Today we’d like to introduce you to Elianna Panakis.
Elianna, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
I’ve been passionate about art since I was old enough to hold a crayon in my tiny, toddler hands. I continued to pursue art throughout grade school, always exploring new mediums and starting hundreds of unfinished projects as a way to practice new techniques and styles until I discovered and perfected a style of my own. My mother allowed me to roam the aisles of craft stores frequently and helped me set up a mini studio in our garage so I would be able to create art freely (without staining her carpet). I try to push myself to explore fields of art that may seem challenging or foreign in order to build my knowledge of mediums and techniques, while simultaneously allowing me to decide what outlet works best for me. I’ve learned that I produce my best pieces when I am able to spontaneously work on a piece, working with no direction or intention in mind, and finishing once I feel satisfied with the page in front of me.
The decision to continue pursuing art professionally was surprisingly easy; I’ve always known that I would embrace a creative career despite the odds stacked against young and upcoming artists. Currently, I am working on my B.F.A. in Design at the University of Texas at Austin. I have been immersed in a campus that values the arts and taken hours of studio classes a week, every second of which hardly feels like an obligation because of my love for the program.
We’d love to hear more about your art. What do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
My art is not typically representational of anything in particular, other than what I’m inspired by or thinking of at the moment. I prefer to create pieces in the spur of the moment when inspiration strikes and leaving the content of the piece up to the viewer to interpret as they wish. I don’t necessarily believe all art must have a direct or subliminal meaning or message, and that is what I choose to express in my works. I believe in art, for the sake of art.
Lately, most of the pieces I’ve been working on are very minimal and abstract. I am fascinated by the effectiveness of communicating an image or an idea with limited linework and pushing the boundaries of how people interpret the content of my images with limited direction. I am working on some simple pieces right now that don’t particularly have any hidden meanings to me, but others may find their own meaning! I am enlightened by the many definitions and ideas people think of when they see my art, and it is humbling to hear how different people interpret the same piece.
The sterotype of a starving artist scares away many potentially talented artists from pursuing art – any advice or thoughts about how to deal with the financial concerns an aspiring artist might be concerned about?
I fully recognize how devastating it can be to put your passion on hold because of financial concerns. I understand how challenging it is to produce a body of work if you are not motivated by commissions, or even have access to them, so I recommend uploading your art to websites such as Society6 or Redbubble to give yourself exposure and some pocket change. Marketing yourself and your art is the easiest and fastest way to have your name out there, so I highly recommend self-promotion on any and every social media platform. It is an incredible outlet for artists to reach a large audience and make connections!
Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your artwork?
I do my best to consistently update my website, https://eliannapanakis.wixsite.com/eliannadraws with new additions to my portfolio, but typically once I finish a piece, I upload it to my shop on Society6, https://society6.com/eliannadraws. Additionally, I have a shop on Redbubble, https://www.redbubble.com/people/eliannadraws, but I tend to post my current and works I feel most proud of on Society6.
- Website: https://eliannapanakis.wixsite.com/eliannadraws
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Other: https://society6.com/eliannadraws
Profile photo: Nicole Dhar