Magazine contributor, artist, student


Courtesy of Ellie Bonifant

While sitting at a table inside Raleigh coffee spot the Third Place, junior Ellie Bonifant can be found working hard at a new art piece, finding some new obscure indie band, or furiously editing photographs.  In her three years at Broughton, Bonifant has seemingly done it all. While balancing her passion for art and an IB schedule, she’s also tackled leadership positions in Zine, Sexuality and Gender Acceptance (also known as SAGA), and Poetry Club. Just recently, Bonifant premiered her website, which is a showcase of her visual art and photography.

Drawing by Ellie Bonifant
Drawing by Ellie Bonifant

“I’ve always more or less been into art, at least as far back as I can remember. I had some really great teachers in elementary school who steered me towards it. I love art because it has the ability to create empathy and understanding across cultures and time periods. It allows people to share narratives in new and interesting ways and is sort of a language all its own. On a more personal level, art is important to me because it’s a way for me to sort of run wild. I can use it to make sense of what’s going on in my head or the world around me, or I can just try out a new color palette I like. It’s really open and I love that,” Bonifant said.

Of course, behind every artist is a world of inspiration that sparks new idea’s every day.

“[The] music that inspires me to just generally make things is kind of odd, like as David Bowie, SKATERS, Mal Blum, and Oberhofer, but I really love to listen to the Edward Scissorhands movie score. I’m also a huge fan of the photographers Annie Leibovitz, Petra Collins, and Eleanor Hardwick. My art inspiration comes from artists like Ana Hinojosa, Fiona Staples and MC Escher. Also, those cool etchings on the front of Nancy Drew books,” says Bonifant.

Back in August of 2015, Bonifant’s art was featured on the popular online magazine, Rookie Mag.  

“It was wild. I’d submitted the comic like 6 months earlier and hadn’t heard back, so I definitely wasn’t expecting it when I got the email. I’ve loved Rookie for years and to have it published there specifically was really special. I think the thing that stuck out about it the most for me were the comments people left under the post. Just to known that people empathized with it, or took something from it, felt incredible,” says Bonifant.

The featured piece was entitled “Adventures With OCD” and illustrated Bonifant’s own experience living with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.

“Mental health is something that can affect a person’s entire perception of the world. It becomes a part of your life and your identity and can sometimes be enormously challenging. I think [mental health] awareness is important because students who don’t struggle with mental health issues may not understand its importance to someone who does. That’s why I wrote the comic. Some jokes about mental health can feel like an attempt to trivialize something that’s actually quite serious,” says Bonifant.