The Heart and purpose regarding why I do what I do. The place where I found the birth of The Sixth Age, and my hope for its future.
Elijah S. Loving raised in St. Joseph, Missouri who’s Forefathers come from New Zealand and before Australia who lived as sailors and farmers in the area, who later migrated to the States. Their adventures on the sea and abroad have been the inspiration for Eli and his love for stories. His artwork has been displayed from Tokyo, Japan, to Lincoln, Nebraska, and to Graceland University in Lamoni, IA, where he received Best In Show in Graphic Design. He has received a B.A. in Studio Painting and Visual Communications, and a M.A. in Painting and Drawing from Pittsburg State University where he received the Teaching in Excellence Award from the Graduate College of Arts and Sciences. He is currently working on the development of a graphic novel called The Sixth Age and a second graphic novel based on A. B. “Banjo” Paterson’s, ‘The Man From Snowy River.’
A few years ago, while attending graduate school at Pittsburg State University, a major thing happened in my life. My father was diagnosed with cancer and determined to be terminal with an unknown time frame for how long he was going to live. After his passing, and since, I have found a deep passion for story telling, of which my favorite forms branch from epic fantasy adventures to the Australian mountain men in the high country. Story telling has always been an important part of who we are and what makes us human. On a day to day bases, we have shared oral history and the written word from generation to generation since the beginning. In one from or another, I suppose that is how we learn to live on, sharing in the amazing things our forbearers did from moving mountains to braking the bonds of slavery and going down the long hard road toward freedom.
As the story of my father’s death unfolded, it became increasingly aware to me how important it is to know how much potential has been placed within our souls. Such as the ability for our soul to feel horrible amounts of pain yet still having the last full measure of potential to heal. The themes I desire for my artwork to express are elements of courage, hope, humility, endurance, self-sacrifice, loss, and love. The Sixth Age and Banjo Paterson’s ‘The Man From Snowy River,‘ amongst my other projects in the works, are about these very concepts. The characters of these stories will have to decide if they too will be able to put their personal volition aside to obtain these core values. These characteristics of our heart allow us to learn the full potential of our identity. It is our heart’s endurance that leads us to discover who we are and what we can accomplish, whether we wanted to or not.
It has become increasingly apparent to me that my heart will never fully heal, yet within I know that one day, upon some far distant glass shore, my heart will be restored. It is this very reason why I believe my artwork must be expressed in the forms of epic landscapes that leave our favorite characters (us) vulnerable and left to the changing winds of the wilderness. For how can we appreciate and understand the freedom of a far distant land of promise without going though the wilderness of life?