Patty Eljaiek is a multidimensional visual artist who was born in Barranquilla, Colombia. She remained in the city of Columbia until the age of 3 when she moved to New York City. At the age of 12 she was introduced to the world of music literature. Patty’s artworks stretch the imagination with a variety of mediums that include canvas art, jewelry, scrapbook, crochet charms, wall mural, silkscreening, printing blocks made from foam stickers, sculptures, old VHS cassettes and so much more. In her younger years Patty’s art teacher encourage her to discover and explore her creativity. He helped her put together an art portfolio that showed Patty’s potential and thus helped with getting into “The School of Visual Arts”, which changed her life. It was then that she realized the incredible gift that she shared with her family. She understood and became more drawn into learning and finding her artistic soul. At “The School of Visual Arts” she studied the old masters.
Patty Eljaiek married right after graduating. With a growing family and financial responsibilities art was reserved for home made birthdays, presents and special holidays, a s she states: “My children’s friends still have some of those princess wands, tooth fairy boxes and painted denim jackets that I gifted them”.
Patty Eljaiek felt a strong pull to move into the artistic direction soon after her divorce. She needed a sense of healing after such a traumatic event in her life and, that was what art gave her. The perfect situation to unleash all that pent-up creative energy that she had been trying to control. That is when she began on a very long and beautiful journey of discovering herself and what she was made of. Patty’s children’s artwork had always adorned the walls, but now those same walls included Patty’s silk-screens, collages and her model Magic sculptures. She never imagined that today she would be painting murals, bending wire teaching and making live portraits. She learned so many new things and the probably the most important lesson she says she has learned, is that it does not matter what type of art or creation you materialize, as long as you are creating, because creating art is healing. She describes her art as: “a one of a kind piece of work”.
I, asked Patty Eljaiek to elaborate on whom or what her biggest influences have been, Patty shared with me that, “words” are one of her biggest influences. She recognizes that language is one powerful tool for both inspiration and creative purposes. She notes that being an illustration major at SVA has influenced her and disciplined her in ways that, only the human language can reach a person. She states: “Whether they are lyrics, poems, or literature, good words create images in my head”
Patty Eljaiek states: ” In recent years, most of my work has been a direct influence by Adam Duritz of “Counting Crows”. Patty finds that Adam’s lyrics are deep with emotion and have a way of allowing her to reach her creative inspiration in a more visual way.Her inspiration also stems from her wonderful family, Patty feels joy that she too is an artistic soul and thanks her family for such a gift. Coming from a family of artist and musicians she too has felt the creative itch, and has so far been creating even when she herself admits she was living a “normal” lifestyle.
Her uncle Jaime was an incredible influence, she remembers him fondly stating: “He was one of the funniest and most talented people I have ever known”. “He always supported and encouraged me to create work that keeps me true to myself”.
Patty misses him dearly and regrets not spending more time with him, wishing she had more time working with him side by side as artist.
Patty Eljaiek considers herself a “portrait artist” she admits that a great face always inspires her. She loves Realism and finds it her favorite genre, she feels that would be the best style to consider her work. Patty believes that the challenge is recreating reality, trying to capture the essence of a natural element or the soul of a person in a portrait all in one piece of work can be a goal to push towards, then for sure experimenting by placing those realistic elements in surreal environments. She says “now, that’s a challenge!”
Patty Eljaiek loves mixing pencil and water color, she feels that they are mediums that give her the desire combinations. Rendering her with a finished product that has both fluidity and amorphous allowing her artwork to possess a desired 3d element.
I, asked Patty how she best describes herself and her artwork. Patty Answered: “Me”- “Raised in a family of women” seduced by Capra’s America, searching for my own Utopia”. ; “My art, is surreptitious”… I love that word, it implies secrecy” ; “I really love to create using anything and everything”. Patty’s “motto” is “work with what you have!”.
Patty Eljaiek is a member of “The Greater Westbury Council on the Arts”. Although she doesn’t live in Westbury. She found out about it through her best friend whom was living there last year. They both were looking for an artist organization to join and loved the vibe there, so they joined. She is now on the programming committee and will be co-chairing two events this year. Patty Eljaiek has also been a Mentor at “Xmental” via Ralphie Tatum Perez for about 4 years. She feels this association has been the most rewarding by far. Ralphie has given her the opportunity to do things she never would have thought she was capable of doing, both of these are 501c3’s.
Question: Patty, What are you working on now?
Patty Eljaiek: “I have been creating a series of portraits that I would like to use as the focal point of a show entitled “A Family of Women”. “Most of the portraits are of members of my family, but I have also included women I admire within the arts”.
“I think combining our efforts; we could create a really worthwhile event that would give a voice to those willing to tell their stories of the incredible women in their lives”.”My great-aunts, aunts, grandmothers have had lives to rival those of any Meryl Streep blockbuster”, as do most of the women in all our (the audience) families. Those stories will be lost if we don’t find a way to save them!”.
Patty Eljaiek feels that in life “everything is art!”. She wants to find ways of reminding people that art is not just drawing or painting and creativity, and it is not reserved only for the ones whom have a degree and have acknowledged it. Patty feels that the secret to finding your creativity is to allow yourself to experience it without expectations. She happily states: “Here begins my one woman crusade to awaken the sleeping Jinn of creativity in others”.
For more on this artist:
“Eva Shaw Designs” SOHO,
Jewelry is also available direct from the artist at:
Patty is currently displaying at:
“City Lights Gallery”, Bridgeport CT.
and “William Hallet” in Astoria.
Patty Eljaiek’s most recent shows have included:
“Astoria Art Festival” -group show.
“Origins” “Brooklyn Artistry” -group show.
“Make Art Not War-City Lights Gallery”-group show.
“Halsey Street Dreamway” -permanent mural.
“Bushwick Open Studios”
“The Stairwell Project”
“Gramsci Monument” -collaborative public art.
“NOHO” -Ct. group art exhibit.
“Twitter Art Exhibit”-
“Solo show” at Austin’s Ale house.
“Society of Illustrators” -Metamorphosis group show.
“Queens College” “Portraits” -group show.
Other sites for reference of works and process: