Interview with Erica Lee Sears

welcome to the arts to hearts podcast a show where we take peek into the hearts and lives of our favorite artists from

0:10running a creative business and practice to mindset we talk about everything that goes behind into making a life and a

0:16career that you will adore as an artist think of this as your happy hour with your favorite artist in your studio hear

0:21them share the messy and the wonderful side of creating and living a creative heartfelt life within and outside our

0:27studios as you tune in be ready to be inspired and encouraged i’m your host charaka rora an artist designer

0:33entrepreneur and founder of arts to hearts project thank you so much for being here let’s jump right in

0:41before we get into this episode i quickly want to remind you about a new open call we at arts to hearts have

0:48collaborated with i like your work one of our favorite art podcasts and online

0:54platforms for arts we have launched a new open call called

1:00facade this open call is for mixed media artists yes

1:06all mixed media artists for the first time arts to hearts is going to host

1:12artists of all genders and we are so excited to be shedding

1:17more light on mixed media artists this time the deadline for this open call is

1:2230th of october and we are open to all mixed media

1:28artists from any part of the world to submit visit www.arts2heartsproject.com

1:36submit the selected participants of this open call will be a part of an online exhibit

1:42hosted on www.arts2heartsproject.com this open call will be guest curated by

1:48erica b hess the creator and founder of i like your work and artists and curator the selected participants of this

1:54exhibit will be a part of an online exhibit hosted on www.hearthstoheartsproject.com

2:01selected participants will also be a part of a documentary on

2:06mixed media artist that will be hosted on i like your work and arts too hearts not only that but erica will also be

2:13selecting an artist to be interviewed on i like your work studio visit series

2:19so my dear mixed media artist this open call is for you it is time that your

2:25work gets the recognition and the limelight it deserves the open call ends

2:30on 30th of october 2021 so submit now bye

2:37hey you guys welcome back to the arts to hearts podcast this is your host sarkar

2:42and i am so excited today because i have a very very amazing guest and i know

2:48that today’s episode is going to be so much fun because

2:53you’ll know now and i have eric alicia’s here on the podcast which has been long time pending

2:59i’m so excited that she finally agreed it was a lot of back coming uh too and

3:04so but i have i’ve got a caught her here today so welcome to the podcast uh erica

3:12oh thank you for having me i’m i’m very grateful to be here firstly i want to say a big thank you because um it’s

3:19it’s truly a pleasure to have you here i have i have been following your work for so long and i feel like

3:26it is it is that moment when i feel like a first full circle moment i have you here

3:31so okay uh just just so that people i’m sure that a lot of people who are listening

3:36to this episode already know you who who you are what you do which is for the sake of it can you introduce yourself

3:43who you are and what you do sure my name is erica lee sears i am an oil

3:48painter from portland oregon um one of my current projects on social media is i make an original piece of

3:55work every single day and i share my journey online and i’m approaching my seventh year it was because of the

4:01birth of my son and i wanted to stay creative on a daily basis um and it’s brought me so many different

4:07projects and different gifts and you know i’m super i never thought i would make it this far to be honest i never

4:14thought i would make it past the first week or the first month let alone like seven years is so long

4:21yeah seven years almost seven yeah and it’s not like people think like

4:28i do these huge paintings now and stuff but it didn’t start out that way at all like i was painting in a sketchbook and

4:34i was just doing small work but i also give myself permission to do small work also like today like where i just if i

4:40feel like i just need to do like sketchbook work i do sketchbook work so yeah i mean i think people sometimes

4:47think that you do like these huge paintings every day and it doesn’t it’s not like that i think that’s such a good thing that

4:53you’ve mentioned because sometimes because we want to be in this and i think before we even were recording this

4:59we were having this conversation that um however like sometimes when you get

5:04to to like you know you want to get the professional you want to get too professional you

5:10want to get like you know where you can make a living and support yourself yeah so everything becomes like a lot

5:16more calculative and like you know there’s so many pressures that oh like we see like oh are we not wasting i

5:22don’t know at least i’m speaking for myself you know am i not am i not wasting my time am i doing

5:28going in the right direction or will this be is this good enough and sometimes we just

5:34forget to give ourselves the permission that you know we at the end of the day we want to make the work because it it

5:40makes us feel happy and at some point if i just want to do something that has nothing to do with

5:47you know i don’t want to sell that work i just want to maybe scribble and like

5:55i think i’m with you um you know i think you know i think the thing is like it is very taboo to talk about like how do you

6:02make a living with art how do you um are you able to support yourself and then it’s like you know as artists we’re

6:09not allowed to talk about that stuff because it’s like oh well you’re selling your artwork for money and it’s like

6:14well i have to well first of all like um you know you put all the love and all

6:19the energy and you know you put your soul into making this work but you also have to support yourself and you also

6:25like i use really high quality materials so that’s really important to me too yeah um

6:31yeah and what’s funny is i always thought like oh you know as i get better

6:36at my practice and my work you know i’ll paint faster and it’s like you paint faster but it gets more complicated

6:43because you know how to make artwork um you know you’re you can make artwork

6:48but it takes just it takes even longer because you know how to make it great you know

6:54i have so many questions that i want to ask you so much of course so much that i want to talk to you

6:59but but let’s start from the beginning because that’s what i love to do i want

7:04to know who you are and let’s let’s start with can we talk a little

7:10bit about you know where were you born how how were you as a child how was your you know how was your childhood uh are

7:17you a creative child um well i was born in portland oregon as i

7:22said earlier um i you know i’m the youngest of three and my parents are creative people but

7:29they’re not are like they are not artists like they are not people that would go to an art museum we were

7:35talking before like i didn’t go to my art museum like my first art museum until i was in my mid-20s

7:41um you know and it kind of changed everything for me it really did um and

7:47it we only have one museum where i live and it’s it’s great but you know i don’t

7:53live in like a city where like in new york or san francisco where there’s museums or galleries everywhere i mean

7:58we have a gallery district but it’s not like you know la or san francisco or new york for sure

8:04um i was always a super creative kid but i didn’t think it was possible to make a

8:09living as an artist or pursue art you know my parents are always like well you know you can do it as a back you need a

8:16backup or you have to do something else or it’s good to do it on the side or whatever um you know which is totally

8:23not true to whoever is listening there are so many different avenues you can go and so many different things that you

8:29could do to support yourself um you know and you know that should be celebrated

8:35now that you’re saying that you did nothing and we’ve also spoken about this what did you think that you would do otherwise what was that what was what

8:41were you thinking you were meant to be doing yeah i worked in finance for like six years

8:47um you know and the hours were terrible and long i mean like i was working like like

8:54during busy seasons like 50 60 hours a week and um you know and i was good at what i

8:59did because i felt like i you know really helped people and i really like you know i really help people and so but

9:06the hours are really long and i kept thinking to myself it’s like you know after you go to college and i’ll do all

9:12the stuff and you get your job and i was you know i got married to my you

9:18know college boyfriend and i got a house and a mortgage and all this stuff and then you’re just like okay then what

9:23like now what and do i just do this for like 20 30 years and so then i started

9:28i started painting and showing my work um you know on the weekends and the evenings that’s how i started

9:35and when was that um that was like right around i went well i was always like painting and drawing and stuff but i

9:41didn’t start showing my work it’s been about 10 years since i’ve been showing my work that you know moving from uh you were

9:48like you said you were in finance and now you’re a full-time artist that really in itself

9:55is such such an amazing ex like example that you’ve said and i think

10:01you set a really good example for so many people because um i think

10:06being a mother you’ve been successful you’ve um you have made it like you know if you’ve

10:12shown people that if you’re really passionate about something you can you can you can pursue

10:18it even alongside you know being a mother or like so many different

10:23things uh you also are a self-taught painter and you’re a brilliant painter

10:29which is another really great thing and then like you mentioned that you you were in finance you left that

10:37cushion and you said yeah came into this really

10:42have the kind of a word that how how i mean let’s let’s talk a

10:48little bit about your time in that job and in fine hands and how did that

10:54let you be here i didn’t have any kids at that time i

11:00like i didn’t have them today and you’re still working yeah but i think here’s the thing is i

11:07quit my job when i when i but when i quit my job i didn’t have kids and i think sometimes people

11:13have a lot of responsibilities to think about like i mean it is really hard to quit like a steady paycheck when you

11:19have a family to support i mean it was me and my husband that’s the only reason why i say that and my husband

11:24and i what we did was we made a plan for me to quit and i went on a leave of absence for my job for six months in

11:31order to think about if i really wanted to pursue art full time yeah

11:37so i took a leave of absence and then i was you know and then to see if it worked out and i went back for a couple

11:44like i went back for like a month and then i’m just like i can’t do it i’m p i’m out peace

11:50like i just couldn’t do it this is it this is goodbye yeah i don’t think i

11:56could ever see myself going back to be honest and i think uh it’s i think one when you say that now it’s

12:03because you you saw that it was possible i think a lot of things that triggered for me also when i thought like like we

12:10spoke i i also did not have i never thought i never saw that

12:16an artist in my life still for a very long time i i didn’t go to the museum so i

12:21knew nothing about the artwork so it was very hard for me to even imagine that you know i could like this is

12:27something real that i could do and i think when you left your job in that one month that you realize that

12:34uh if you keep at it and you know there’s there’s still you know you can make this true and

12:41that enough that conviction in itself is is enough for us to take that step

12:48yes absolutely i mean the thing is is like you can make a plan i mean it doesn’t have to be like i’m quitting my

12:54job tomorrow i mean it can be like you know in a year or like you know save some money

12:59um figure out a plan give yourself some time um you can also work on i mean now it’s

13:05like different because we have you know like social media is such a help for artists now um because when i

13:12first started it you know instagram wasn’t around then and um or pinterest i think flickr was just happening

13:19yeah and i wish i would have gotten that but i didn’t flicker flickr was um like it’s like a photo

13:26sharing website it was before instagram before twitter it was kind of before mice i want to say

13:33maybe it’s the same time around myspace but yeah it was but it was photo sharing but

13:39it was photo sharing art sharing um and but that was then you know and it’s like

13:46but but the thing that’s great about social media is that you can connect with people from around the world like

13:51meeting people like you or meeting collectors or or people to creative other creative minds to help

13:57you and get advice or even get work yeah it’s great wow i mean that is and i think that’s

14:04why we’re even here because of course there’s so much of downside when it comes to social media especially now

14:10because it’s been overdone over exploited all those things and some like there needs to be a healthy boundary

14:17with everything but i don’t think a lot of us would have been here had social media not been there because

14:25it just removed those values to entry it made so many things accessible for people who did not have

14:32them in you know immigrate to them i didn’t i do not have a community that i feel resonated with you know in my own

14:39geography um it was like i wouldn’t have been here because because i i don’t have

14:45the community that i feel resonated with uh within my own geography and i like like i said

14:50there’s not where i’m living right now there’s not even one gallery let alone and india does not have even have a lot

14:56of gas or museum cultures only it’s only within a very very few ice like it’s

15:02very small group so yeah thanks to social media that a lot a lot has changed

15:08okay let’s talk about um let’s talk about your uh

15:14your growth and i know that social media has been um a very big um

15:20very big so social media has had a lot of contribution to your career and you you are this really

15:28raging artist on the internet today that everyone loves your your bad series your sub series um and

15:36like all the work that you do also resonates a lot with people first let’s talk about the kind of work that you do

15:42first let’s talk about that okay um so i paint whatever i want

15:48um that’s the one thing that’s kind of fun about making art every day yeah i mean that’s the one thing that’s

15:54fun about making art every day is that you can make whatever you want and like i mean it might not be the greatest

16:01painting or whatever but you know it’s like you know you just get it out and just have fun and the one thing that’s

16:08cool about also being creative every day is that you really kind of think about the ideas and the stories that you want

16:14to be telling through your artwork um which i never thought that that would be a big

16:20piece of why it’s really important to me to continue my practice right so um yeah so i’m working on i

16:28have a couple of different series i’m currently excited about like i really am into like the bass series but i’m also

16:34really into um you know the lens of our daily lives and what that looks like um

16:42and i think that’s the biggest thread in my work okay can you now talk about uh

16:49the daily practice that you start like that you mentioned that yeah and what triggered that let’s talk about

16:56what triggers that oh okay so um basically my okay so when i i have two children i

17:03have a daughter and a son and when i was pregnant with my daughter i was terribly uncreative i didn’t want to be

17:09making art i was miserable i mean my pregnancy was really hard

17:14um i got sick a lot like the whole time i was pregnant and i didn’t want to make art and so when she was born i started

17:20making art again but then i got pregnant with my son and i was like you know i need to decide i

17:26need to you know set a goal for myself because i either need to make art and

17:33have it happen for me or i need to let it go and so on my son was six weeks old and i started

17:40to make an original piece of art every single day um no matter how big or small like five

17:46minutes 10 minutes 15 minutes like whatever whatever i had it was more about like showing up and thinking about

17:52it and you know it didn’t have to be like anything major it could just be

17:58like squiggles if i wanted to or like my cat or whatever you know let’s feel a

18:04commitment that’s still a commitment it was the gift to myself i always say that it was the it was my selfish

18:12selfless gift to myself because i had to do it for myself but it made me it it was just such a

18:18gift and then what happened next

18:24um what happened next um i just kept making artwork um eventually you know ever got into preschool and my yeah

18:34i don’t know if blowing up is the right word because i feel like it’s been so gradual you know everything has been

18:39like super like where i just kind of yeah because you have to just show up to like the

18:45thing about making artwork as you know is that it’s a very humbling practice because you have to show up and make it

18:51it’s not that you you can’t fake it you can’t like just be like oh i made this you have to actually put in the time and

18:57the dedication in order to like really make some like make your vision come alive

19:02um so yeah so i just kind of kept making work and i kept you know getting excited

19:09about ideas and thoughts and you know projects kind of came along the way

19:14um you know i was a working artist before i started my daily practice um my

19:20artwork’s been in like portlandia and um the tv show

19:25and some other tv shows because i’m connected yeah i’m connected with some of the curators

19:30in my town um but like you know but this project really changed

19:36my life for sure it just shows you what a little discipline can do for you

19:42and i was just going through uh your work your website is called a tiny rocket

19:48right you want to talk about that why is it called that okay so basically like it just kind of stuck i

19:55it was right when i was about to quit my job and my dog he would like do the

20:01zoomies like he looked like a little rocket and so i always thought that like oh

20:07this this is like a mission of me and myself and like the universe and so

20:12i thought we were kind of the same wow yeah i know it’s not the most

20:17professional name but i like it and i feel like it speaks to what to me

20:23i love that name it’s so empowering i love the energy

20:29oh i was just saying you know how we feel so small in the universe like once we get really out there and i’m sure you

20:35like you’re in india and you know there’s so many people and it’s funny because like when you’re in like those

20:40kind of places it’s like you can feel so small in a place that’s so big yeah that’s true i think that’s really true

20:47but when i even saw your website i was very amazed that like it’s been seven years and i was

20:53seeing you still keep it like you do you like make like a entry every day on your

20:59website so not anymore but i catch up like a couple of times a month and i still i

21:05need to catch up but i catch up because what happens if instagram goes away or i mean like what happens if like social

21:12media is going to change and grow and evolve and i always want a place where i can always see what i’ve made

21:18yeah that’s true yeah and i was very i it was very nice to see your work and like it just felt that space that way

21:25you were keeping yourself accountable and sharing your one for an artwork a day yeah okay let’s

21:31talk about a lot of great things that have happened in the past two years like a couple of years for you which of

21:37course uh includes lana um your album cover book cover

21:44do you want to talk about that how did that happen how was that experience for you it’s like a really big project it’s

21:50such a great accomplishment well she just reached out to me and she said that you know

21:55yeah she just reached out to me and said that she loved my work and that and we just started talking

22:01and i didn’t believe it was her at first and so you know we facetimed and talked

22:07and stuff and then yeah i know i didn’t believe it well because it’s like someone reaches out to you and you’re

22:12like really are you sure um and then and then um she’s

22:17yeah but she like was like that happens so no she’s very sweet kind nice like

22:24very hands-on um you know she definitely what i really

22:30admire is she’s so hands-on that she picks out everything and likes everything um

22:36she’s like a really sweet and positive person like she’s so great and her team is like super professional and super

22:42nice um that project took like a year so um but yeah

22:49but it was pretty like she was really easy to work with so yeah what do you

22:55think has been your biggest challenge when it comes to being um an artist especially let’s talk about

23:01your biggest that you feel what’s your biggest challenge being an artist um well it’s changed it’s changed it’s

23:08changed over the years you know being the biggest challenge like i mean when i first started showing my work and like want

23:14needed to make a living at what i was doing i mean it was like how do you do that i mean it’s really

23:21really hard just getting started um because before i started or when i started there was no social media

23:27and you know a lot of people did tell didn’t help you or yeah you know we were talking about this before a lot of

23:34people don’t really help you get started or you know you have to kind of figure out how you want to

23:42you know navigate this right and or figure out like you know what

23:48what what avenue i want to get into because when you first started it start you’re just like okay i just have to show my work and i just sell artwork and

23:55that’s it and it’s like no well actually you know there’s a lot of different ways to make a living at what you do like you

24:01can get into illustration you can get the surface design you can get into royalties licensing murals teaching

24:07classes podcasts i mean there are so many different avenues

24:12um and figuring that out is probably like the hardest part at the beginning and you know if anyone that’s listening

24:18is just starting out or just figuring it out it’s like i always say try a ton of things i’ve tried so many different

24:24avenues and so many different things because you have to figure out what resonates with you and your art style

24:30and what you like doing you know because in a way you know we’re creative entrepreneurs

24:35um you know nowadays you know like my nowadays i have different problems like

24:41it’s like you know i think about you know like artwork a lot like you

24:47know trying to make the best artwork i possibly can every single day um is hard and um you know inspiration

24:54can be hard too because you know i’m really tough on myself where i just really want to make great

24:59work and then now it’s like fitting in everybody and fitting in all the projects managing myself and the kids and my

25:06husband and making sure you know i’m a present you know mother and a present you know wife and

25:13things like that that’s what’s hard now it’s just different different problems um

25:19you know and it’s always evolving that’s that’s very true actually

25:25um can we also talk about uh we also spoke about this before we started recording

25:31was you know we like um you did not come from an art school um

25:37you also didn’t firstly let’s say how hard is how hard was it for you to

25:43navigate how what this world this art word means or someone who especially did not come

25:50from a formal training background um it’s really hard because you know even today you know you tell people

25:55you’re an artist and like uh-huh you know they give you that face where it’s like okay

26:01um and i mean it’s it’s tough um it it

26:07and i think you know like even if you’re self-taught you can’t let hold yourself back from that because

26:13um you know there is so much to learn about art and you know it can it goes beyond i

26:20mean i wish i could have gone to art school like if i could do it all over again i would totally go to art school

26:25and then if people ask me like should i go to art school and like it depends like if you’re really gonna learn and

26:31really it’s like going to college if you’re really gonna learn and experience it and really take it in what they’re

26:37teaching and it’s not necessarily like they’re um

26:42it’s it’s not necessarily the value but it’s like what am i learning and because these are people that are professionals

26:48and they’re really teaching a skill set um and giving it to you um

26:54so i wish i could if i could do it like i said if i could do it all over again i would totally do it um but at the same

27:00time i feel like it makes me work harder um where i have to like i feel like i have to technically learn things like i

27:06feel like i’m never like i’m always like learning and especially i think um

27:13you also live in a smaller city um we again spoke about that i also come

27:18i live in the smallest city especially like uh right now especially

27:23uh ever since i’ve been most active in when it came to be an artist um and you did not come from an art school

27:30a lot a good thing about art school or any kind of schooling is that it gives you a network if it gives you a starting

27:36point to start like you know to find people and then just to answer things and then you know

27:42knowing how things work how was that for you how did you figure out it’s people starting out just like

27:48you so it’s like it’s definitely like a place that you can like collab and network and like what you were saying

27:54meet people especially in art school that is like totally a game changer too

28:00um you know like when i first started out like before instagram and stuff i

28:06applied for everything and like all the open calls in my town and like

28:11everything and i was really able to network um at that time with like curators and people like doing things

28:19here so i was able to like kind of you know get going in that direction um but it’s

28:25still really hard like it’s not easy because a lot of people like especially like at that time

28:30the artists that were making a living weren’t like i always felt like they weren’t sharing their secrets on how to like how

28:38to do it how are you doing it you know and um so usually when people talk to me

28:44i always take it like how can i help like how can i is there anything i can say to help because

28:49you know like it’s not easy and um but there’s so many different avenues you can go and so many different

28:56ways you can um you know if you’re able to like support yourself and like get your

29:02artwork yeah that’s true and i think that’s the biggest problem is that you know i’ll share a little bit about

29:09when i entered like when i thought that okay this is what i

29:14i thought that this is what i wanted to do i wanted to be an artist and so i started you know meeting people and

29:21it was so hard because the kind of ideas that i was i was being sold with something i really

29:27did not wanted to believe in that you know i had to be in the studio

29:32for this hour and you know like oh i needed someone i had

29:39like i had been i have been on my own since forever i have

29:44i’ve come from a background where i had to make an effort to do everything on my own and i just

29:50did not have a habit of relying on someone to come and give me a chance and it was so hard because i thought

29:56like okay i can be a successful artist when a curator will pick me or other

30:01calgary will pick me or you know i think my biggest inhibition was which is what i want to ask you is

30:08um you know this idea that your uh artist uh you know treating your art as

30:14a business there was a lot of taboo when it came to that that you know um

30:20as artists your work your you know it is your work is just creating the work which isn’t i i just feel it which isn’t

30:28a hundred percent true uh as an as artist especially self-representing artists

30:34we are also um creative business creative entrepreneurs creative business

30:39owners because uh if you want to make a living out of it you need to know how to run a business how was how was that learning

30:46for you i i’m sure you mentioned you were in finance so i’m sure that would have been working

30:52for these six years in in organizations and corporates oh yeah you would have had some sense of

31:00how then how did you was that like a major shift did you consider your work

31:05yeah i’m lucky that way because i am pretty like when it comes to like paperwork and all that stuff i’m pretty

31:11organized and pretty responsible so um you know i’m i’m lucky that way um but

31:18you know i think you know i think all that stuff i mean it’s not it does it’s not it’s like

31:25we’re entrepreneurs and it doesn’t apply like i mean if you’re selling jewelry if you’re selling pottery if

31:31you’re not just if even if you’re like working if you own a salon you have to have like a business like side of things

31:38um and people don’t always associate that with art you know because you have to be such a free thinker with art um

31:46but you know like i mean i haven’t i have an accountant that helps me so i mean i definitely there is places that

31:53you can go to like help support yourself um you know in making sure you’re staying organized and responsible because you

32:00know taxes are not fun but it happens yeah so yeah

32:07because i think of people like us like i hate finance i am so bad at numbers i can’t even tell you just like so bad i’m

32:14pretty good but my husband’s really good too like he’s one of those people he could like read like look at a receipt

32:20and be like oh it’s you know 327 or whatever like he can add up all the numbers and like he’s just like he’s

32:26like a math guy yeah it makes me kind of jealous but like as like because it’s kind of a

32:31super power but i mean like i’m i’m glad i don’t have that skill at the same time

32:38but yeah i don’t know i think you have to and i can’t i think if i think you have to embrace that there is a business

32:44side and like that there’s you know i think you have to kind of strip away the shame of it there’s nothing wrong with

32:50it because here’s the thing and this is the truth is once you start growing your art business and you’re dealing with like agents and different kinds of

32:57companies and different kinds of um just collectors in general or like especially if you’re working with like

33:03corporations and clients like they are business minded they are going to be giving you a contract to sign you have

33:09to understand what you’re signing and then you also have to understand what your worth is because you can say like

33:15oh i don’t know you pay me whatever like no they’re gonna like try to get you

33:20yeah it’s the business side of stuff um it’s it’s something that you have to

33:27like understand that you wanna like you need to learn about negotiating and understand what you’re signing um

33:33because you know like let’s say you’re like oh i don’t know i don’t wanna learn business stuff but it’s like what happens if they take your artwork and

33:39they you know you sign it away you know it’s a full you know they have they can do whatever they want with it

33:46and you didn’t realize that um so it’s like really important to understand what you’re sending like i got approached by

33:51a really big company and um i ended up turning it down so i

33:56won’t say their name but they were like gonna use my artwork and they were like changing the they were changing the image slicing it up

34:04you know they told me like this is what we’re gonna pay you for it and um but i actually did the numbers

34:10and it was way less because they were paying me in royalties and i just didn’t feel like it was like an honest

34:16transaction you know and like and the way they were going to use my image yeah um

34:22so like i think it’s really you have to just kind of like okay i’m just going to like embrace this side and

34:28i’m just really going to like read through the paperwork and understand everything and you know even

34:34if you need like tax help or accountant help there’s people to help you or a year-end person yeah that can help you

34:41um yeah it’s it’s not that hard and it’s not that fun but

34:46it is a side of step you have to learn 100 and i think another thing that that

34:52what really i so for me the journey was a little different because i came from a business background i knew a lot of

34:58things about business then i came to this idea that i don’t oh i want to be an artist and artists

35:05artists are not entrepreneurs artists are not business people they’re artists so i was told

35:10this idea and because of course i wanted to fit in for a very long time i thought okay i can be either an artist or i can

35:17be let’s say i can be an entrepreneur but entrepreneurship is in my blood and i

35:22think that’s why i had the guts to choose being an artist that i did not recognize at that point but what what

35:30actually pulled me out of that trap was one very simple thing which was like you know what the idea what people was

35:36telling me or i was thinking on me was that oh you um

35:42like you know you have to be uh this this kind of an artist who sits

35:47in in the studio and um you know who does um

35:52like you know or that you know a gallery picks or who’s not like literally putting themselves so much out there and

35:59that who needs to be like you know that you don’t need to be commercial and all of those things where i understand

36:06there’s there’s a boundary for everything and everyone finds their own comfort zone which for me the most

36:11important thing was that if i want to i want to be creative every single day and i have my bills to pay

36:18and if i want to keep doing this i need to figure out a way that makes me

36:25uh give me enough so that i can still get up every morning and i can go to the studio and if i want

36:31to paint and draw i can do that because i know that i can pay my bills and i was

36:37like this idea is never going to let me do that so let’s let me try what works for me what i believe in

36:43and i think that changed so many things a lot of things started making sense a lot of things

36:49um started like it made so much sense to me that yeah what i’m doing has value

36:55what um you know what i mean oh yeah i totally it’s like um well you want to be i think

37:01you have to think about like what are your what is in your soul about what you want to be doing you know with your stuff

37:07like like for me like i love being creative every day and i love having you know painting and i love being able to

37:15like paint whatever i want like not all the time because i’m like pretty busy with projects but for the

37:21most part i can like get i can have new ideas and new things coming and stuff

37:26like that that’s super important to me um but i think the whole like making a

37:32living and paying your bills it comes with experimenting and trying new avenues like you know if you want to

37:39teach if you want to do workshops if you want to i mean there’s so many murals um

37:44are pretty you know pretty good change you know it’s like yeah there’s a ton of different ways but it’s like a lot of

37:50people don’t understand how to get started or how um how do you just like see your artwork

37:57like where do you want to go with it you know um but there’s plenty of avenues

38:03one one last question and then sure of course exciting part of the episode

38:09which is what do you think it was can you maybe share even if you look back what was that one

38:16maybe mindset change you’re like that you know that one figure of course

38:22there’s never one it’s always a series of events but there is one that you feel like okay um it really pulls like push

38:30things off for you snowball things for you and really really changed a lot of things for you

38:36before you know you felt like things were working hard for you what was that one thing that you feel

38:42was very instrumental okay probably the very okay so back when

38:47i worked at the bank when i worked in finance um one of my birthdays

38:53um i had a friend who was like creative entrepreneur also

38:58she was a choreographer dancer and so we

39:04would get together and just talk about how much we wanted to quit our jobs and how much we want and how do we do that

39:09right and so for my birthday my husband gave her the key to our place

39:14in in our empty room she bought me an easel and she filled the room up with

39:20balloons um yeah and i never had anyone really believe in my artwork that much before i

39:27mean my husband’s supportive he’s like sure my car whatever like especially when i first started but she was like

39:32yeah this is it this is what you’re doing yeah oh my god that’s so special i think

39:38yeah a lot of times uh we definitely do believe in ourselves but um

39:44some the real support someone who truly is there for you and just even we are never

39:49good enough i mean whenever anyone who’s starting out uh you start somewhere but it is those early people who still

39:56believe in where you can be that their belief uh that nudge in the beginning

40:03it’s the people that get it it’s that it’s the because you realize like what’s funny is like you realize

40:10how many people don’t understand what you do including like family members or friends and stuff like there’s so many

40:15people that just don’t get it and so and i think the other thing that is is once you release that and just be like i’m

40:22okay you know my mom or my dad or my friend isn’t going to understand what i do it’s

40:27like really freeing and it lets you really be more of your true self i’m saying even that i mean that that

40:34acceptance is also really hard to know that the people and we all need validation but only to some extent of

40:41course i always say that we don’t need but of course we need not validation but i think support the right word is

40:47support even if when people don’t believe in you even when they say that you can still do it i think even then even that matters it’s

40:55very hard it’s very hard to um you know when everyone says you can’t do something and then the only person that

41:02says that you can do something is the person inside your soul you know it’s like it’s hard it’s like really really

41:07hard 100. amazing thank you erica that has been so amazing you’ve been so kind and

41:14wonderful i am so excited uh to come to the most

41:19like the favorite part of the episode i also mentioned which is the rapid fire

41:24i’m going to ask you a set of questions these are really fun questions you have to just give me what comes to your mind

41:30first there’s no right and no wrong that is uh it’s just

41:36we want to know what comes to your mind okay okay are you ready i’m ready

41:43one thing you want to convey through your work in the arts one thing that i want to convey with my work in the art

41:49um i don’t really think about it like that i feel like i just have to let it out and i just let whatever comes out

41:56happen what’s that one word that describes you the best oh man i don’t

42:01know um laughter really you did not laugh so much

42:08oh la uh laughing is like my favorite thing in the world if you could have a studio anywhere in

42:14the world where would it be paris really oh yeah

42:19or bali but bali like i feel like is like would be harder to ship things or get things

42:25like like out you really not thought this through yeah

42:30no bali and paris are my magic places amazing your biggest source of information myself

42:36that sounds really selfish that sounds really ego but myself because everything you have is within

42:41you know everything is there love that okay this is a question i told you when we were even talking which is the next

42:47question you’re eight when you’ve visited a museum for the first time i think i was

42:5325 i want to say i was 25. why i i purposely added this this question to

43:00um to my uh list of rapid fire because i feel like

43:05sometimes we take things for so much granted that we feel like oh because people think okay this is a successful

43:11artist or because they come from this background or they go to these art worlds to these museums and all of that

43:16but not everyone there’s not one kind of thing that happens a lot of us who did not have access or who still don’t or

43:23like you know which maybe some people would choose not to do that ah still you’re still there you went to

43:29the museum for the first time while you were 25 and here you are doing so good so i feel like we still need to open

43:36that thought that not everyone is that like museum goa kind of a thing and it can still be

43:43successful yes i mean it’s i mean anything is possible you know like i mean i never

43:49thought any of this stuff would happen to me like ever but you made it you won it well i don’t

43:54know i never think i make it i always think i’m just kind of evolving and growing and um you know i don’t know

44:01what’s going to happen next yeah no i think the of course there’s we all

44:06want to be like you know wherever we want to be but i think you have come seven years ahead in your commitment

44:13which is something that shows that it can take you even faster and that is that that in itself is a

44:20success yes it is i mean i just i never thought i would make it this far so it’s like i kind of

44:26feel like you know i live in the moment and but i also think about like i think what’s

44:31really cool is if i had to give someone advice um is you know i would probably say like make sure you’re dreaming big

44:38enough because you know when you first start out you just think about like okay like how do i

44:44show my artwork how do i sell my artwork how do i get it out there but i think

44:50you know if i could give my younger self a little advice would be to like dream even bigger because those are important

44:56things to think about but i think a lot of people dream so small when the world

45:01is so big yeah oh i love that advice love pirates who is your favorite woman artist okay

45:07my favorite is alice neil like she is amazing oh i love her

45:14i know i wanted to name my daughter alice but i didn’t i really wanted to like her what i love about her i love

45:21her so much i watched her documentary and she talks about being a mother and her kids talk about how she is as a

45:26mother and the one thing that always i always like that really resonated with me was

45:32that she said in the documentary that you know you could be whatever you want to be you know just let me know and

45:38we’ll figure it out and i just love that and i felt like i always hoped that i could encompass that

45:45as a mother um you know and she made work like a really long time throughout the decades and you

45:52know she just paint she definitely had the technical chops but she painted what she felt um

45:58yeah so um i have so many favorite women artists that are living today like i

46:03love ashley longshore um she’s amazing i love her so much you know um yes

46:11that’s amazing yeah the kind of courage she has is like i think oh my god the naughty she

46:18she has is just out of this world well i her book is amazing like i highly

46:24recommend reading it um and i love that she just doesn’t give

46:29like she doesn’t care but at the same time she’s a really smart like artist like business owner

46:36but like i just like i think what i appreciate the most is how creative she is and just like the way she thinks

46:42about things and how she sees the world like it’s amazing she also she also bought a couple of my artworks too

46:49really yeah amazing that yeah she has a beautiful collection she really does oh

46:55i was honored i when i found out she bought she’s bought a few pieces and i

47:00like was freaking out and i was running around and i was like i can’t believe it

47:06i couldn’t believe it at all yay congratulations love that okay my next

47:12question who is your go-to person when you’re in need of uh advice or you’re in trouble

47:17um i think it depends on what it is like it’s usually like my husband is like a good sounding board um when i’m trying

47:24to like figure out like an issue or a problem or like i think what’s tough as an artist

47:30is like what’s really hard is the negotiation part like when you get like the contracts and the kind of get into

47:36that tier of client um because you have to like read it through

47:41and you have to kind of go back and forth and make sure it all sounds good and right and it all makes sense

47:48um but yeah him or you know i’m lucky because i’ve always had like a really good connection to like different art

47:55groups like um i know that you’re in like art queens with cat which is super great i’m also in a few

48:01other little groups it is if you’re starting out like definitely look to connect with like

48:08there’s so many great online groups but you can also like make one in your community or your friends or things like

48:14that yeah i think it’s a great way it’s such a great way if you find if you find people

48:22uh with similar mindset and if you work together with them it’s such a such a beautiful healthy way

48:29to grow and it’s it’s also a way that helps you grow faster because you’re not

48:34alone yes it is it’s true and then you can ask like advice

48:41or um you know if you have questions about like this kind of thing or that kind of thing or like if you’re

48:47like getting into you know selling at art fairs like how do i do that what kind of setup do you does anyone use or

48:55um you know like i’m doing this mural and i need help with figuring out how to

49:01project the image how do i do that so it’s a great place to get like some advice and kind of get to the next place

49:08uh okay this could be a little more than what has been your favorite can you share like one i’m sure there must have

49:14been many with one favorite moment that um you would like that’s your favorite moment and you

49:21feel so grateful to be an artist that you chose to do is one moment that’s very important and

49:26precious to you oh i have i have a lot and it usually will surprise people when

49:31i say it but probably like there’s been a couple um

49:36but when you finish a painting and it’s exactly how you wanted it to be and more

49:43and you are able to get some of that magic into what you’re making

49:48and um you know like that is the hardest part about making art is when

49:54you know you have the happy accident of something amazing and it doesn’t happen very often i mean

49:59it happens yeah but it’s like when it’s truly special to your soul you know and i’ve kept a few pieces that

50:06i can’t let go of i love that i think that’s really true and i think another thing that i really

50:11feel is feels extremely like i don’t have this and this does not happen to me too often

50:18anymore because i think i’ve been having a really really hard time right now in the past of all of us

50:24in the past few years but you know that state that’s that state

50:30that that eternal space that you go into when you’re either painting or you’re creating something that you lose sense

50:37of time you lose sense of space and everything and you feel like you’re you’re completely in a different world

50:43and you disconnect from your reality i think that whenever that happens it’s just so

50:48so beautiful your flow if you were to meet younger erica today

50:54what advice would you give up um i would probably it sounds cheesy but i would just say

51:00you know everything you have was is within you and you have to like believe in yourself

51:05and it’s also about letting go you know like letting go with not just your

51:11artwork but letting go of like what people think and just letting go of

51:16like relationships that don’t matter you know and i don’t mean relationships like oh i don’t need to talk to you but just

51:23kind of letting go that negativity letting go where people don’t understand i think that one of the biggest game

51:28changers for me when i was young was realizing that there are people that are never

51:34ever ever gonna understand what you do and that’s a hundred percent okay you know that doesn’t mean you love them any

51:40less um it just means they just don’t get it and that’s okay and i think once i really changed that

51:47you know then i was able to be more free yeah i love that advice actually it’s

51:53not only to yourself i think a lot of us all of us would take that advice for sure okay

51:59shout out to an artist uh who’s currently on your heart please slash your loving okay um

52:05uh like i’m loving there’s a few i i’m loving august wren right now

52:11um and um sam baker and

52:16um gail kabaker wow i am going to

52:21check those out and i’m going to also link them in the show notes yeah no they’re super great and they’re

52:28super sweet thank you this is just one simple it is

52:33for especially for people who are listening to this episode is as a woman entrepreneur especially as a woman

52:39artist and creative entrepreneur what is that one one advice especially in in let’s say

52:45two words that you can give to people coming behind you um trust your gut you know especially as

52:52a woman trust your gut and um just because someone gives you advice doesn’t mean it’s true you know um because like

52:59i mean i’ve been given a lot a lot of advice a lot of like advice even from people that are like our established

53:05artists you know and it might not be coming from the right place you know but at the end of

53:10the day trust your gut your powerful you know like it’s not a boys club you

53:17know it’s a woman’s club no it’s an anybody club really um i just think i i think you have to not

53:24be afraid to uh stick up for yourself and be in charge of your career and what

53:30you’re doing be a boss you know i love that advice so much i cannot tell you love that okay erica thank you so much

53:37thank i can’t even i am so grateful to have you i had such a great time and it’s truly truly a pleasure

53:44i have been listening to you for so long and it feels i i just feel so grateful

53:50today to have you here because it truly is an honor to speak to you here and to have you share

53:56your journey with me and our audience in a community um one last thing which is what i want

54:02to ask you is if you have anything like a new project that you can maybe

54:07anything that that’s coming up and nobody knows that you want to share with us or anything else can you share that with

54:14us and reckon people who are listening that this episode where can they find you support you sure

54:20yeah that’s it um well on my socials it’s just erica lee sears that’s where

54:25you can find me um you know don’t hesitate to reach out send me a note i’m available or email um

54:32and i’ll do my best um to respond in a timely manner um but um like um i have a bunch of

54:39really cool projects coming up like super cool i’m under nda for a lot of stuff and there but there’s a big

54:46surprise coming in december um i can’t talk about it yet but it’s

54:51coming and i cannot wait to have the announcement because it’s like

54:56definitely like probably one of the biggest things in my career really i am more excited now i really

55:04i can’t wait to hear what’s happening i’m i’m working on it right now and it’s just like i

55:09yeah i just have to i’m getting all the pieces together yeah it’s actually i think the date is december 16th but i’m

55:15announcing it early december so yeah please whenever you’re ready when you

55:20feel make sure you send us all details and i want to make sure we make a big deal out of it oh of course yes we need

55:28to make a big deal out of that we’ll be here cheering for you rooting for you oh thank you so much in our best capacity

55:36so we’ll catch up to daily painting on instagram every day oh absolutely that’s how you can find me for sure

55:42perfect thank you so much i really appreciate you having here and i really oh my gosh thank you

55:48thank you so much bye bye thank you so much for listening to this

55:54episode you can find all the details and links mentioned in the show notes of this episode available on www

56:02www.artstohardsproject.com and if you like this episode please don’t forget to tag us in your stories and leave us a

56:07review here on itunes or any of your favorite platforms it really helps us to keep the show going thank you so much

56:14i’m sending you lots of love and i can’t wait to be back here soon again bye

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