Elliot Canas lives in his own world, where there are no rules. In this world, there are only bugs, friends, and bugs that are friends. The 18-year-old artist can often be found in the forest looking under fallen trees, sketching mushrooms and butterflies, and surrounding himself with love.
“I’ve always had a fascination with plants and nature,” he told Aspirants. “The biology of plants and the way they grow and variate is so beautiful to me.”
Sometimes, the plants before Elliot’s eyes remind him of the diversity in human bodies. As a transgender man, he sees bodies, and more specifically trans bodies, as ever-changing, growing, and beautiful. Just like plants.
And, like plants, trans bodies are among his favorite things to draw. Nature and bodies frequent his sketchbook so much that if you aren’t looking closely, you’d think it was a botanist's field journal.
When asked about what inspires and influences his art the most, Elliot says his own body and experiences, friends, and other trans artists. Ask him to describe his art, and the answer is one word: “Funky.”
In the back of his mind, he keeps dreams of a tattoo parlor run exclusively by himself and other LGBTQ+ artists. For Elliot, the essence of community is central to his art and legacy.
“I can build a community of queer artists working together at what we love to do,” he added.
There are countless other dreams in his mind. If you ask Elliot about what his hopes and dreams are, there’s never only one answer. The ultimate goal is simply to keep growing—just like the plants and bodies scattered in the pages of his sketchbook.
“It’ll probably have changed by the time this has been published,” he joked. “I guess the most honest answer I can give is I just wanna keep growing, with my art and as a human being. I’d sooner die than stay stagnant.”
Read more about Elliot and read his full story by grabbing your copy of Legacy today—use the ELLIOTCANAS5 discount code for 5% off of a digital copy.
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Words by Ry X
Editors: Danielle Irene, Mari Kramer, Isabella Vega
Photo by Cameron Daniel
Designers: Ry X