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Elize McKelvey: A Journey from Marine to Master Illustrator

Elize McKelvey, a prolific artist and former Marine Staff Sergeant, melds the worlds of military service and artistic expression, contributing a unique voice to the sphere of combat art. Graduating in 2012 with a BFA in Illustration, Elize was drawn to the concept of combat art, discovering its necessity in bridging the experiences of the front lines to the civilian world. This realization led her to enlist in the Marines with the mission to share poignant, untold stories through her art.

Her journey in the Marines, marked by unpredictability, excitement, stress, and introspection, enriched her perspective, allowing her a deep understanding of the myriad experiences in the military, from the life of a private to her role as a Staff Sergeant. Her commitment to storytelling did not end with her active-duty journey; it evolved. Today, Elize actively participates in the combat art program as a civilian, continuing her passionate storytelling venture, even without the uniform.

Her professional journey has been a testament to her versatile artistic talents, showcasing her skills in storyboarding, animating, traditional fine art, and digital illustration. Elize has collaborated with notable entities like VETtv, Wacom, Michaels Art Craft Store, The Smithsonian Channel with Paramount, the Norman Rockwell Museum, and Pilot pen, amplifying her reach and impact in the art world.

With her flourishing online presence under the pseudonym “inkstickart,” Elize shares her lessons and experiences with a growing audience of over 270k, advocating the power of storytelling. Her artistic process is characterized by a constant state of inspiration and experimentation, using a myriad of mediums to convey her consistent style and unrelenting passion.

Elize's journey seems to be perennially at its inception, with every day serving as a canvas for creation, growth, and a renewed commitment to her dual passions—art and the representation of military life and values.

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