Artist Bio

Born in El Salvador in 1986, Emiliana moved to Compton with her family when she was three months old. Her family felt unsafe after the Rodney King riots of the early 90s and they relocated her and her brother to East Los Angeles–moving into a mostly Hispanic neighborhood. Gang violence was never far away so her parents sought to immerse them in music and art.


From the beginning, Emiliana’s father Rolando strongly encouraged her to paint. In El Salvador it was seldom that people were able to pursue their artistic talents, let alone find creative careers. Art was an absolute privilege. While Emiliana’s parents wanted the best for her they had little idea of how best to guide her in pursuing her passion.


Emiliana was 10 when she first picked up a paint brush and she began to experiment with collage and mixed media. With no real formal artistic education, Emiliana had to figure out  technique largely on her own. She dabbled in many expressions of it. But she was always drawn back to realism. Realism especially in the intimacy of faces. She’s been refining her portraiture now for more than 10 years.

Emiliana finds inspiration in classical realists like Paul Gauguin as well as living ones like Lisa Yuskavage and Amy Sherald.

She continues to live, work and paint in Los Angeles, California.