Artist Tatiana EL-Khouri on the Right Path - page 2

By Mia Taylor on January 31, 2006

Tatiana El-KhouriIn fact, she really is an artist — one who has already established a truly unique voice, that's likely due in large part to her own unique background.

EL-Khouri's mother traces her roots to both Mexico and Belize. Her father is Lebanese, but grew up in Sierra Leon — a place EL-Khouri spent one year as a child, with her family. When civil war erupted in that country, EL-Khouri's family headed to Los Angeles.

"Growing up, there was always all different kinds of food in our house, people speaking all different languages," EL-Khouri says. "I was always so different from everyone else in south central LA and people didn't quite understand it. I didn't quite understand it…and then I started to take pride in it."

That pride has blossomed into an ongoing endeavor to visit the places where her parents were born and grew-up. Her mission during these visits is learning, absorbing, observing and then utilizing such experiences in her artwork.

She's fresh back from a month long trip to Mexico and Belize, where finding herself so inspired, El-Khouri took more than 2,000 photographs.

Her next trip is already planned — EL-Khouri will visit Nigeria and Lebanon this summer.

But without having packed another bag, it's already entirely clear that her artwork is the product of something, or someplace, other then Southern California.

Throughout the diverse mediums and techniques she chooses for her artwork, there's a clear focus on vibrancy of color palette. There's ample warm, saturated colors that add depth to the moods of EL-Khouri's pieces, as well as a sense of emotion, rhythm, and movement.

Africa, Belize, Mexico — yes, indeed.

EL-Khouri's long-term goal is to be able to survive financially as a freelance illustrator and commercial artist, creating works for magazines, children's books and even advertisements.

"Art with a purpose," as EL-Khouri likes to say.

In the meantime, EL-Khouri has moved back in with her parents, in order to continue life as a "starving artist," well aware that the passion to create that she discovered several years ago, has sent her down a difficult path.

"I'm putting myself out there though, I've been going to illustration conferences and networking," she says.

"I'm going to do whatever I can and work for whoever wants my art," she adds. "If somewhere down the line the entertainment industry knocks on my door and says we need an animator, or someone needs a sculpture for a hotel, I'm open to all of that."

Be sure to view more of Tatiana EL-Khouri's work on her official website -