My story

Elli milan laying on her horse Beau

I wanted to take a moment and share a bit of my story and my heart. The first thing you should know about me is that I love people. I love artists and my super power is to believe big things for people and see them in their full potential. I believe that one person can change the world and artists are the leaders of our culture and are mandated to do just that; to change the world with their art.

I grew up in a Greek home in Washington state and then later lived in Hawaii. My father is Greek through and through, and believed that women should marry a man with a good job and be taken care of and raise children. He approved of my art because he thought I could ‘color’ while I am a wife and mom. When I wanted to marry an artist as well, he became fearful and told me we wouldn’t make it and we would always be poor. He has been deceived by the ‘curse of the starving artist’.

John, my artist husband and I rose above these challenges and have pursued our careers as artists, working really hard and never giving up. We raised four children and lived quite well, all from the sale of our artwork. We experienced tremendous success and saw our work go all over the world in countless collections. Together, we have sold over 10,000 pieces of art in 24 years. Through a significant experience of inspiration from God, I opened Milan Art Institute in 2010 and have been training not only my own children but hundreds even thousands of artists ever since.

I am passionate about people living out their destiny and purpose and to not settle into a life of ease and comfort based on the fear of failure. I am your cheerleader and mentor standing in the balcony of your life saying, “Go for it! You can do this, this is who you were born to be! Step into your destiny and live a life of exceptional devotion to your cause! Never give up. Let your passion shine and change the world!”. 

Want to learn more about my story? Read my book Unemployable: The Odyssey of an Artist

book unemployable: the odyssey of an artist


  • Blair Smith

    Very interesting post!

  • Melody Nydam

    Ohhh . . . I thought you were the greatest gift Elli, but now that I’ve seen John in action . . . 😆
    It makes me cry, seeing God’s heart in John, knowing He prepared you for each other before the foundation of earth. So that you, together, could bless us all. And of course, honor Him. Which is really what it’s all about. 🙏🏻 💓

  • Anabela Sobrinho

    Dear Elli and John,
    I’ve laughed and was also in tears of emotion watching this “game”. Humour is precious!*!
    Thank you so much for revealing your inner truth and vulnerability. An artist community is an aim I’ve been postponing for YEARS… Being surrounded by people who understand “our language” makes us all thrive, as long as every individual has their home ownership stability and some financial flexibility to do most or anything they create in art.

  • Helen Evans

    Thankyou Eli for writing this you have really encouraged me to follow my dreams :) I am on The Mastery programme but due to lots of unforeseen circumstances are way behind . I felt God guided me to be inspired by your wonderful family of creatives . I was like Gideon putting out a fleece and God provided all the money for The Mastery and resources as at the time I didn’t feel good enough to become an artist . I have the most amazing testimony and am praying to get back on track because my destiny is to speak life and light into peoples lives and encourage and inspire them . You and your family bless me so much , Thankyou

  • Chas

    I just started reading your book, “The Revolution of an Artist”, and am finding it enjoyable. Some common threads we share ~ I am also an artist, live in Portland, Oregon, which I now know you visited, have cared for horses and lived in Hawaii (Kauai), for a couple of years. Just wanted to drop by and say hi.

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