Elliot Lang is a Denver-based illustrator whose work is currently featured in ‘Spectra,’ on view in the main gallery. Elliot has a versatile style that has lent itself perfectly to countless group exhibitions at Helikon over the years, but the artist also keeps busy freelancing for print publications nation-wide, designing ad campaigns and promotional materials for companies and individual clients, and working on his own personal book projects. Below, read on to learn more about Elliot’s background, inspirations, and artistic advice:
Helikon Gallery: Did you aspire to be an artist, or did you fall in love with making art?
Elliot Lang: I have been drawing since I was 3, on paper, walls, and vinyl record covers (only a few on the records, before I was busted by my parents ). My future would hold art in some form.
HG: Do you have a “day job” outside of your art?
EL: I have worked in advertising and print, but now I am full-time illustrating for my own clients. I will be a creative director for a large start-up within the year.
HG: What would you tell your younger self when you were first embarking on your artistic career?
EL: Draw, draw, draw. Don’t get discouraged, and never compare yourself to anyone else. Learn Photoshop and Illustrator because you’ll use it forever.
HG: Who are some of your current influences or inspirations? Have they changed over time?
EL: James Jean is someone I have looked up to since I was in college. My mentor and friend Zak Pullen is always an inspirational recharge. Now I look at Dean Cornwell, and JC Leyendecker as often as I can. When I’m struggling at picture making I will always look to the golden age of illustrators.
HG: What do you look for in the art of others? What would you hope people look for in your work?
EL: The drawing. The execution of the media. The presentation. Essentially all of the pieces equaling
professionalism or talent. I would hope people look for the same in my work.
HG: How long do you usually take to complete a piece? Do you work on multiple pieces simultaneously?
EL: I’m very particular so I take longer than I need to. I am always balancing a painting and a drawing at the same time. Anywhere between 8 hours to 18 hours per piece.
HG: Do you use any unusual or “non-traditional” media in your work?
EL: I work a lot digitally but don’t generally show that work in galleries.
HG: What’s the most indispensable item in your studio?
HG: Do you listen to music/audio while you work or do you prefer to work in silence? Any bands or albums you’ve been enthralled by lately?
EL: I prefer silence when I am coming up with concepts. Music or podcasts play in the background when I start finishing a piece.
HG: Where do you currently live and how did you come to reside there?
EL: Englewood, 1 mile south of Denver. My wife and I recently got married and we finally bought a house. It has a studio space, and that was the deal make for us.
HG: Outside of the craft you are known for, do you pursue any other artistic endeavors?
EL: Creative Directing for a startup will be a full time job of designing and managing a 30,000 square foot property.
HG: If you could travel to any place on earth tomorrow, where would you go?
EL: Milford Sound, New Zealand. It’s enchanting and it recharged my soul when I went.
HG: What are you currently working on and what projects do you have coming up?
EL: I’m currently writing a book that I will illustrate, and concepting work for gallery shows, and rebuilding m yportfolio to be consistent across the board.
HG: What is something most people don’t know about you?
EL: I trained from 2006-2012 for the USA Olympic Swimming Trials, making Nationals in 2009 and competing through the 2012 season. I did not make trails, but it shaped my life and forged lifelong friendships.
Thank you to Elliot for participating in our interview! You can see his work in Spectra, on view now. To see more of Elliot’s work, visit http://www.elliotlang.com.