|Terry Erickson, Artist|
With both my sisters being so much older, I was pretty much on my own with my mother. I had lots of time to use my imagination and let it take me on an amazing adventure. I got so much enjoyment out of little things like coloured paper, ribbons, coloured pins, crayons and markers. With my two sisters being artists as well as my aunt, the chances were pretty good that I’d find some creative outlet.
Do you remember the first piece you ever made?
I can’t actually remember my first piece. There were so many from a young age. I painted, I crafted, I sewed (not very well) and then I picked up pencils one summer and started sketching. I tried my hand at watercolours back then and was not very encouraged – I was terrible at it. I’m so glad that I found other mediums I was able to master.
Every Artist has a creative process, can you explain yours?
Inspiration keeps me on the path of creation. There is no subject I favour; my inspiration comes from colours or textures that evoke a response in me at the time. When I think of starting a painting, I am inspired mostly by colour and then by subject matter.
When people start doing their craft/art, they tend to try a lot of different things before settling down to something that resonates with them. How has your work changed since you began?
Oil paint is the medium I have had the most pleasure experimenting with, although I do find myself going back to my first love, charcoal drawings from time to time. My work changes constantly - from bright bold colours to dark and moody, from realism to abstract. Since I’ve left myself experiment with different styles, my work has achieved a freedom it lacked earlier.
Oil on Canvas, 14x11
Colour captures my interest and triggers my imagination. Artists don’t paint what is in front of us necessarily; we paint our feelings which are created by what we are seeing. My work has become more of an essential part of my life – cheaper than therapy.
Who are some of your favorite artists and why?
Marion Rose from Chilliwack, BC. Her work was influenced by past masters such as Joaquin Sorolla, Tom Thomson, Carl Rungius, Bob Kuhn and many others that work today in a variety of subject and media. These too are some of my favourites. Texture and rich color were her signature. She encouraged me to start my own website and bolstered my confidence in my work. Unfortunately she fell victim to cancer and passed away November of 2011 but left a legacy of just over 1,000 paintings. Her strength and character will be sorely missed.
Linda Stanway. Not a well know artist, but had more influence than any other. I was inspired to pick up a paint brush by Linda who lent me brushes, paint and canvases and together participated in night classes taught by a local Kelowna artist. She spent many hours with me experimenting with different techniques and as my work reflects, I’m still experimenting; inspired by the beautiful eye-catching scenes and many cultures that B.C. has to offer. Linda was my sister. Sadly, she passed away in 1995 from cancer.
Oil on Canvas, 8x10
My biggest goal is to increase the size of my studio so that I can paint larger canvases. My biggest supporter has been my husband and he made me a small studio to enable me to paint more freely and to finally “move my paints off the dining room table”, unfortunately I’ve outgrown it. He promises it will happen one day.
What do you do in your spare time?
What is spare time? Do you mean that time between painting, drawing, art shows, crafting, craft shows, baking, cooking, running a household, not to mention working full time? I think I sleep in those 4 or 5 “spare hours”.
|"Figs and Flowers"|
Oil on Canvas, 10x8
If you sell online or at physical store. How many hours per week to you spend in the creative side versus the business side?
I spend about 4 hours a week on the business side and try to spend 16 – 20 hours on the creative side. I’m looking into a few other venues and sites to showcase my work.
|"Intensity"Oil on Canvas, 20"x16"|
Take the time to do your research if you are planning on making your art your business and keep yourself informed and up to date. Check current trends in your area of art, libraries and online are great resources. Look for art groups in your area, for a great support system. Self promotion, get out there, check with local stores to see if they will carry your art, through a small event at your home, get people buzzing about you. Don’t be afraid to let your personality shine, it’s often your best selling point.
Setting out can be very daunting, but if you work hard and simply be yourself, great things are bound to happen. Don’t be afraid to try new things. Always be honest , direct and professional with your clients.
Don’t be afraid to seek out advice from others in your art groups. Sometimes this will save you time and costly mistakes as they have already done a lot of the research and have the experience.
Always carry your business cards with you. Pass them out to anyone who shows the least bit of curiosity about what you do. Don't be shy -- let everyone you meet know what business you are in and how much you enjoy it. It takes a long time to market your business, so the sooner you get started, the sooner you will discover the rewards.
I believe it was Henry Ford who said, "Whether you think you can or whether you think you can't, you're right." If you don't believe it or enjoy it, you can't sell it to others.
*****Thank you so much Terry! To view and purchase Terry's unique works, visit her online at http://www.terryerickson.ca
(all images in this feature are the property and copyright of Terry Erickson)
******Artists in the Boro is an inclusive group of individual artists from all mediums who reside in the neighbourhood of Queensborough in New Westminster, BC., Canada.