Ever since I was young, I've loved creating art. My mom claims that I was drawing on little scraps of paper I found around the house before I could even walk (I can neither confirm nor deny this rumor). Either way, my life has always veered in one creative direction or another. I drew and painted all throughout my young years, but it wasn't until creating a poster in high school to raise awareness about human trafficking that I really found my passion.
Hi, I'm Elaine.
From this moment onward, I felt consistently pulled to create art that reflects or responds to the world around me. In college, I decided to major in sociology, in hopes to advocate against injustice as a career. While taking the occasional art class elective, I always found myself using my art to grapple with the deep social issues I was learning about in my sociology courses. These are pieces helped me to reflect and feel less passive while learning about such unsettling topics, but even more beautifully, they opened up a dialogue to teach others about these topics. While academic papers and dense books are not as easily consumed, art transcends social and linguistic barriers, and begins a visual conversation that speaks differently to every unique viewer.
Receiving my award for the Santa Clara County "Justice for All" Art Contest in 2015
The photos I took for my grad announcement that would also announce my move to the Philippines in May 2020
Fast forward to June 2020, I had just graduated, and accepted my dream job doing investigative work into online sexual exploitation of children in the Philippines. I received an email in the morning of June 2nd, my job had been cancelled due to COVID-19. I was devastated, and laid in bed for the rest of the day, grieving the loss of a huge opportunity. Later on, just as the sun was setting, I got a burst of energy to post some designs I had been working on online. Within days, I had hundreds of orders for stickers featuring my original 5 location designs. I was filled with a new purpose, real people were buying my art and supporting me!
My first ever batch of sticker orders in May 2020
Showing my first ever IKEA bag sized order pile in June 2020
Since then, I have been creating and creating, pretty much nonstop. I love traveling and seeing the world, which has been impossible during the pandemic, so I have channeled my wanderlust into my artwork, adding many more locations. I have also advocated against injustice through my art, raising thousands of dollars for specific causes through campaign designs. More importantly, 10% of every single order goes to the Equal Justice Initiative to fight for criminal justice reform.