|Abstract Artist, Erika Eckerson|
Abstract geometrics, chunky paint strokes, monochromes and pastels are all key to Erika Eckerson's style, which fits beautifully in the Charlotte homes she commissions for. Her Instagram makes me want to up sticks and move to North Carolina immediately! Having retired at 28 and left behind her career as TV News Anchor, Erika took the leap to pursue her dreams, travelling the world for inspiration, and becoming the artist she'd always wanted to be.
An inspiration to us all and an ambassador for believing in yourself, we chat to Erika about life in Charlotte, working from home, and how it feels to be her own boss!
AM: Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background
EE: I live in Charlotte, North Carolina with my husband and our 9 month old black lab, Sheriff. I went to the University of South Carolina for broadcast journalism and worked as a local news anchor for 7 years before getting out of the business a few months ago to pursue my art career. It’s been a dream so far. I seriously have to pinch myself some days. I have more time now to take on commissioned projects and work directly with clients to customize art for their space. Plus I get to travel a lot more, which has been great. I’ve found that traveling is essential for me to stay inspired.
AM: Describe your typical day
EE: I usually feel most creative first thing in the morning, so that’s when I do a lot of my painting. I’ll have breakfast and coffee while I flip through magazines and my favorite blogs for inspiration. I paint for a few hours, and try to go to the gym or a yoga class around noon. After that it’s errands and whatever else needs to get done before dinner. Sometimes I have another creative burst in the evening and I’ll paint some more. Have I mentioned how much I love working from home??
|Erika loves working from home|
AM: What inspires you and your artwork?
EE: I get inspired by beautiful spaces. Everything from architecture to furniture, interesting textures and color combinations. Even when watching TV, I catch myself looking more at the set design than paying attention to the actual plot. I like to find gorgeous spaces that I’d love to have my art in, and then create something with that space in mind.
|This painting was inspired by Valentino's Fall 16 Collection|
AM: When did you first start painting?
EE: I picked it up as a hobby while working my first job out of college as a morning news anchor in Myrtle Beach. I had to wake up at 3:00 in the morning. Yes, you read that right. It was borderline criminal. By the time I got to the end of my work day, I was so exhausted and my brain was fried. I needed a way to unwind and escape and painting was the perfect fit.
|Erika started painting as a way to unwind and relax|
AM: How would you describe your style?
EE: Free flowing yet controlled. I’m into painterly art, which is probably how I’d categorize my style. I love the movement of big, broad strokes and lots of layers.
AM: What is your biggest achievement?
EE: My biggest achievement so far is taking the leap of faith to pursue my art career full time. I’ve always been one to put a lot of value in what others think of me, so it took me a while to wrap my head around the idea of being viewed as a “quitter" for leaving a successful news career. I can’t explain it, but it was one of those times where I just knew what I needed to do, and for once I followed my heart instead of my head. Since I made the jump, I’ve had so many affirmations that I made the right decision for both me and my husband. It’s an amazing feeling.
|Going solo - Erika loves being her own boss|
AM: Top 3 places we should visit in Charlotte
EE: This is a tough one! Charlotte is such a Southern gem and we love living here. If you’re into high end shopping, you have to check out Capitol and Poole Shop. For art: Hidell Brooks Gallery, and home decor, Sleepy Poet Antiques & B.D. Jeffries.
|Hidell Brooks Gallery, Charlotte. Photo courtesy of hidellbrooks.com|
AM: How do you like to keep fit?
EE: I have a serious love/hate relationship with exercise, but one workout I’ve come to really love is hot yoga. It’s a workout for the mind, body and spirit. You always leave feeling inspired. And drenched head to toe.
AM: Favorite way to spend your Sunday?
EE: Lazy Sunday is a tradition at our house. We go to church and brunch, and then it’s back to the sofa where we usually don’t move for the rest of the day. Sometimes if I’m feeling ambitious, I’ll make a to-do list for Monday, but don’t push it.
AM: What’s next for Erika Eckerson?
EE: I’ve got a few projects and collaborations in the works that I’m really excited about. As much as I love to paint, I also love the business side of things. The idea that I’m my own boss and can accomplish whatever I’m willing to work for is still so cool and new to me. I’m constantly looking for new opportunities to reinvent myself and my brand. Eventually I’d love to get back into TV. I think my dream would be to find some way to combine my TV background with my love of art and design. We’ll see.
Quick Fire Questions:
AM: Heels or trainers?
EE: Trainers all day every day. No contest.
AM: Prints or plains to work out in?
EE: Tough one. I love a good print, but solid black is slimming for those days when you need a little extra help ;-)
AM: Overnight oats or pancakes for breakfast?
EE: Neither! I’m a smoothie girl — I find it’s the best way to squeeze in tons of vitamins and nutrients first thing in the morning.
AM: Barre or Bootcamp?
EE: Barre for sure.
|Perfect piece for the bedroom! Photo courtesy of erikaeckersonart.com|
Don't forget to follow Erika on Instagram @erikaeckerson for a daily hit of interior inspo!Tweet