Today we’ll show you the portfolio of Jason Elliot. This artist is very good with drawing words and phrases. Give him some ink and good inspiration and he’s drawing beautiful words on paper.
Jason: “Early in life, Ed Emberly books were my favorites, as they taught me simple structures to draw animals and cities. My kids all used these same books as well. You could say art is in my blood. My uncle, Richard Elliott, won a contest painting wildlife back in the 1970s. The prize for his watercolor entry was the first ever “duck stamp” in the State of Tennessee.
My mom was a first grade teacher, so school was important. And my dad’s block lettering handwriting was the most precise I’d ever seen. I found an early love for reading that was really a quest for words. I love the symmetry of words and the shape of letters. I love the new ones, like eustress, that stimulate our brain as we learn to use them and old worlds like glory and universe, that we can always ponder. Words like grit and encourage and persistence. And we can’t forget “curious”. (I still have the Curious George stuffed animal I grew up with. It’s in my youngest daughter’s bucket of stuffed animals with an owl named Owie from my wife’s childhood that is almost half a decade old now.)
In nature, I like sunflowers and trees and grass. My high school attempts at copying Van Gogh with acrylics was mediocre at best. But we did successfully grow some 10 foot tall sunflowers in our first ever victory garden in the summer of 2020. I used to paint alot with acrylics and some oils.
But now, I draw words. This “wordart” is done with pen and ink and some colored pencils on Bristol paper. I put a lot of contrast in the words and use mainly black, white and grey colors. I have always like graffiti art as well. You will see that influence. I have also done a lot of calligraphy. Maybe atypical for a man, but I hand-lettered the invitations to my own wedding!
Much of my inspiration for words comes from the Bible and the sermons and books along my Christian walk. But those are not the only inspirations for me. Phrases and quotes from history provide a lot of encouragement as well. One of the biggest compliments I ever received from an agnostic co-worker who became a friend was, “you are one of the only Christians that I can talk about religion with.”
At When You Word, we seek to find common ground that unites rather than divides, irregartless of politics, religion, class, race, gender and so forth. Art and words and beauty are a great medium to do that.
(BTW I know irregartless is not a word. And I know that a debate exists about “irregardless”. I don’t think it is a proper word, but I love to use “irregartless” anyway with big emphasis on the “gart” syllable whenever possible.
Art is a side gig for me. I’ve worked in enterprise software and IT for 20+ years. You can find me and my wife, three kids and our pandemic dog, named Diego, in Franklin, TN. We are frequently at soccer and football games, as well as cross coaching and supporting the kids.
When You Word
Inspire. Ponder. Encourage. Wonder.
Collaborate with use. We’d love to hear your favorite words, quotes, phrases. Heck, we may even make wordart out of them like we did last night with the word “different” inspired by Micah Tyler’s song. You can find @whenyouword on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest (and twitter, but we don’t tweet much).”
Do you like this kind of posts? It is part of our “Submitted Portfolios” section: a special page showing everything we've published related to this subject.