was super excited!

One Helluva Birthday Bash

The market is taking place on the weekend of 16-18th October. With my birthday slap bang in the middle of it. I’d say that’s a good excuse for me to treat myself to some spooky birthday gifts. The line up has been announced on the official facebook event and it looks brilliant. The wonderful Defective Pudding has created an excellent poster for the event. I love her work and have a few prized possessions by her up in my studio. I think it’s nice for the market to be able to host artists from other corners of the world too. So I am humbled and happy that we are offering something new to each other.

It’s always nice to take part in a market that is 100% spooky. It doesn’t happen often, especially here in the UK. It’s nice to be trading alongside artists in a similar field. It’s brilliant to be curated as part of that. The market will take place on a dedicated website created by Darksome Art and Craft themselves so follow them on social media or look out on mine for more details of how to get involved.

There might even be a discount on offer in honour of the occasion. I’ll definitely be producing more video content too. This went well at the Etsy Made Local market last month and it’ll be nice to share my work and my studio with some new fans as well as existing supporters. Can’t wait to see you there! 

Haunted House Portraits

I love it when September turns up after a long summer. It won’t suprise any of you that Autumn is my favourite season. Big jumpers, gingerbread lattes and Halloween. What is there not to be excited about? The start of September is when requests for my Haunted House portraits begin to increase rapidly too. 

I always recommend that if someone knows that they want a portrait for a birthday or Christmas that they get in touch sooner rather than later at this time of year. I usually cite a 3 week turnaround for portraits. In the warmer months I can often turn them around even quicker. However once Autumn hits and people start to think of Christmas I unfailing end up closing the books in November at the latest. This is to ensure that I have enough time to dedicate to each portrait and can be confident of having them delivered before Christmas comes.

Haunt my House 

All I need to be able to haunt your home is some photos. I’ll always suggest ways you can get a good picture. I’ll also let you know early if there are any issues with the photos sent. I can create portraits in A4 or A3 sizes and they are all hand drawn on good quality paper. It doesn’t even need to be a house either. I have haunted bars, vehicles and flats too. If you have an idea but aren’t sure if it can work, just get in touch and we can see if we can work something out.

I’ll also ask a few exploratory questions to make sure that the haunted house I come up with is perfect for you or who you are gifting it too. I can go entirely by my imagination, use your suggestions or even draw an already haunted house. I recently captured an incredible Halloween display for one family for a gift for the lead Halloween house haunter. 

Unique Gift

What I love about the portraits is that they are always so different, I love hearing everyone’s ideas. Being able to draw a range of properties with such different personalities is delightful too. I love creating spooky stuff for spooky people! It’s what I love and it’s what I am good at too. I have created dozens of these portraits and the feedback for them has happily always been glowing. 

If you want to book a commission slot with me to create a haunted house portrait for you, just drop me a note on the contact form of this website or email me at sianellis@hotmail.co.uk 😊