Elias Raftopulos was born on 10 May 1958 in Chania. From 1979 to 1981 he studied at the school of art in Athens. In August 1981 he had a tragic accident where he fractured the fifth and sixth vertebrae and became tetraplegic. In 1986 he started to paint with the mouth. Only one year later he was able to participate in an exhibition in his hometown Chania. In 1988 he was granted a scholarship by the Association. In 1994 he became associate member and in 1998 a full member of the VDMFK.
Among his favourite motifs are the landscapes of his native country, which he paints in vivid Mediterranean colours. He is also fond of portraits. He uses both oils and water-colours. His works have frequently been shown at personal and group exhibitions at home and abroad.