ECA+ Creative Member Directory
Mapping the Arts in Easthampton, Southampton, & Westhampton


Eli Helman


Pen & Ink Artist

Since 2008, self-taught artist Eli Helman (b. 1978) has spent thousands of hours meticulously crafting highly detailed pen and ink drawings. Having no formal training, his outsider style evolved from simple pencil doodles of abstract shapes and patterns into complex, thematically diverse fine art illustrations. He considers his style to be Maximalism a term used in many forms of art that can be marked by, but not limited to, the juxtaposition of varying styles, a process oriented approach and an obsessive attention to detail. Leaving virtually no space untouched, many of his large pieces (18x24) take well over 100 hours each to complete.

Eli grew up in the Boston area before attending American University in Washington, DC. Shortly thereafter, he moved to Tucson, Arizona to pursue a musical collaboration. The result was a self-produced album of experimental electro-acoustic guitar music and a series of traveling adventures throughout the West. While in Arizona, he created his first series of pencil drawings in a 4x6 journal. These pieces, though primitive and unrefined, were the seeds of his style that would emerge years later. Upon returning to the east coast in 2006, he recorded two albums while living in Deer Isle, Maine. Two years later he began drawing more seriously, this time switching from pencil to Micron pen. He has been a full-time artist since 2009. He lives in Easthampton, Massachusetts.

I self-published a book of drawings called "Life in Forms: 50 Maximalist Ink Drawings". www.lifeinformsbook.com