How This Artist Becomes a Spectator of His Own Creative Process

Paige Simianer | September 22, 2023

Eltono working in his studio. Photo courtesy of the artist

Eltono has embarked on a creative journey that spans the globe, pushing the boundaries of street art and public expression.

Eltono is not just an artist; he is a "flâneur, a stubborn walker, and a chronic observer." His insatiable curiosity and deep connection with public spaces have made them his canvas, studio, and wellspring of inspiration. His sensitivity to what is happening around him and his knowledge of the nature of the street —its whims and its unpredictability—are his main tools when generating works.

Eltono’s enthusiasm for randomness and his desire to set limits and constraints on his artistic process have led him to develop several projects that revolve around the element of chance. His exploration of generative art has come to define his work over the last 10 years. 

Before embarking on a new generative project, Eltono spends time writing rules and defining parameters for each step of the process. This ensures that despite the unknown, the end result will be harmonious. These self-imposed limits help push him as an artist, while allowing him a unique opportunity to be a spectator in his creative process.

The final result is a surprise for everyone, even him. 


Artwork Archive had the chance to chat with Eltono about his connection with public spaces, how he becomes a spectator in his own creative process, and why Artwork Archive makes sense for his art career.

You can see more of his work on Discovery and learn more about his art practice below. 

Eltono working in his studio. Photo courtesy of the artist

Do you have a favorite or most satisfying part of your process? If so, can you share a bit about it?

My favorite part of my creative process is finding processes and methods to create artwork.

I build tools and use them in the process of creation. When I design the process, I think about it before and imagine all the steps from the very beginning to the final outcome.

A lot of the works I make are based on generative protocols. What I like about it is that when the artwork is finished it's the moment when I discover it, and it's always a surprise.

I craft the system, I design the protocol, and I do everything I can to imagine the result. But, when I start rolling the protocol, I don't change anything and just observe and accept the result.

I really enjoy being a spectator and observer of my own artwork.


Your work seems to be deeply rooted in observing and interacting with public spaces. Having created work in over ninety cities, how do different cultures and cities shape your creative process?

For me, when working in a public space, it's very important to try to integrate the artwork into its surroundings.

I usually observe the architecture that's around as well as the way users, passersby, and residents use the space.

The architecture and people's behavior in public spaces are very different in each city. I find it highly stimulating to create in different places and observe how something that works a certain way in one place works a totally different way somewhere else.

Eltono working in his studio. Photo courtesy of the artist

You mention your enthusiasm for randomness and setting constraints in your artistic process. Can you speak more about the different constraints you're giving yourself and how that influences your final outcome?

For me, setting up constraints is what triggers the creative process.

It's always much more difficult for me to start creating when I have the freedom to do whatever I want. It's much easier to create when I know the limits.

Playing with randomness is a way for me to impose constraints and become an observer of the outcome of my artwork.

Pursuing the perfect artwork feels unreachable to me, as I think I would continuously erase and start over forever. That's why working with a protocol and accepting the end result of the process makes much more sense to me.


What does success as an artist mean to you?

For me, there's only one truly important factor to gauge an artist's success: it's recognition from your peers.

Economic success is when you sell a lot of artwork, but artistic success is when fellow artists recognize your work as relevant, important, and inspirational.

Eltono's generative art process. Photo courtesy of the artist

What impact do you hope your artwork will have on viewers?

It's a very hard question, one that's easier to answer when talking about work in the public space.

By painting abstract work in the public space, I hope to give free space to people for their imagination.

In a world filled with a lot of signs everywhere, it's not easy for people to rest their minds as their visual environment is saturated with concise signs, ads, and instructions.

That's why painting abstract artworks that don't have an obvious meaning is like giving people a free space—a space where they can stop and wonder, “I understand everything around me, except for this, what is this painting trying to tell me?”


Could you provide some insights into your creative workspace? How does your physical environment contribute to your artistic process? 

My creative workspace is always changing.

A lot of my projects are based on residencies, so in every new place, I build a new workspace.

This is a lot of fun because it pushes me out of my comfort zone and helps me be more reactive in front of new problems I might encounter.

When I'm not traveling, I spend a lot of time in my studio doing prints, generating artwork, and trying new experiments.

However, I find it much more exciting to create in totally new places, where I have to learn new things and build new processes based on what I discover on-site.

Eltono working in his studio. Photo courtesy of the artist

How do you use Artwork Archive on a daily basis?

I mostly use Artwork Archive to keep track of my artwork.

I work with many galleries across various countries, and I've found that Artwork Archive is the most effective way to consistently know where the artworks are, how long they'll be there, and what condition they're in.

Artwork Archive Pro Tip:

Galleries are more likely to work with you if you come off as organized and well-prepared. Impress them by presenting your work professionally.

Every time I create a new artwork, I take a picture of it and upload everything about it (size, media, process pictures, notes, price...) in my Artwork Archive database.

By making that little effort each time, it becomes very easy to update the state of the artwork and follow up with whatever is happening to it.

When a gallery or collector requests information about an artwork, it's very useful to have every detail on hand, including the price, location, dimensions, and a comprehensive record of the artwork's exhibition history.

Eltono working in his studio. Photo courtesy of the artist

What advice would you give an emerging artist during this time?

That's a tough one haha! Just do what you want to do and feel good about it!

In a more pragmatic way, always keep track of what you do. Whether it's by documenting your creations or using a website like Artwork Archive.

You never know, in ten years, the first artwork you created might be worth a lot and you'd like to be able to know who has it, where it is, and how much you sold it for. All of the information about your artwork is important—keep the whole documentation, pictures of the process, and whatever is related to a specific piece.

I think keeping good track of your production is super important if you want to build a solid career.

Artwork Archive Pro Tip:

Documenting your work not only helps you stay organized and on top of your art career, it also helps ensure you build your artistic legacy for the future.

Eltono uses Artwork Archive to search for important details about his artwork, work with galleries effectively, and more.

You can make an online portfolio, catalog your artwork, and generate reports like inventory reports, tear sheets, and invoices in seconds with Artwork Archive. Take a look at Artwork Archive's free trial and start growing your art business. 

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