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Self-taught artist Eli Helman (b. 1978) grew up in Framingham, Massachusetts before attending college at American University in Washington, DC.  Shortly thereafter, he moved to Tucson, Arizona where, motivated by blank walls in his apartment and a fascination with the landscapes and wildlife of the American West, he began experimenting with pencil sketching.  Upon returning to New England a few years later, he discovered Micron pens.  Since then he has spent thousands of hours meticulously crafting highly detailed ink drawings.  Emphasizing intricately drawn lines and patterns, he explores eclectic subjects through a blend of whimsical and thought provoking imagery.  Inspired by music, humor, travel, nature, science and history, he hopes viewers will find something new — or at least have a good chuckle — every time they gaze upon his work. 

All original works are drawn by hand with Micron pens on paper.  Some pieces take over 200 hours to complete. 

Since 2010 he has been a full-time artist traveling around the country showing his work at art festivals.  He lives in Western Massachusetts.


offers the artist’s fifty (50) favorite small works from his first decade (2009-2019) working with ink.  Divided into two categories — SUBJECTS and OBJECTS — these selections range from animals playing music to bookshelves full of puns.  Playing on the absurdity of opposites with a dash of surrealism, the result is a collection of little visual stories, much like punchlines.


2018 1st Place Fine Art - New Hope Arts & Crafts Festival, New Hope, PA
2017 Best in Show - Art & Apples Festival, Rochester, MI
2015 Best in Show - Downtown Bethlehem Fine Arts Festival, Bethlehem, PA
2013 Best in Show - Norwalk Art Festival, Norwalk, CT
2011 Best in Show - Narragansett Art Festival, Narragansett, RI

2018 Best in Category - Atlanta Dogwood Festival, Atlanta, GA
2016 Best in Category - Krasl Art Fair on the Bluff, St. Joseph, MI
2016 Best in Category - Brookside Art Annual, Kansas City, MO
2014 Best in Category - Bar Harbor Fine Art Festival, Bar Harbor, ME
2012 Best in Category - Bar Harbor Fine Art Festival, Bar Harbor, ME

2022 Award of Merit - Panoply Arts Festival, Huntsville, AL
2022 Award of Distinction - Chain of Parks Art Festival, Tallahassee, FL
2021 Invitation Award - Art Fair on the Square, Madison, WI
2019 Award of Merit - Sausalito Art Festival, Sausalito, CA
2019 Honors Award - Three Rivers Arts Festival, Pittsburgh, PA
2019 Honorable Mention - Summerfair, Cincinnati, OH
2019 Award of Excellence - Mainsail Art Festival, St. Petersburg, FL
2018 Judge's Choice Award - Mt. Gretna Outdoor Art Show, Mt. Gretna, PA
2018 Award of Distinction - LeMoyne Chain of Parks Art Festival, Tallahassee, FL
2018 Signature Award - Magic City Art Connection, Birmingham, AL
2017 Award of Merit - Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts, State College, PA
2017 2nd Place - Spring Festival on Ponce, Atlanta, GA
2016 Award of Merit - Utah Arts Festival, Salt Lake City, UT
2014 Third Place - White Plains Outdoor Arts Festival, White Plains, NY
2014 Honorable Mention - New Hope Arts & Crafts Festival, New Hope, PA
2014 Honorable Mention - Warren Art Festival, Warren, RI
2012 2nd Place - Warren Art Festival, Warren, RI