Written by G Streat
We need more of Gini Elliot in our lives- so do you.
Self-taught. Self-actualized. Modest. The tone of her voice is a shade of sincere, reminiscent of your favorite auntie. As she speaks, the wisdom and warmth of her words comfort like that home-cooked meal you’ve been thinking about all week.
“If a person looks at my artwork and cannot be touched and their feelings and emotions don’t come out, then I haven’t done my job. There’s got to be something that captivates them to make them say, ‘Wow she did that.’ Something that makes you feel, and makes you think. That’s what I want them to take away.”
Just look at the eyes. The hair. The expressions. Through the use of charcoal, Gini puts her emotions, her admiration, and her faith on display.
“One of the things that I incorporate into my work [before I do things] is prayer. I always pray, and I say, ‘Lord, you know what I want to convey. Help me. Be here with me.’ If I don’t do that, it never turns out like I want it.”
“My goal is to let people see a part of me, because everything I do is a part of me.”
“A lot of times I’ll have dreams, I’ll see visions in my dreams and I’ll feel like that’s what I need to do. Inspiration can come from my dog, my grandchildren, it’s not just about a person. It can be from anything.”
Perhaps the most significant source of inspiration for Gini was her sister.
“I saw my sister drawing and it just really caught my attention. I just couldn’t believe that she did what she did with her own hands. That’s basically how I got started and I’ve been doing it ever since.”
Within her community, Gini’s talent is recognized and sought after. When friends and family members commission a piece, they’re rewarded with the latest test of Gini’s ability.
“I would see things and say, ‘Ok, I’m going to try to do this.’ I would always test myself to see what I could do and what I couldn’t do. It’s just something in my blood. I just love to do it.”
Perhaps Gini’s giving nature has nurtured her process and growth as an artist.
“God blessed me with this talent, so I feel I have to share it. Everything He gives me, I’m blessed with. So if I can bless someone else with it that makes it a deal for me.”
“I just know that this is what I’m supposed to be doing, so I give it 110 percent.”
Sharing her talent, faith, heart and perspective, Gini holds nothing back. She encourages those who have ears to hear to do the same.
“Listen to yourself, listen to your heart. What you create comes out of you. No one can tell you how to do it, how to color it, how to shade it. It’s all about what comes from your hands, what God has put inside of you.”
That last one hit. We’re still sitting with it.
Ain’t nothing like your favorite Auntie.
You can find Gini’s work on her Facebook page. Remember to check for the eyes.