A combo post of Erica’s first interview from Issue 1, Love and 2nd interview for Issue 3, Joy.
Please tell us a bit about yourself.
I was born and raised in Jacksonville FL and currently live in Gainesville FL while going to school at UF. I am majoring in horticulture sciences and would like to run a sustainable farm one day.
When you create, what inspires you?
Nature inspires me most. I ride horses so I do a lot of horse paintings but also love the sea.
Tell us about the specific inspiration behind one or each of your accepted pieces.
‘Love in a fish bowl’ was inspired by my life living with a boyfriend for the first time. I love fish, they are one of my favorite things to draw, so naturally I portrayed us as a gold fish and a beta fish living together in harmony.
What is your medium of choice? Why?
My medium of choice is acrylic paint but I also love to do pastels which is what ‘Love in a Fish Bowl’ was done in.
How did you first discover your love for creating?
I first discovered my love for painting and drawing in art class, I took art every year I was in school through high school.
What advice would you give to an aspiring poet/visual artist?
Have fun and do what you enjoy. Playing around with other media can help expand your art abilities and there are no mistakes in art so go with the flow.
If you weren’t creating art about love, what would be your topic of choice?
Other than art symbolizing love I like to create art symbolizing the struggle between good and evil and the connection between nature and fun.
fēlan is old English for feel. What makes you feel love?
Knowing that I am not alone, feeling a connection with another living thing, makes me feel loved.
Any new items in your life, projects you’re working on, moves to new locations, etc. that you’d like to tack on to the ‘about you’ in your first interview?
Having my art shown in this magazine has inspired me to paint more than I ever have before and recently I have started working on a series of paintings with Octopi and other animals watching the sunset on the ocean. The pieces in this series can be seen in my shop on etsy happydragonfly411.
Tell us a bit about your working process.
I really like to go with the flow when I am starting a new piece. I have found that I paint more articulate pieces when it is of something that I really like. So after I decided what I want to have as the center of attention in my art I decide what style and media I want to use and just start creating after that. I usually get super excited about the piece that I am working on and do not like to stop untill finished. Although if I get stumped I’ll take a break to relax and the answer usually comes to me.
What artists/writers do you admire?
I admire my artist friends the most. Art is not my career choice, I am a horticulturist, so I do not keep up with famous artists but I know a few artists and love their passion and creativity.
I create because it gives me time to meditate and express myself. I put a lot of emotion into my art. Ultimately it is my favorite way to show others my personality and I have fun doing it.
Do you prefer writing/creating art about ‘joy’ more than ‘love?’ Why or why not?
I prefer creating art about love and joy equally I think. Love and joy are very similar and when I am creating I am happy so I express that in my work.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
The best piece of advice I have been given is that there are no mistakes in art; I love turning a mistake into something beautiful.
fēlan is old English for feel. What makes you feel joy?
Nature makes me feel joy, I love animals and plants. Most of my art has something from nature in it for this reason.