Elena Berlo

Owner, Fine Artist, Marketing

Elena Berlo is a full time painter blending the family life with her endeavour in fine arts. With a bachelors in Architecture from the University of Bucharest, she continued her artistic education at the Fashion Institute of Technology of NYC, and practiced architecture in well established NYC firms.



In nooks and corners

Cold remains:

Flowers of the plum

- Yosa Buson


We are Elena & Genu, the creators of ElenaBerlo™ and OnceUponaPaper™, a husband and wife team with a mutual passion for art, painting, printmaking and illustration.

We want to thank everyone who put their faith in our artistic heart and hands. It is with your support our journey into customized artwork was made possible, leading to the incredible joy of making art together as a profession. 

We took small steps in giving our paintings a new purpose, each one specially requested by a new couple. And it all grew organically as we came to understand that capturing life’s precious moments in art helps us make sense of our presence and connects us to the past, present and future, and to beautiful new people.

Our artwork derives from our day to day experience. As an architect you always start with pencil on paper. You need to sketch your ideas and give form to many aspects of a building and it’s surroundings. Many times your space planning drawings start looking like a cluster of basic geometric shapes following a structure. From there, our pattern paintings surfaced, especially the Trees of Life. It clearly suited our trees to be part of such an important moment in people’s lives, as they are a symbol of new beginnings, shelter, support and endurance beyond our existence. So many stand now as a silent witness to the promises made and signed by the bride and groom on their handwritten and painted Ketubah.

All of our ketubah, guest books and albums start as a painting and they will continue to do so as we love the sensibility of the paintbrush that stands out no matter what the end medium is. We are the first in the field to offer a Woodcut Ketubah and painted guestbooks. With so many products being customizable, the large majority are made in-house. We continue to use museum quality materials for our artwork and for all that is born from it.


Genu Berlo

Creative Director, Maker

Genu Berlo takes the lead role in each project within the studio, and oversees all aspects of the concept, development and production of new and existing products. He also expands his interest beyond illustration into modern and contemporary art making. Genu has a bachelors in Maths, Architecture, and Continuing Education in fine arts at FIT NYC. Prior to inception of this venture, Eugen Berlo worked as architect for the New York City’s most eminent architectural firms, and world’s highly renowned Skidmore, Owings and Merrill (SOM) architectural, planning and engineering company.