Everyday People, Make the World Go Round – Meet Tracy Ellyn

Everyday People, Make the World Go Round – Meet Tracy Ellyn

Artist & Arts Advocate, Tracy Ellyn. Please visit www.tracyellyn-recentworks.com.

Name: Tracy Ellyn

Title: Artist and Arts Advocate

Company: Tracy Ellyn Fine Arts and The Zen Tov Project

Major City Where You Work: Miami, Florida, USA

City Where You Live: Miami, Florida

Please, share your personal and cultural background with our readers. Where did you grow up?

My personal background is Jewish Ashkenazi. Having lived in Miami and marrying a Cuban American, my two sons were half Cuban and I lived that wonderful multicultural life that is American-Cuban-Jewish.

Please share with us a current typical day or week in your everyday personal life.

A typical day in my life consists of creating art, a lot of it. My fine art pieces get juried into, and sold at, a variety of exhibitions around the world, but the more important aspect of my work right now is placing my work in healing venues such as hospitals, and having it placed on covers of professional medical journals at Harvard.

Tell us why you do, what you do, for a living.

I find it important to bring more of the arts (in my case, visual art) into the world. The arts have shown to be insightful and healing on a soul level, bringing awareness of self, others, and the world around us. It lifts our spirits both physically and psychologically. When people are sick, the arts demonstrate empirically to lower blood pressure, heal illnesses faster, require less medication, lower pain, raise self-esteem, bring hope, and so much more.

How did you end up in your line of work? Was it accidental or were you strategic about it?

It was neither accidental nor strategic that I ended up as a designer and an artist. From my earliest childhood memories, I was always the artist in the corner drawing, painting, beading and crocheting. My mother and grandmother were both artists and designers, as well. I knew long before college what my major would be. It was just a matter of building a portfolio, getting through college, and moving to Manhattan to start to work. Two decades later, I moved to Miami for my work.

Tell us about the factors that shaped your career and business aspirations.

I am a visual person by nature. We each are born with our gift. One person is a public speaker, another could be an attorney or politician. These were meant for them and not for me. I am an empath. I am visual and care about how people feel. I am aware that people do process visuals 60,000 times faster than text (Thermopylae Sciences). Ninety percent of what is transferred to the brain is visual, which is why marketing, advertising, some therapies and storytelling are done visually. We are visual beings. I always sensed that I could produce commercial and then fine art, and I always wanted to do so to bring people joy.

Tracy Ellyn stands at The Jewish Museum of Florida, next to the Art Memorial she created in memory of late journalist Steven Sotloff, who was tragically beheaded by ISIS on international tv. She gave the 5 foot tall art piece to Shirley Sotloff (right) and family as a gift. She did not know them at the time. She found out afterward that they, too, are from Miami. This was her only way to express the horror the world felt as the event unraveled. Giving art for healing is Tracy’s signature lifestyle. The Sotloffs created the Steven Sotloff Memorial 2Lives Foundation as they, too, pay their pain forward by helping future journalists with scholarships and HEFAT (SEAL-level) safety training. Please visit www.2Livesfoundation.org.

Please share with us a current typical day or week in your everyday professional life.

A typical week in my life is producing new works or reproducing former works, entering juried exhibitions, selling my work, and donating pieces to places of healing. I love giving collections to hospitals, cancer centers, chemo rooms, pastoral care spaces, wherever healing is needed. My work is in Sylvester Cancer Center, Lennar Medical Center, Cleveland Clinic, Moffitt Cancer Center, Baptist Hospital/South Miami Hospital, and my newest series, Genesis, has been permanently installed at Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem, in their brand new, state-of-the-art Neurology Building. I asked specifically for the placement in Neurology/Epilepsy in memory of my son who had epilepsy. It’s all about healing people whose experiences I understand.

Did your background/ethnicity create any obstacles for you? Any advantages? How so?

Being from a Latin city like Miami changed my art quite a bit, as opposed to what I made in New York City. I did not notice until people told me. It became far more bold and colorful. It surprised me. While I would not call my work Miami-style, the colors and boldness certainly are. One can’t help but be influenced by the surroundings.

What advice would you have for others in the business sector trying to make it day after day?

As I always taught my own sons, choose a career which makes you glad that the alarm clock went off in the morning.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

I would certainly give my younger self the advice that pleasing others for their own advancement is not nearly as important as being of service to humankind within the bigger picture. But things like that take time.

Do you think you have ever truly “made it” in life?

I don’t believe one ever truly “makes it” in life, because life itself is always evolving. What was important ten years ago no longer applies. We

Tracy Ellyn

want to earn a high salary, then we buy a large house, then we want peace and tranquility in a small place in the country. We want to spend our money, then we want to hoard it, then we want to be philanthropic. We want to create a commercial product, then that product no longer works, then we need to evolve and create a new one. Then, commercialism is no longer important but service for the greater good is. Life is always changing.

If you could have dinner with any person—living or dead–who would it be? Why?

I would have loved to have spent time with Audrey Hepburn while she was still alive. I was fortunate to meet with her before she passed away, but not for long enough. I admire her a great deal. She lived through the horrors of Nazi-occupied World War II, which, at the end of the day, gave her a deep sense of compassion. She was a beauty of great talent in Hollywood. But she gave it all up to pay forward her own experience by helping young children in developing countries who are also suffering.

Colby Cardenas
Zachary Cardenas

Give us your own personal quote to commemorate at LBT.

“Throw a pebble into each pond you see. Let it cause ripples. Because we take nothing material with us when we go. But those who needed the ripples are still here.” – TracyEllyn

Please visit www.tracyellyn-recentworks.com.