Arts·Opening Up

Street art legend Elicser's cereal box paintings capture '100 days of the world just off kilter'

Elicser Elliott was worried about art supplies when the pandemic started, so he used what he already had around: his many cereal boxes.

Elicser Elliott was worried about art supplies when the pandemic started — so he turned to cereal boxes

Street art legend Elicser's cereal box paintings capture '100 days of the world just off kilter'

CBC Arts

4 months ago
4:43
Elicser Elliott was worried about art supplies when the pandemic started, so he used what he already had around: his many cereal boxes. 4:43

In Opening Up, the sequel to our self-shot video series COVID Residencies, we're asking artists how the upheavals and uprisings of 2020 are affecting their process and work.

Elicser Elliott is a renowned street artist from Toronto. His work can be seen all over the city, from massive murals to electrical boxes. His exquisite work eventually expanded onto canvases, and recently he made another move ... onto cereal boxes.

Elicser's series #waitingabandoned is the perfect summary of 2020 thus far as it comments on both the pandemic and social unrest that has fuelled this year.

Like many artists, Elicser was worried about art supplies being limited when the pandemic first hit, so he pivoted in a resourceful way. "I've been painting pieces all year just on cereal boxes. I thought we couldn't go back to art stores, so I just used what I had. I have a nervous tic of collecting cereal boxes — I don't throw them out."

Elicser Elliott's artwork representing the anguish of the summer of 2020. (Elicser Elliott)

Elicser describes this series as "100 days of the world just off kilter." He began creating the series sometime in March and continued toward the end of June. "This whole year was insane. And I tried to illustrate all of it in a weird way."

One of the most heavy-hitting pieces he painted on a cereal box was entitled "i wish my brother george was here," which is an interpretation of the killing of George Floyd. Read Elicser's emotional Instagram post here.

In this video, watch Elicser's process from start to finish. See his mix of spray paint, acrylic and marker as he masterly transfers it onto a Chocolate Cheerios box.

See the entire #waitingabandoned series on Instagram here.

Elicser didn't fully stop creating street art throughout the pandemic — he did a piece as a tribute to workers at the local Tim Horton's he frequently visits. Check out the wholesome clip below.

Elicser Elliott's artwork for Tim Hortons workers

CBC Arts

4 months ago
0:36
See the artwork that renowned Toronto street artist Elicser Elliott made for his local Tim Hortons workers. 0:36

About the Author

As a young child, March Mercanti would play with his action figures for countless hours because he was obsessed with telling stories...to himself. Currently, March is a filmmaker living in Toronto, ON. He works at CBC Arts creating documentaries for artists across Canada.

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