Creative Spotlight #001 – Erica Rose
A new year, a new tradition!
For the first Creative Spotlight ever, we’re talking with Erica Rose. Erica is a dear friend, amazing painter, and incredibly soulful person. She incorporates her experience with yoga and reiki into her artwork, and has developed a very unique method of creating art. Let’s get to know Erica and then take a behind-the-scenes peek at her process!
Tell us a little about yourself.
South Side Chicago born and raised. Moved to Tucson, AZ to complete my BFA degree at the UofA, met the love of my life after college, and stuck around the desert for a while. I now live in San Diego, and love it here. It’s a wonderful blend of tropical and desert climate, which I love. For fun? Yoga, music, hiking, traveling, reading, movies… Anything really. Do you know anyone who can take me surfing?
You’ve mentioned to me that it’s been a long road to get your art to where it is now. Can you tell us a little about the phases that your art has gone through and what that process has been like for you?
I discovered my love for art in high school, around the age of 15. Back then I thought I was going to be a photographer, with the dream of one day working for National Geographic Magazine. The next year, I went to the Art Institute of Chicago’s Early College Program. It changed my life forever. I studied oil painting there for the first time, with teenagers that had talent you would not believe. And then me… just discovering what the hell Gesso was and how to prime a canvas. My first large painting was done on canvas drop cloth from Home Depot, unprimed. Not because of any reason other than lack of knowledge. The class loved it. I pretended it was my artistic intent, and realized what Einstein meant when he said imagination is more important than knowledge.
After that I chose painting. Not because I was good at it, but because I wasn’t. This medium had so much to teach me, and I knew it… I was ready for that challenge. There were times I hated the work I made, times I loved it, times I threw paintings across a room out of frustration. I kept at it, and finally found how I speak through the paint. That will continue to evolve and change as I do, an abstracted reflection of how I see the world.
And let me say this, I can’t imagine how my life would feel without taking that risk of possible failure 17 years ago. It has given me more than I can describe in a few words.
Your life and art is very much about meditation and peace within a moving world. Can you talk a little about the role of things such as yoga and reiki in your artwork?
My work aims to discover the balance and connection between our internal and external space. In the paintings, yoga practice is used as a symbolic expression of connecting the external ( the earth paint on my body) with the internal, represented by the yoga poses on canvas. The result is what I begin with, the foundation of the painting. I charge each painting with reiki with the same intention, to open and connect my perception, my realty with something greater, and as a result share the final work with the world around me. At some point the artwork becomes it’s own entity, it doesn’t belong to me anymore, it becomes the voice of the viewer. When I feel that from a piece, I know the painting is complete.
Your color palettes are always gorgeous. What inspires them?
Thanks! Color is my first love. 🙂 The seven chakras, or energy centers located along the body’s midline, set the palette for my canvas. Each painting speaks to a particular chakra, and the issues, experiences and energies associated with that chakra.
You’re not new to the world of entrepreneurship, but what have you found to be different about making your ART your business? Any key advice for other artists out there that want to earn a living by creating?
Well, when I figure out how to make a living solely with my art, I will let you know. But I do know some keys to remember: keep after it, never give up and something great will always happen. Don’t expect anything. That way you always be surprised with the outcome of things. Find out what type of art you create, or want to create, and where it belongs on the market. There is a place for everyone and every type of art. For the artists who can mass produce there is Etsy, Imagekind, and other online stores to sell. For artists like myself, who create larger works that you want displayed, it is best to start locally and build from there. Get creative with where you choose to display your work. Build a network, and remember… galleries, although ideal, are not the only option. They can be hard to come by, especially in today’s economic climate. Never give up on yourself.
What other artists do you admire and pull inspiration from?
Of course there are the greats: Picasso, O’Keefe, Klee, Kandinsky, Pollack, Van Gogh, Gauguin.All have influenced my work in a number of different ways through my studies on each of them. Dr. Seuss is a huge inspiration of mine, discovering his more “mature” work changed my world. I am finding now that I am more directly inspired by other artists I have personal relationships with, friends and acquaintances. When we can share our ideas, our trials and errors and work we are creating, we help each other unravel and discover the core of what we are after in our current pieces. Such a great thing.
It’s a new year, so what do you have planned for this year? any exciting projects that we should keep an eye out for?
Still working on yogatations, the yoga painting and drawing series. I think that will continue for a while, it evolves a little every day. As long as that is happening I know I am on the right track in my work. The plan is to keep that going for myself.
I also want to complete my website, www.ericaroseavenue.com, which has been a work in progress for me. I have a vision for the site, and am working to make it come alive.
Thanks for opening up to us, Erica!
If you want to find more info on Erica’s artwork and reiki, visit www.ericaroseavenue.com.
Want to follow her blog and get to know other artists that she likes? Visit www.yogatations.com !
the studio space
Erica’s unique process is something I felt that everyone should see. I was amazed by how much intent and focus goes into each piece. Her steps are:
-gather dirt for earth paint (from various places that are sacred to her) and mix into specialized paint
-charge earth paint with reiki
-apply earth paint to body and perform asana on canvas
-reiki charge canvas
-begin painting with chosen color scheme based on chakra that is linked to the earth being used
-tie in themes with music and other forms of paper medium and line drawing until piece is complete
-one final reiki charge
Here’s what that all looks like:
Do you know a creative soul/business owner in San Diego/OC/LA County that would like to be featured? Contact me! There are still a few spots left for 2012!