Rvk Talks is a interview series where we get to know some of our favourite creatives as we consider creativity a big part of self care and practice. Next up is the one and only Elli Egilsson, super cool, super creative visual artist. Reykjavik born and bread, living in Las Vegas, he makes striking and mystical paintings inspired by Icelandic nature and weather. We admire his work, his work ethic and his general view on life! This Saturday he opens a show in Gallery Port that we are SUPER excited about and recommend you check it out if you are in RVK. Also follow him @elliegilsson and get inspired
Name: Elli Egilsson
Creative Outlet: Artist
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Star sign + rising sign: Taurus — Gemini
First thing you did this morning? Poured a gallon of coffee into my system to get the day started, exhibition opening in a few days, no days off.
When, how and why did you start painting? I started painting when I got tired of sitting behind my desk in front of a computer creating digital art and logos for about 12 hours a day, I did that for about good 10 years, I felt I needed to get messy and create something with my bare hands. Always been a creative, just in different forms of creative arts.
What inspires your art? I’m not really the type of person who seeks inspiration elsewhere to create but if I do so I’m sure it comes out naturally when I am surrounded by nature. Music plays a big factor when I am painting, just to have something in the background helps me to NOT think too hard about what I’m actually painting, I prefer to let the brush do it’s job without thinking too hard about the next move, so subconsciously I’m painting without thinking.
How important is work ethic in creation? Welllll I probably have the same level of discipline as any good soldier out there so I’m pretty tough on myself when it comes to my work but at the same time the line is so thin between calling my painting sessions, my work or my hobby. I love what I do but there’s definitely a reason why I call my studios NO DAYS OFF. studios. For me, there are no days off as I’m always thinking and creating something in my head. You could easily catch me on an island somewhere in Thailand on what a normal person would call a vacation but I don’t go anywhere without my sketchbook and new surroundings and different cultures give me color palette inspirations etc. so I’m constantly taking things in and filtering ideas through my head.
A little bit for the intro about your upcoming show in Gallery Port?:
My exhibition titled ‘COMPONENTS’ opens on Saturday, August 15th. Different types of textures and techniques play the main role in this show. The exhibition is divided into two parts, paintings and textile. The pieces were all made in Las Vegas at my studio just off the Strip were the temperature hits up to 47 degrees celsius, so imagine painting the coldest typical Icelandic weather conditions you can imagine by memory only, it’s not easy I’ll tell you that, but it sure is challenging and I’m all about the challenge. I never paint by photo references or anything like that, I like to build my own mountains, my very own world of landscapes and weather conditions. The exhibition runs until August 27th, 2020.
What does ‘wellbeing’ mean to you? Means everything to me but it means even more to me that my wife and my family and friends are doing good. Both me and my wife take very good care of our bodies and I would say we are both very healthy when it comes to what we put in our system, food etc. and our vitamins and supplements each day is next level. Mental health means everything to me as well, I don’t tend to be stressed at all but what matters to me the most is that the people that I love are both healthy and doing good, mentally and financially.
What makes a home? Wherever my wife is, that’s home to me.
Favorite brand? Cotton Citizen, Mr.Saturday and Riot Hill.
Products found in your shower / by your bath? Epsom salts, African black soap and tar shampoo.
Three things that can always be found in your kitchen cupboard/fridge? Almond milk, avocados and bananas.
Favourite travel destination (pre covid)? Thailand, the people are so nice, I try to go each year and visit the same tiny fishing village where everyone is treated equally with the same respect and attitude. I love hanging out with the locals, they’re so friendly.
3 items alway in your wallet / bag?Artline fine liner 2.0, sketchbook & gum
A song/record that gets you in a flow? my DRAMA playlist on Spotify for sure.
Favourite form of movement/exercise? Swimming, long hikes, freediving and a good run.
Nighttime rituals? Make sure to spend all my time with my wifey as I tend to stay in the studio for about 12-13 hours a day! I usually cook for her when I come home, I have a chef background so she never dislikes my plating and presentation. I drink a lot of water, day and night. Pretty basic stuff.
Someone you look up to? Honestly I don’t think I do. I believe we are all equals and we should all be treated that way and we should all be able to follow our dreams until there are no more dreams no matter the color of our skin, gender etc. I admire a lot of people but I haven’t really looked up to no one since I was a kid.
Something you’re proud of? I can probably pick a thing or two to name something that I am proud of myself for but I’m more proud of how everyone is coping these days during these strange times. So many people have or are losing their jobs so I just want to use this opportunity to say, hang in there, try something new, if you haven’t done something creative in a long time, go for it, the outcome doesn’t matter the most, it’s the time you spend creating that matters. We can all draw, paint, write, create something, now is the perfect time, it’ll lower your stress level for some time, it’ll balance your focus and it might put a smile on your face. If you need some courage, an opinion on something or an advice, send me an email or DM me on instagram, don’t be scared, I might look tough on the outside but I’m always willing to help out!
I feel most creatively fulfilled when… ….my head is never fulfilled. There is always more. I think I’m one of those artists that will literally die with a brush in my hand.
I’m currently working on… a new series…… something different…. hush hush!
This time last year, I wish I knew… the formula to a Covid-19 vaccine, to prevent these horribly difficult months for so many people, all the people that have gotten sick and those who have lost their lives.