Hello there! My name is El Ratajczak. I am a 20 year old artist in Athens, Georgia. I've been drawing since I could hold a pencil, and thanks to my supportive parents began taking camps and classes at the Lyndon House Arts Center and Oconee Cultural Arts Foundation early-on to strengthen my skills. Seeking more of a challenge, I began taking private lessons with the brilliant portrait artist Leah Mantini when I was 13. Her lessons taught me the in-depth complexities of the human face and form, and she helped me learn to paint with oils. I was a student of the AP Art program at Cedar Shoals High School, mentored by the lovely Laura Lee Johnson for two years. I continue to develop my art technically and conceptually at the Lamar Dodd School of Art at the University of Georgia as an art major with a concentration in painting. I paint and draw portraits in a variety of media, both for commission and for my own portfolio.
My current body of work is inspired by the relationship between the inner and outer being of a person. My interest is in creating images that portray, sometimes on a surreal level, the interactions between the subject, their personality, their clothing, and their surroundings. I try to create an energy to depict the true soul of the subject in my paintings. I hope to inspire my viewers by visually representing the beauty I see in everyday people!