Erica Lindsay is redefining what it means to be an abstract artist in the age of social media. The Evanston, IL native’s Instagram feed is what dreams are made of, showcasing her land of pastel colors in a modern, contemporary way. When she isn’t painting, she uses her artistic vision working as an interior designer sifting her way through antique shops. If your Heart Flips for Erica, read on and find out more about our artist of the week:
CA: How would you describe your artistic style?
EL: My art style is fluid yet concentrated. There is definitely a dreamy state to my work through color and shape as well as evident mark making and distressed qualities. I tend to wade in the water that I know, working in subdued neutral tones and pastel color palettes, and letting my texture and shape do the talking.
CA: How long have you been interested in art, and what got you interested?
EL: Art has been at the center of my life since I was a little girl. I cannot remember a time when I wasn’t painting or drawing. I grew up in an artistic family; my mother is an artist and my sister and father musicians. My parents are also psychologists and raised me to express myself in the healthiest of ways and taught me to follow wherever my heart led me. And my heart has always been with my art. I spent many childhood summers attending arts camps, and when other kids were at soccer practice or gymnastics classes after school, I was taking art classes.
I participated in art clubs in middle school and high school, eventually pursuing a BFA degree at Columbia College Chicago. Being an artist has always been the most authentic, defining aspect of who I am. I don’t feel like I chose art as a career; I feel like art chose me.
CA: What is the typical process like for you to create a piece?
EL: Being an abstract artist is a challenging endeavor because you’re painting without a plan. I have to really dig into what I’m feeling in that moment to pull out that emotion and pour it onto paper. Listening to music usually helps, which is why every painting’s title is actually a song lyric from whatever I’m listening to during that work session. It takes me a good 20-30 minutes to get into a workflow, and it can take a couple of hours or even days to truly feel good about what I’m working on. Sometimes I’ll come back to the same piece days later, make a few marks, and instantly it feels right. It’s hard to remove myself from my work once I dive in, but it honestly makes all the difference to gain perspective.
CA: What is your favorite medium to use and why?
EL: I’m mostly work with acrylic paint, colored pencil, and oil pastel. I love the different textures I can create with these materials and find them to be malleable and the most forgiving. If I make a mistake or don’t like a mark I’ve made, I can easily go back in and start again. These have been materials I’ve used since I was a kid, so there is this sense of familiarity there, which brings a sense of comfort to the mix. I am always on the hunt for new materials and new ways of applying these materials.
Currently I have been experimenting with paper and collage and am eager to switch things up and try something new. In one sense, I am returning to what I know by going back to basics and playing with size, shape, and of course a glue stick!
CA: Of all of the pieces you have created so far, which piece is your favorite and why?
EL: Hands down my favorite would be a painting I titled ‘Heart Flips.’ It was one that came so easy to me when I was pushing myself to work faster and not think so much about what I was doing. I wish I had a better story for this one, but I was honestly just so proud to actually feel finished. I have the hardest time knowing when to step away from a piece and when to say “done.” This was a moment where I knew with certainty, and it’s a feeling every artist fights for.
CA: Who are your greatest artistic inspirations (old, new, anything in between)?
EL: Cy Twombly, Willem De Kooning, Sally King Benedict, Kate Long Stevenson, to name a few. I’m inspired by peely paint alleys, pops of color found in unexpected places, architectural salvage, graffiti, and 20th century pop art.
CA: Were you ever nervous about putting your work up on social media, and how has social media been beneficial to you so far?
EL: While it’s easy for me to call myself an artist, I am very modest about showing my work. Abstract art is a hit-or- miss for most people, so deciding to create an online presence was a big step for me since I knew there would be a handful of those who wouldn’t understand. Contrary to my expectations, I’ve had only positive experiences and I’ve connected with a diverse group of artists. All the positivity has encouraged me to stay as open and honest as I can be about my work and has pushed me to move forward and pursue avenues I would normally be hesitant to take.
Fun Facts about Erica:
I have “artist” tattooed in Hebrew on my back.
I’m a wee 4’11.
I am obsessed with all things pasta.
I hum while I shop and I sing in the shower.
Wizard of Oz is my favorite movie.
To see more of Erica’s art, check out her:
Article by Emily Arias
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