Elijah is an artist with technical, creative, and productive capabilities. He combines stories along with technique to develop works of art with iconic design and timeless beauty that appeals to audiences of all ages and cultures.
Troy: Good afternoon, Austin. Hope everyone is having a wonderful day today. Uh, today on the podcast, I am joined by Elijah Thayne. How's it
Elijah: going, Elijah? What's up Austin? What's up everybody? How you doing?
Troy: Doing well today, enjoying the nice weather that, uh, cold front that is kind of up near Dallas is seeming like it's not gonna come this way.
So we've got this wonderful, you know, 80 degree temperature in the middle of March now. And so again, part of why it's great to be living in Austin, Texas.
Elijah: Did you used to be a, a former meteorologist? I did not, it sounds super professional right there. I
Troy: mean like, cause especially now for me, cedar season's over, so that's a big, big thing in, in Texas and Austin specifically Cedar season, and definitely does affect me, like I haven't been outside the last.
Month or so, as much as I maybe normally would've. And obviously we've had some days where it's just been too cold and not really worth it, but now you're kind of like, you're itching to get, get outside and especially before it gets super hot for the summer. And so I do pay a little bit more attention to the weather these days to be like, is it actually gonna be a nice day out or is it gonna be a questionable day out?
And so, uh, one of the things that I had noticed is like the, even the meteor. For this week are kind of like, we think it's gonna be really nice, but there's a small chance that this cold front could come down far enough that it's gonna be kind of chilly. So that hasn't, hasn't happened
Elijah: yet. At least. Yeah, you just have no, sometimes, uh, they get it right spot on and sometimes it's their way off.
Yeah, I would, yeah. It's
Troy: not, not a job. I would end be having to try to make, I mean, make those predictions, obviously now these days they have pretty good technology to, to get it right, but, uh, you never, you never are appreciative of the weatherman when he gets it right. But you like to blame him when he gets.
Troy: So, uh, probably start off, you know, maybe get a little bit of your origin story. I know, uh, part of your reason for being in Austin right now is weather wise and stuff as well too. So maybe kinda talk a little bit about, about that journey that kind of brought you down to Austin and, um, let us hear about
Okay. Hell yeah. So yeah, I came here because, uh, for two, For the warmer weather and then to make some art for Austin, you know, because I like they got warm weather here and also they have nice art, like a great art scene. But, so origin story, man. Alright, so I was like 19 years old and I had just got arrested and it was my first night in jail, all right?
And so I was sitting down at the table and I was sitting around with a bunch of older dudes, and I had never been in that sort situation before. It's like, all right, so geez, what did we talk about here? And I was like, all right, so. What are you in here for? I figured that's a reasonable question to ask.
And uh, and they're like, oh, you know, we were in, in here for drugs. So I was like, oh, me too, me too. And so then I was like, what are you guys gonna do when you get out? And they're like, drugs. And then bang, dude, that hit me. I was like, that's gonna be me. Because like, you know, I like that psych cyclical pattern.
And so I was like, okay, I gotta do something different with my life. And so I like, like that was the moment where it kind of clicked and I was like, I gotta do something different. Like, I had always been creative, but I hadn't like you. I had never had anybody tell me that you could do something creative as a like for a living.
Sure. And so, like, even after having made that decision of like, Hey, I gotta do something different, it was still like a lot of that, like wondering about like not knowing what to do. Mm-hmm. But then like a couple years later after getting out of like, just kinda like wandering around aimlessly, like knowing what not to do, but not knowing what to do, there was still like this like gap and like this void of like, oh God, something's missing.
And so then we went to the National Gallery of Art and I had never seen like really amazing art before. And so we, we go to the National Gallery of Art and I see like Rembrandt self-portrait. And, uh, and it just like impacted me in such a powerful way. And I saw many great paintings there, but just that one in particular really resonated with me.
And I was like, I didn't know people could paint. Things like that, that give people like this emotional reaction. And that was just like amazing. I'm like, and this guy did this for a living, you know, like, and I knew right away, like seeing like these, this, the grandeur of the space. I was like, that's what I'm gonna do.
And so I sold my car. I sold pretty much everything that I could to order a fund. Becoming a painter. And I was like, I told my wife Marley, I was like, Hey, you're gonna have to drive me around everywhere because uh, I'm selling all of this and I'm gonna become a painter. And she was like, what? I'm like, yeah, trust me.
And so I just went like all in and just studied painting. As hardcore as I could. And I was like, I wanna paint like the old Renaissance Master. So I read every book I could on art history. I watched every documentary on YouTube that I could about art history. And I went and tried to remake all of like the Leonard Art Davincis, the Michelangelos, the Raphaels.
You know, like I tried to remake all of them and understand it the best I could. And then I got pretty good pretty fast. And then, uh, and then so like I was kind of doing portraits and stuff for people, doing little things like that here and there. But then it really kicked off like two years ago. I did my first.
And then after that, everything I was like, I'm just gonna do mural. Cause I found out like murals is where the money was at. You could scale up the composition, the works public. Um, there's, it's more sellable and, and there's also more of a need for it because there's so many places like where it's just, especially if it's a big blank empty wall where it's like, oh my God, you, you know, there needs to be something there to where it brings in life to the place.
And instead of people walking by, I'm like, oh, that's an eyesore. Now they're like, oh, it's beautiful. And they walk by slower. And cuz you know, like growing up, I needed. Home. I needed more of that beauty in my life and I didn't have that. And so like being able to recreate that now was like, that was kind of like that aha, like that third aha moment of like, oh wow, this is what I need to be doing.
It's, you know, making, making things more beautiful. And then, but no one ever told me that whenever I was young. And so like, it was just kind of like a stumbling about figuring out as you go sort of scenario. But you know, like you learn along the way. And, you know, that's, that's how I ended up. It wasn't like, Planned that way.
It's just kind of how it happened. I was like, oh shit, now I'm doing murals. Yeah, no, I mean, u usually
Troy: when you tell your wife, just trust me. Don't, don't worry about it. Just trust me that that conversation doesn't always go, uh, as, as well as it when in your, in your case of like her actually just trusting you.
Cuz a lot of times it's like, ah, I might need some more details than, than, than, uh, just you're I'm gonna drive you around all the
Elijah: time. Yeah, yeah. I, I mean even happened again whenever, cuz like she was still working a regular. And so she was pretty much paying all the bills for like the first two years.
I mean, I think the first year I was doing art I made like $800 the entire year. And so, I mean, you know, that's nothing. And so I was like, uh, and then the next year was like $1,500. I'm like, this is not off to a good start, you know? And so, but then I was like, I think you need to quit your job. And she's like, you know, you gotta quit.
The only thing that's actually paying the bills. It's like, well, it's because there's not like that harmony and unity and synergy in the household of like, we're all working towards the same thing. I was like, if that could happen, that's the thing that's gonna connect the dots. And then like once we start working in harmony, then it's gonna like, it's gonna flourish.
And so she quit her job and then we like she, instead of like going to this other job now, she was focusing on helping. All the things that I was really bad at, like the paperwork and all these stupid things, like trying to fill out the contracts and read all that. And then really from there it just kicked off.
And then every month after that, it just started getting better and better and better. And then, I mean, now it's just like a thousand times better than what we could ever imagine. And uh, you know, we had to take that second leap of faith of like, Hey, I know that uh, I, I stopped looking for work, but you're gonna have to stop looking for work too.
Just go all in on this with me and. But yeah, I, I was kinda like that following your passion.
Troy: Yeah, no, like you say, it's, it. One, one thing you said earlier on was you knew not you knew what you did, what you shouldn't do, but you also just didn't know what you should do. And kind of the same way probably like say with running your own business is like, okay, well I know I shouldn't be just having a regular job cuz that's not going to gonna be good for me, but.
Not necessarily knowing how to great, I want to paint, but just sitting at home painting isn't gonna pay the bills. And so understanding how to take that thing that you love and you're really good at, and turning that into something where you can actually make a living off it is a completely different story.
Elijah: Yeah. The difference between the hobby and a career, it's, it could be sudden and vague, but it's a great difference. It's a massive difference and there has to be that. Finding that balance of doing those things that you don't really want to do, but that'll transform it from the hobby to the career. And so, you know, there, there's a lot of that, there's a lot of that, uh, of like, man, I don't really want to do this.
This is a not fun part of it. But you know, like the marketing, the promotion and all that, it's like, but then if you could find, get creative that once you commit. You find ways to get creative with it, then you could find ways to make that fun too. And that's what, that's what we're always trying to do, is like, how can we do this sustainably where it's fun and it's enjoyable and we love every step of the process.
And so like, you're just finding those things that are like, seem monotonous. And then, you know, like human beings are blessed with such amazing creativity where it's like, you know, if you, if a human being commits to something, they find creative solutions all the time of ways to make it like, I gotta, I gotta find a way to make this enjoyable.
And then it works all the. Sure.
Troy: And you say it's, it's putting in the, the small, putting in the small steps instead of trying to think of it as sometimes the big. The big problem or the big issue that you're trying to solve because especially when you don't love it, fucking trying to tackle the big, the big thing isn't necessarily the way to go, but like just doing the small steps to get you to the big thing is an easier route to take and, and is easier mentally to kind of be like, okay, I just gotta kind of do this thing, then this thing, then this thing.
Rather than shoot, I have to do this huge thing that I have no desire to do whatsoever.
Elijah: Oh yeah, yeah, for sure. Like. Having that enthusiasm and that passion for it, it makes up for any sort of like inadequacies or shortcomings or, or like mistakes, you know, of like, like, it's like the type of person that every people want to deal with all the time.
In every sort of sit situation that's like, you know, do you wanna deal with someone who's like, Complains and make excuses whenever something goes wrong, or do you wanna deal with someone that's like, oh my God, I'm so sorry that this happened. Let's do everything we can to make this the best we possibly can.
You know? And like tackling that head on and like having that enthusiasm. And that's why I've seen a lot, I mean, even since I started and which hasn't been that long, I've seen a lot of people come and go in just that short period of time. And then even in my hometown, I've seen a lot of artists where it's like, oh my God, they've been doing this for 10 years and they haven't progressed at all.
But then other people, they'll just. And they'll just skyrocket cuz they have that like enthusiasm and that passion about what they do. And uh, and I think that's like one of the main things really is just like to be really excited about whatever it is that you're doing. I'm sure you know that for like showing people's houses too, you know, like if you're excited about showing someone a house, they're probably gonna be more excited to see it.
Troy: Def definitely. And, and you also tend to see, like, say, talking about those kind of two different people in two different paths. Like that person who's kind of been in. A rut, even if it's some, a somewhat successful rut, like it can be hard sometimes to get out of that and kind of change, change your habits.
But like say once you start, like in your guys' case, starting to have some of that success, like it definitely the success builds on it on itself, the same way that being in the rut builds on itself. And so if you. Get over some of those initial hurdles, whether it's being a painter, being a real estate agent, doing any kind of thing, that's really where the growth happens, um,
Elijah: in your work.
100%. I mean, like, so we're not taught about compound interest in school, right. You know, at least I wasn't, I mean, were you,
Troy: uh, I mean, I, I think it was, but, but it's a very small, like it should be, it should be a huge thing that's talked about a lot instead of just like maybe a one day thing that's glanced over that in a math class where most of the kids aren't paying that much
Elijah: attention anyway.
Yeah. I mean, one of the things that they don't even talk about with compound interest is like the compounding interest of. Acquiring skills. Mm-hmm. And, and that's, I feel like that's even more valuable than compounding interest a bank account. Yeah. Because, I mean, compound interest with a bank just doesn't really exist these days.
Sure. And so you're like, yeah, sure you could have compound interest with all these investments, but you know, there's a learning curve to that. But, But learning compound interest with your skills, it's like, oh, okay, so you, you learn how to, to draw something or you know, you learn, you learn how to, how to articulate something well, but then there's other missing pieces to the puzzle.
And then so that people, sometimes people will say, oh, well this first skill that I learned didn't make me any money. So that was all a waste of time learning it. It's like, but no, what if you learn all these other ones and then you combine them all together. Now you have a unique skillset set of something that you could offer the world that really all of your own interests that you.
They're now combining together to make something unique that could be valuable and being offered. And so I, I think that anytime someone learns something and they actually like, dedicate themselves to it and they, they learn it's never a waste of time. And, and because then that, that all compounds on top of each other.
And so it's like ev and then you'll start to see overlap of like, oh my God, the principle of this. Turns into the principle of that skill. Like the, like the, like whenever people design a house, they'll know like, oh, there's principles of design that are universal. Whether you're making a product, whether you're making a house, whether you're making a picture, whether you're making a movie, whether you're telling a story, whatever it may be, there's principles of design that kind of over overlap and overlay all of them.
And the more you stack those skills on top of each other, the more you start to realize like, oh, and then it starts to like click, click, click, click, click. The reality starts to make more sense, and you're. Use more with it as opposed to just like, oh man, that first one didn't work, so I'm just gonna give.
Yeah. It's like that really don't work.
Troy: No. Yeah. No, it's, it is interesting to use the term compound interest for just acquiring any skills, right? Like you, you know, the, for you guys, right? Like if someone went and saw one of your murals murals, it would seem like, oh wow, that's so amazing. You've got, you know, you are, you're so good at that.
But it really is that compound interest of two years of grinding away and figuring stuff out, as well as the time beforehand of learning all those kind of things too, that really then sudden. Now gets to compound on itself of being able to go in and paint murals, you know, one at one project after the other that you know, is the big compound payoff, but that isn't.
But what isn't seen by most people is the time and dedication it took to get to that point. And that's like say a universal truth. Whether you're talking about a skill like painting, whether you're talking about your health and fitness, you know, people wanna look great, but they don't really wanna put in the time and effort to go to the gym and eat healthy for.
Weeks, months, and even potentially years to, to make that happen. And so whether it's a financial thing, a skills thing, pretty much any of those different kind of components like that ki that the concept of compound interest relates
Elijah: across the board. Oh yeah, for sure. And yeah, the, the fitness thing is a, is a big thing too.
Cause you don't know when it's going to be. That you have the mental clarity or, or the physical wherewithal to accomplish a task. And so, you know, like having that just like already taken care of to where like that's not a, your own body and mind isn't a hindrance to like accomplishing your desired goal that's in front of you.
It's like, that's something that, you know, it's like, what are these people doing in the gym? Why are they running out on the streets? Why that doesn't even make any sense. But then whenever you, but then whenever you have something, And two people are working and one person's really tired, and the other person's like ready to go.
It's like, now, now that starts to make sense. It makes total sense then, because it's like, oh, well he, he had the well sharpened saw. Correct. He cut down the tree faster. There you go.
Troy: Um, you mentioned, you know, N 19 was kind of the first epiphany moment when you were in jail, but also that you were. Uh, you know, creative, you knew you were creative even before that.
What was, what, you know, what things when you were a child or when you were younger, um, kind of led you to find your creativity and, and understand
Elijah: that about yourself? Yeah, man. Well, I didn't grow up with tv and so like, I had, I had like ample time on my hands and I had like, you know, my brothers and sisters.
I had my brothers and sisters that were like, we would just kinda like play Legos and stuff like that, you know, like Lincoln. Build like building sort of things. And, and I would go steal my older brother's sketchbooks and uh, try to remake their drawings, but draw it better than them. And I would like kind of show up and like, look, I could draw this better than you.
You know? So like, I always had this like, competitive thing of like, I want to design the best things. And like they were, we would, I would line up the stuffed animals and put one up at the front and have the one like tell a story to the other. And so like, you know, like, I just noticed that like this had like this really intense creativity.
I always wanted to be, uh, I always wanted to be creating something and building something. We'd be in church and, you know, I'd just be drawing, I wouldn't be listening to anything that anybody was saying. I'd just be drawing. And then, you know, I'd be in school and uh, you know, my dad would go to work and then he would come home and I'd be on the same math problem.
Than it was whenever he left. It's like nothing, like literally nothing got done. I'd just be playing her off my pencil drawing stuff. And so it's like, you know, like that, like sitting in a line, shutting up, sit down. That didn't really quite work. And so like, you know, it was just kind of like, oh, well you're just kind of, uh, you know, like you're kind of a fuck up and, you know, and so, uh, I don't know if there's an airplane going overhead right now.
I don't know if that's messed up the audio. Okay. But, uh, so, so yeah, and I kind of like had my whole entire childhood. Man, maybe I just am a fuck up because that's kind of like how everybody had framed it as. And then, and then I, I, I ended up getting a job as a tattoo artist. Cause I was like, well, I had a knack for drawing, but I didn't even have a good teacher then.
And so like, and there was like this kind of like, in the tattoo industry, it's very closed. Like, it's very like, like they guard their secrets very tight. And so like, you have to have a good teacher and even then they make you jump through a bunch of hoops and go through like this two years of apprenticeship before they ever teach you.
And I was like, I wanna learn, you know, like I was hungry for knowledge, but I was hungry for a certain type of knowledge and I couldn't find that teacher. And so, but then whenever, uh, whenever like I found painting that was like, oh, well for 500 years these people have been recording their processes.
They're not secretive about it at all. You know, they're actually sharing this process. And I was like, and you don't need a person there to practice. You could practice on your own, learn at your own pace. And then once I found that, um, then it just kind of like all started to make sense. It's like, oh.
Maybe it was the adults who didn't know what they were talking about whenever I was young. Maybe it wasn't me. Maybe it was the adults, you know, who are trying to find some way to justify whatever they were doing with their lives. And, uh, because, because school wasn't necessarily for me and it's not really for everybody.
And if they would've been teaching me something about that of how to, like, Think creatively how to creatively solve problems and, and things like that. I would've been, uh, you know, doing something a lot more along the lines of what I'm doing now way, way earlier instead of just kind of like wondering about not knowing what to do because that creativity that human beings have, especially if someone has like intense creativity, it's really a curse if you're not using it like it's a blessing.
But if you're not using it, you'll find creative ways to do terrible things. And so, you know, like I've found creative ways to go, you know, like what sort of creative drug combinations can you come up with? Or like, you know, like, you know, you find creative ways to, to, to just, to do all sorts of things that maybe you shouldn't be doing.
But then if you have like a, a, something good that you're working towards, it's like now that creativity could be used to help, help get you towards something more positive and maybe something that. Harmonious with the world around you. It's something that benefits everybody as opposed to something that's, you know, just like trying to survive.
And so I always had that, like really intense creativity, but I wasn't, uh, it's like in my adulthood is whenever I finally learned how to channel that just through and, and Art was the main source of learning how to channel that. Uh, And, and then once again, that compounding interest of, of skills, it's like, oh, now I know how to channel that through a painting.
Now you could channel that over to other areas of life, and then you could find more ways to like, uh, to have a proper balance of maybe discipline and exploration at the simultaneously. Yeah, no, it's pretty, I don't if that, does that make any sense or not? No, it does. I mean, again, it
Troy: kind of goes back to, you know, early on it felt, you know, again, unfortunately for the.
You know, 20, 30 years, like the, the formal education system has been a huge thing, which in and of itself isn't bad, but like, they're almost, we almost started to eliminate the alternatives. And it's like, not everyone fits in that box. Not everyone should go to college and get a college degree. Like, uh, you know, there are other, you know, we've lost.
The, you know, things like apprenticeships, which, you know, had been a huge thing for hundreds, if not thousands of years throughout human history of like, Hey, this some, some, I'm in somebody that's interested in. You know, again, in ta in tattooing or in painting or whatever, like, hey, if they become a, an apprentice of somebody, they, they can actually do something they love and acquire a skill and have a way to start earning income that doesn't require them to take a bunch of classes on stuff that they're never gonna remember and, uh, are never gonna use in, in the real world, unfortunately.
What, um, you mentioned kind of mo like that you, you. It was kind of probably primarily more sketching and a little bit of pain early on. What was, was it kind of seeing the art in the museum that kind of really made that transition to deciding to go to the painting route? Or was, you know, were there types of art, um, and creative outlet to be
Elijah: dabbled in?
It was kind of like a religious experience going to the museum. I mean, it was, it was bizarre because, I mean, cuz I had grown up hearing like Bible stories, you know, like, cause my parents were c. And so, but not having the TV or anything like that, I wasn't really enriched with a lot of like visual material other than like children's books and stuff.
So I would do a lot of like, you know, reading children's books, seeing illustrations, drawing pictures, but I'd never, and then in, in our hometown, it was kind of small. They never had really any amazing art galleries and. It's, it's the National Gallery of Art is kinda like this old neoclassical sort of architecture.
So it's very grandiose, you know, like columns that are like five feet radius or like, you know, just massive, like a hundred feet tall. Just like, you know, like it's really, really like opulent and just, you know, extravagant and, and kind of over the top. And so like that on itself has a little bit of like a wow factor to someone who's never seen anything like that in person before.
And so like that and then combined, Seeing these old stories, like these ancient stories being articulated in visual ways to where it's almost, it's not, it's not necessarily dogmatic or like propaganda per se, but it's more of like an exploration of the idea. Perhaps something along the lines of that, that really was just like, it was, it fascinated me to where I was like, uh, you know, it, it made me, it shed a new light on the stories and I.
Because I kind of had like a bad outlook o of, of the religious stories for a while, uh, like in my young adulthood. And I was like, I just don't want anything to do with that. But then it led me, it showed me the beauty behind them and it showed me the beauty behind, like the ancientness of them. And then it also showed me the parallel between lots of stories of lots of different religions, of lots of different places over time.
And that parallels of, of seeing that and noticing that of like the eastern and the western religions and all the different cultures, how they all kind of come up with these similar motifs and these similar archetypes and tell these stories, which is ultimately what they're telling is the human story.
It's like, who are we? How do we get here? Why are we here, where are we going? You know, like all those questions that every human being has to, has to wrestle with. What happens after you die? All those, all those, like, you know, the great mystery of our own existence, of our own, of our own self-awareness. Um, that seemed to be explored in a way that I had just never really seen that I never knew that it was, we could explore.
And so then that opened me up to like, oh wow, I kind of want to explore that cuz I'm curious about, about answering these questions or maybe not even answering these questions, but maybe just asking better questions maybe. How about something like that? And so, uh, and, and I don't, it was just, it was some sort of like weird, uh, like.
Quasi-religious experience or something. Whenever it happened, there was like a, where it was just kind of like the moment I walked through the doors, I knew like, oh, that's what I'm going to do from now on. And it wasn't like, that's the only thing I'm going to do. It was just like, oh, that's what I'm going to do.
And then afterwards, and then I, I learned that it life doesn't have to be a you do this or you do that. What. Yeah, I, I learned, I, I learned like, cuz a lot of times they'll be like that. It's like you choose a career and when you choose that career, that means you're not gonna do anything else. That means you're just gonna do this one thing.
And then that's whenever I realized like, oh, it's, I'm gonna do this and now I'm gonna do this, and now I'm gonna do this, and now I'm gonna do this and I'm gonna connect them back to the center in a way that's harmonious in a way that's, that, that. Is good for everything around me in a way that's, that's cohesive with the environment that I'm living in, in a way that elevates and makes things better.
Cause I think at the end of the day, we all want to be some, some, we all want to be the type of people who you feel like you having lived, had made the world a better place, at least little bit for having lived there. You know, and, and because nobody wants to live where it's like, oh, now I feel like I've, I've been necessarily a burden on society or something.
Or you know, like, oh man, I, I lived, and then I just kind of like took and never gave anything back. And, and so art was kind of like the first realization as to like, oh wow, you can make the world a more beautiful place. And that's kind of where I got like, my first, I guess, idea for a slogan was like, well, let's, like, if we want to have like some sort of tagline, let's just call it like, let's make something beautiful because, you know, there's a lot of.
Ugly, dismal, tragic things in the world. And, and what's a better way to justify the tragedy of existence with, by finding the beauty in it and finding ways to share that experience with other human beings. It's like I couldn't find a better answer. And so that seemed like, uh, a no-brainer for me of like, well then like that's just what I'm gonna have to do.
Then it's just make art and painting seems to be the one that's right in front of my face at the time. So that's where I'll start is like right where. Nice.
Troy: Um, you mentioned No, like that it's, again, it's like you say, there's a lot of, like, there's a lot of both in the world, right? Good and bad. And, and too many people focus on, sometimes focus on one or the other.
And it's, you know, in my opinion too, like usually if people are focusing on one, it tends to be the bad. It's a lot like, and there are definitely a lot of people that only focus on the good, but, and, and you can focus on the good and have that be two rose colored glasses and not understand that there.
Bad and unfortunate things that that go on as well too. But at the same point in time, you know, there, like we do sometimes lose the fact of how much good there is in the world, but also then that why wouldn't you want to add to that? Right? Why you, like, you're, you're never in anything life. Going back to kind of how compound interest can be equated to a lot of different things other than just finances.
Like, I'm kind of one of those people that believes you're never, you're never static. Like there's no, no such thing as really. You know, being still, or not improving or declining in anything, right? Like you may not notice it on a day-to-day basis, whether it's again, going to the gym, improving
Elijah: stuff, but either are you adding to society or are you detracting because you're not just,
Troy: oh, I'm not doing either.
Like that isn't, isn't possible.
Elijah: And so, oh, if you're not, yeah. If you're not willing to be adding
Troy: to society and to humanity and to all those things, then that means by definition that you're, you're, you are just taking and or subtracting hope. Hopefully not subtracting too much, but at least just taking, which is, you know, taking away from what you could be providing.
Elijah: Yeah. I think that's what gives us peace of mind. And I think that's, that's one for me, that's one of the things that I kind of wanted the most was that peace of mind. I mean, it's like, so I mean there's, this is like, one of the things that I realized through art is the parallels between the, the eastern and the western traditions.
So you have like, like this, uh, of like all, what was that metaphor you used? The rose colored glass. Um, rose colored glasses. So what is that real quick, because I, I, I think, I know basically seeing the
Troy: road through rose color glasses is just kind of having like a false sense of like, everything's just better than it is kind of situation.
Yeah. And so, And so again, right? Like, not that, not that things I, and again, me personally, I think things are way better than they seem, right? If you watch the news, if you wanna go on social media, you can go, you can go on social media and find a lot of good stuff too, but it's very easy to get down a rabbit hole of the world's going to hell in a hand basket.
Everything's awful. You know, like the world's gonna end, everyone hates each other, all this kind of stuff. And I was like, no, that's not really true. Their world's actually a pretty awesome place. But you have to wanna focus on that. And so you tend to, um, you, you tend to find what you are looking
Elijah: for in life.
Yeah. It's kind of like a metaphor for childhood and a metaphor for the heroes journey. Cuz you have like the story of the Buddha and then you have the story of, uh, Of, uh, Adam and Eve in the garden. And it's like they both start off in this walled garden where like they're not aware of anything bad that happens in the world, and like everything is blissful.
And then it's like, oh, somehow through like some sort of awakening or some sort of like revealing of the outside world, they encounter death and sickness and poverty. And then it's like, oh, now it's like, now I have all this innocence where I like, I thought the world was, was good. And then they have this like drop of like, oh, now the world's.
And then that's what, uh, the, the job of the individual is, is like when they hit that, like, oh, now I don't have my parents to take care of me anymore. Now I realize, oh, there's death, there's sickness, there's poverty. Now what do you do? Do you just give up? It's like, well, that can't possibly be the best solution that you have.
So then what is the solution? Well, the solution is to find out what way do you con contribute to make it the best it can possibly be, and is there any better option? I haven't found one yet. And so like that's what, that's, that's kind of like almost what the hero's journey. Is, uh, is that like, kind of like that leaving that safe split that safe space of like, everything's okay and then be like, oh, okay, I'm gonna go where things aren't all okay.
But now once I conquer that, I'm gonna come back to that place where everything seems to be okay with the young ones and bring something back to them to where, uh, now the world is a little bit better placed. So it's like that you returned to home, but now you returned to home, but you're in a better situation and, and you have, uh, you, you brought something to value back from, from the darkness on the other.
And I think that's something that, you know, that all those stories, uh, even if you have like all the movies and stuff, that that's what they're all about, is that you, you know, you, you don't wanna be looking at the world and just imagining that it's all perfectly wonderful, but you also don't want to be, uh, you know, you don't want to be so upset about the ugliness that you're not willing to do something about it.
And that's why I was like, that's why I'm gonna paint murals now. I'm gonna paint murals because there's ugly walls out. And so if I could take the ugly wall and make it more beautiful, that's my own version of that. But everybody has their own version of that, you know, and there's infinite need for things like that.
And that's what makes me so excited about, about, uh, you know, like, about seeing progress and, and, and watching the world unfold and getting older. Cuz you meet people and then you realize like, okay, yeah, there's a lot of messed up stuff, but it's actually not all that bad because there are a lot of great people out there who are doing their best to take the, those ugly things and making the world a more beautiful.
It's like, what, what else could get people more excited and more hopeful than that. It's like that even in the face of adversity, there's still people who are standing up and conquering that and uh, you know, that's like, uh, that's what we all look up to, right? You know, some people who are, who are out there kicking ass, conquering the world, but in a great way where they're making it more beautiful and they're making the world a better place for everybody.
Speaking of the hero's
Troy: journey, uh, what was kind of your guys' journey
Elijah: to. Oh, okay. So Austin, um, well we came down to Austin last year. Okay. So we heard about Austin on the Joe Rogan podcast and I was like, fuck it, let's go. And, uh, you know, cuz like we, we came from a small hometown, so I was like, Cumberland, Maryland, there's like, it's like 20,000 something and dying, you know, it's just like the population is just going like this.
And so we looked at migration charts too, and we're like, where is everybody moving to? And so like the two ones that we really caught our eye were like Miami and. And so, uh, we went down to Austin last year. We booked Airbnb. And this is another like leap of faith that we took. We booked Airbnb and it was like the last of our money and uh, for a whole month we're like, if we don't find a job down here, we're coming back home dead broke if we could find the money to get back home.
And so, you know, it was that huge leap of faith and it was like week two of being in Austin and we're like, I don't know if we're gonna find a deal. Like we're calling people, emailing people, and we're like, you know, cuz we didn't even have much of a portfolio with that. And we've done like, maybe. Six murals at that point.
And so we were literally just starting off. I was like, I know I could make something good. We just gotta find someone to give us a chance. We ended up getting a deal with this guy. Uh, he worked in the Bandera tequila company, and so we did a, a mural for them and that ended up paying for our trip back home and like paying for our trip.
And so I was like, you know, we didn't make a huge profit, but at least like it showed us that we could go to a new city. And then after that happened, we're like, let's just keep doing this. And so we started going to new cities, new cities, new cities, and then just like booking the. Doing the marketing on our way there and just trying to find out new deals.
And then it started to get to where it's like maybe a month's not enough, let's do two months. And then, so that's what we did this this year. We're like, let's just book two months. Then we ended up finding more work than what we could do. So like let's just extended a month and so like this is, we just moved into the new Airbnb now.
Cause like the last two months was just up. We came down in January, did February, about to do. And, uh, we got some, we got deals this time with, uh, like a Montessori school and then we did a massive one for Austin Peace Academy. We're doing their whole entire playground. It kinda looked like a prison yard in there.
Like, you know, they had, uh, it was just like concrete walls. Mm-hmm. And so we're doing like the animal kingdom all the way around. It's like totally transforming the place. It's awesome. And, uh, we found that I think like week two, week three of being down. And, uh, and that's been keeping us busy ever since.
Cause it's a lot of work. So we've just been working over there with them. What, what ki is there
Troy: specific kinds of murals that
Troy: do or, you know, styles or anything like that at all? Or is it
Elijah: pretty wide open? Uh, top quality work? I know that's one. You know, like, I, I, that's one of my goals is, is to make it the best I possibly can.
And so, like, as far as style goes, like, I think like, Clarity, you know, like I want people to get it right away, especially, um, it works really well for seeing it through a screen because like a computer screen or a TV screen, because you can't really see the subtleties of fine art through a screen. So I figured like my fine art career, the stuff in the exhibits and the galleries, I'll leave that for that.
But the bureaus I wanna be able to promote. And so I. Clarity. That's, that's an important thing. Like I want people to look at it and understand it and get it right from the beginning and just think like, wow, that's beautiful, but I don't, not a lot of abstract stuff. Yeah. But if it is, I can do abstract stuff and make it look like amazing.
And so that's, that's the goal is like to have the subtlety in there. That will like make you look and capture your attention right away. But I want it to capture your attention from like 300 feet away, 30 feet away, however far away you could get. I want you to be able to look at it. And then I want you to g gently like coax you and say like, come here, come take a closer look.
And then you start to say, oh wow, I didn't notice that. I didn't notice this. And you start to notice and then every single day when you walk past for the rest of your life, you notice something new about it. And so that's kind of the the style that I try to go for. Bright, bold, vibrant, but also like something that like catches your eye but then grows on you at the same time.
And, and to where like every time you walk past it, you know, something new. We do a lot of animals. We've been doing 'em for like, pediatricians, doctor's, offices, like dentists, things like that. Um, like stuff cuz like people get nervous when they go in and so like kind of creating like, like a jungle scene or something in the waiting room where it's just like immersive and you're just kind of like in this, almost like you go to a re.
Because you go there for like a branded experience, you go there for not just the food, but the, the environment we configured. You know, that could be something that could help benefit a lot of doctor's offices cuz you go in there and it's like you're in this bland waiting room with some cheap art on the wall or something.
Or maybe like, it's just kind of a awkward, uncomfortable environment. So we'll take that and we'll transform that and make it to something where it's like more, uh, more, more immersive and more of experience. But then we'll also take it to where we do things like, Um, you know, like, like the, with the playground, but then we'll do stuff like branded murals where we'll try to take a company and we'll take it to where it's like, okay, what does your company stand for?
Like, what type of customer experience do you want? You guys want to have? What type of message? And we try to create that and, and, and emulate that story, and capture that story of whatever it's, that you try to do and put that into a pictorial form and then put that in on display for, for them, for the employees or, and or the customers to.
And so, uh, that's probably the main goal is like, I wanna do it for, I mean, we've done it for private collectors too, but my main goal is to do it for, for, for like the companies and the brands and like, and, and the businesses that, that need something like that. But where it's like advertisements could get kind of boring, you know, and they get kind of like intrusive, you know?
Sure. But art has a way of like where you actually want it to be there. And so it's a way where you could kill two birds with one stone. You could. The advertisement, but you don't, but you're not intruding on someone's space or on like, on someone's like cognitive function with like all of these numbers and all of this like crazy, you know, like advertisement where it's like, oh, now, now it's a work of art, but it encapsulates this, uh, it encapsulates the, the mission of the company on like the side of their building or, or in their work area or in their waiting room, or maybe on the side of the road or something like, And, and so that's the stuff that we're trying to do more of and that we're trying to find more companies to work with there.
And it's like just the beginnings of of, of that sort of work. And so we've been reaching out to a lot of different companies. The Bandera Tequila company kind of started that one off. Sure. But uh, no. Anytime
Troy: you can finally kind of get that client that you know, that kind of gets you into the market you want to be in, is always helpful for finding the next one and having, again, you know, proof of concept and a portfolio that kind of shows what you can do
Elijah: in our capable, yeah, epic space battles.
A laser battle and space that's on the bucket list. We gotta find someone to do that. You know, blazer tag.
Troy: There you go. That'd be a good place for that. Yeah. For people that are trying to, you know, that are interested in your artwork or you know, trying to find out more about you, what are the best places to kind of connect, um, and kind of see what you got go,
Elijah: what you got going on.
Okay. So Elijah Thing, or wait, hold on. Wait, Elijah, sorry. Elijah thing.com. That's the website that's kind of like the portfolio. Elijah thing.com is where you go and you see like all of the mur, like we usually kind of like keep updated of all the murals and then we have like all the fine art stuff and all of that, you know, like the artist portfolio, resume, all that boring stuff for like galleries and things like that.
Um, and then also like we have like the catalog of that, the paintings that we do, the art murals, which are really, really cool. Like, uh, but, but they're kinda like a separate thing. But then what we do is we do, uh, the YouTube channel. We've been making videos and so just like, it's, I think it's just at Elijah Thae on.
And so, uh, with a e at the end at
Troy: one. That one doesn't have an any on your, on your regular one that
Elijah: has an E, so, okay. But yeah, so yeah, the athan on the YouTube channel, we've been making videos. That's another medium that I've been really getting into. Fascinated with love. Oh yeah, that, that's right.
Troy: That'll, that'll actually get you somewhere instead of a, a set of a 4
Elijah: 0 4. Nice. But, but yeah, YouTube, I've been loving making videos. We're actually making a video about the Austin Peace Academy. It's gonna be, I painted a playground that's gonna be coming out here in the next month. It's gonna be a banger.
We've made all different types of videos so far. We're just getting started and learning the videos. But that's another medium where like I'm super excited about, and we're gonna actually go take the whole entire summer and invest all into YouTube and just go all in into making videos. So I'm super excited about that.
That's probably gonna be the main one to keep up with. Everything is. Nice.
Troy: That's awesome. Well, I appreciate you taking the time to, to chat, like say it's a, it's a cool story and uh, some fun things you guys ha
Elijah: got going on. Hey Troy, I appreciate it man. Thank you so much. Peace everybody in Austin. Yeah, Austin.
Troy: Hope everyone has, ha, has a wonderful rest of you guys' day. Have a good one.
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