Where are you from?

Aberdeen, Maryland.

 

 

Describe your painting process. What paths do you take from the conception of an idea to its completion?

Everything starts mentally. Since my focus has been on people, I usually come across someone I’m intrigued with through research or happenstance, which leads me to doing even more research and studying the person to better understand who they are. Next, I find a photograph I feel best captures their essence. Then, I select the colors and build up the image in layers.

 

 

What is the reasoning behind your artistic path? What inspires and moves you to create?

Art has always been something I did. You know how you get introduced to art in elementary school and people eventually just stop doing it or stop caring about it? I wasn’t one of them. I maintained the interest and kept going. It was something that always felt right to me. People inspire me to create; they always have. Everyone has a story to be told, and I like to tell them in my own way.

What sets your style apart from the rest? Do you believe your style is still evolving or have you found your signature?

My style isn’t one-dimensional, and I allow myself to learn from others. I’m also open to trying new things, whenever a project calls for it. I believe that while my style is distinct, it is still evolving. I feel that evolution is inevitable as you age and experience new things.

 

 

What artists do you admire and why?

Ernie Barnes, Kehinde Wiley, and Kerry James Marshall, to name a few.  Their styles are very unique and portray Black culture in a positive light. They display us as we are, in our rawest form. Our story, told by us. Also,  my mentor,  Jeff Henriquez,  has an amazing style. The way he captures  life makes you feel like you’re in or with it. It puts you in the scene, which allows you to not only see it, but to even  smell, hear,  and feel it as well.

 

 

What sets your style apart from the rest? Do you believe your style is still evolving or have you found your signature?

My style isn’t one-dimensional, and I allow myself to learn from others. I’m also open to trying new things, whenever a project calls for it. I believe that while my style is distinct, it is still evolving. I feel that evolution is inevitable as you age and experience new things.

 

 

What artists do you admire and why?

Ernie Barnes, Kehinde Wiley, and Kerry James Marshall, to name a few.  Their styles are very unique and portray Black culture in a positive light. They display us as we are, in our rawest form. Our story, told by us. Also,  my mentor,  Jeff Henriquez,  has an amazing style. The way he captures  life makes you feel like you’re in or with it. It puts you in the scene, which allows you to not only see it, but to even  smell, hear,  and feel it as well.

 

 

Your art uses vibrant colors and employs imagery of cultural figures, would you describe yourself as a pop artist? Do you think the pop art movement influenced your color palette and subject matter at all?

I never thought or considered myself a pop artist, but I can see why that would be said. My biggest influence as far as my color palette is MADSTEEZ. I knew I always wanted to paint in bright and vibrant colors, but was unsure of how to approach that until I came across his work back in 2016. As far as the subject matter, that’s always been something I sought out and enjoyed, painting people all while telling their story. I find people that made strides and expanded beyond the boxes they were put in rather interesting. Seeing what it took for them and how they maneuvered through it all. I do want to try some new things in the near future though, so we’ll see how that goes.

 

 

A lot of the people you paint are Black-American actresses like Teresa Graves and Brenda Sykes who aren’t necessarily well known within the overall American zeitgeist. By doing their portraits would you say you’re trying to bring more attention to them?

Absolutely. That’s always been a goal of mine- to put names to faces and bring awareness. We are aware of figures such as Pam Grier and Cicely Tyson, but their colleagues seem to get overlooked. Some of them have even starred in some movies together.

What is the ideal interaction between your finished works of art and the people who interact with them? What do you hope the take away to be?

Anyone that stops to give it any sort of glance is a win in my book, but if I can hold your attention long enough for you to feel and learn something, or even engage in conversation, then I’m happy with that.

 

 

Which one of your pieces are you the most proud to have completed?

#SayHerName, the mural I did of Oluwatoyin Salau and the 400+ names. The reach that had and the effect it had on people was amazing to me. There was even a showing for it at a gallery in Longview, Texas. That’s still surreal to me.

 

At the end of the day, what is it that you want to have accomplished?

I want to be a catalyst for the culture while touching a few people along the way, and educating them in the process. 

 

 

Where can people find your work?

They can view my work on my website, https://www.elizeofficial.com and/or my Instagram @e.lizeart.

 

You can also view E.Lizé’s work at the Louis L. Redding Gallery located in the City/County Building in Wilmington, on display until 04/29/22