Eli PortmanEli Portman is a young local artist, who is doing a Brio Guest Artist Workshop on Expressive Painting for all abilities at the Jenks Center in Winchester on January 27th. See our calendar.

What inspired you to become an artist?
Eli: What inspired me to become an artist, originally, was comic books! I loved reading comic books when I was a kid, and enjoyed the detail and excitement of the artwork. As I’ve gotten older and my interests have changed, I’ve also grown to love some more traditional styles of artwork. In my pieces I tend to fuse the two.

What is your favorite type of media to work with?
Eli: I usually work with Pen and Ink. I love the really dark, thin lines that one can make with the right pen and a steady hand.

How do you come up with the concepts that you draw or take photographs of?
Eli: I usually work off of real places, and so I’ll often go to a town or neighborhood with my camera and look for different spots and pieces of architecture that seem interesting to me. From there I’ll go through the photos and think about how best to render the right scenes, and what type of feeling I want to go for.

Commonwealth Ave BostonDo you have any exhibits? If so, where are they shown?
Also, what other ways do you present your work to the public?

Eli: I’ve had a number of gallery shows in the past, but nothing currently. I do have my work hanging in a few cafes at the moment. I also participate in art fairs, group shows, and have produced some murals, which are all good ways of getting people to see my work.

Are your photographs and drawing based in locations in Massachusetts?
Eli: As a rule I always work from photos I’ve taken myself, and since I don’t get to travel very often, most of my scenes are based in Massachusetts, specifically in the Greater Boston Area.

Are there any artists that you are inspired by or look up to?
Eli: I’m always inspired by the comic book artists I appreciated as a child! I’m also a fan of the Ashcan School of Artists, which were a group of artists in the early 1900’s who painted scenes of regular people, mostly in NYC. A lot of other artists at the time were painting the upper class, or very beautiful idyllic nature scenes. I appreciate their commitment to capturing real people in real places, who had to work hard. I’m also a big fan of Van Gogh and the impressionist movement.

You can see more of his work at www.eliportman.com

This interview is from Brio interns, Sophie and Sara.