Elijah Rutland creates narrative and life inspired work that pulls from his personal experiences as a young black male in America. Rutland often uses very rich colors to address many issues that have affected African Americans as a people and personal issues that he faces or has had to face throughout his life. Rutland has the ability to shift his style in many different ways to fit the idea he wants to express. He is also greatly inspired by the works of artists like Jonathon Green, Jacob Lawrence, Romare Bearden, Varnette P. Honeywood, Ernie Barnes, Kadir Nelson, and many more. Rutland is experienced in a variety of traditional and digital media such as acrylic, watercolor, colored pencils, Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator and Procreate on his beloved iPad Pro.
Recognized both nationally and internationally for his work he has been featured in many well-known and established media outlets such as Complex, Buzzfeed News, Essence.com, GQ.com, WSFA News in Montgomery, AL, Opelika-Auburn News in Opelika, Alabama, The FAMUAN newspaper, The Read podcast, The Tom Joyner Morning Show, The ShadeRoom, ABC Action News in Tampa, FL, WTXL in Tallahassee, FL, The Tallahassee Democrat, The Macon Telegraph, Blavity.com, 13WMAZ, WGXA News and 41NBC news in Macon, GA and many other outlets. He has also been fortunate to collaborate with many celebrities and public figures such as K. Michelle, KevOnStage, Chance the Rapper, Deon Cole, Demetrius Harmon (Meech On Mars), Patrick Cloud, Patrick McCaw of the Toronto Raptors, Roy Wood Jr., and Spice Adams just to name a few.
His love and passion for art came from a love for drawing superheroes that started in kindergarten which then carried on throughout elementary school which is when he started drawing shoes because his parents would not buy him the expensive Air Jordan's and Nike's that were popular at the time. This hobby would eventually come to life under the name Fix My Sole in 2015. Fix My Sole was the start of Elijah's sneaker customization career which would eventually expand from shoes to jean jackets, hats, murals, canvas paintings, digital art, and many other items. Rutland was born in Atlanta, GA but grew up in Macon, GA where he graduated from Central High School in 2017. He is currently a junior at Florida A&M University.
Photo by Matthew Odom