We tried to train insanely smart Dolphins to carry messages in semi-translucent green bottles down the Mississippi River to talk with Erin…but it turns out, Dolphins don’t exactly live in fresh waters and we had a horrible time trying to teach these mammals of the sea to hold a slippery glass soda bottle with their flippers.  So, after that epic fail, we conducted the interview the old fashioned way…via some old tech called, the internet. Below is our chat.

Me: “Alright! Time to learn a little bit about Erin! All set for the Holidays?”

Erin: “For the most part yes. We’re visiting family out of town so it’ll be nice to get out of the house. I’m often locked away in my studio.”

Me: “Oh sweet! Do you give out your art for gifts?”

Erin: “Last year I did but since this year I wanted to focus more on producing more art for my new print on demand shop. I felt like a lot of my old art didn’t match up to the quality I do now and I wanted to give people a few different pieces to choose from.”

Erin: “But normally, yes, I do. My mum is getting a piece for her birthday next month.”

Me: “Ooh, print on demand! That’s awesome! Where are you posting your art for sale?”

Erin: “I have it through my site at erindiaz.com You can get an unframed print or prints ready to hang with a custom frame or mat of your choice. You can also get my art printed on canvases. It’s a really new set up that I’m trying.”

Erin: “It also has the option to print on home decor.”

Me: “Very cool! That is super exciting! I have tried the POD thing last year and it really helped me produce some better art.”

Me: “So where are you living these days?”

Erin: “Presently I’m living in the Austin, TX area. I’ve been here for about six months and before that I was out in Los Angeles.”

Me: “Whoa, those are some big cities! How is the art scene down in Texas?”

Erin: “It’s hard to say just yet. I lived in Houston for several years before California and the art and theater scene was pretty good. But as far as diversity, Austin is much more accepting of the “artist types”. As the saying goes they “Keep it Weird”. Haha”

Me: “Isn’t it Recreational weed down there?”

Erin: “Not yet. I think Texas is working on it but CDB oil is legal here. I want to say they legalized it for use mostly for the veterans dealing with PTSD.”

Me: “Oooh yeah we have CBD here as well, works really well.”

Me: “Okies…so what type of art do you gravitate towards?”

Erin: “I know a lot of people that use it for anxiety. You kinda need the CBD oil for the traffic around here. Haha I tend to lean towards the dark side. I have a strange combination of almost life-drawing meets comic book style. But lately I’ve been dabbling with a bright neon 80’s style, which is a combination of doing my inky sketch drawings and then painting them digitally.”

Erin: “With those neon colors you can’t get that effect with watercolours, which is my other medium that I used to work with.”

Me: “Oh that is cool. So you use watercolors and what is the bright neon medium? Markers or paint?”

Erin: “I used to use watercolours but that was a while back, maybe about a year ago. These days I use a digital program called SketchBook Pro for my painting. It gives the same digital painting ability as Photoshop but with a much more natural look, as if I were using real artist brushes, paints, and pens.”

Me: “Oh so it’s digital! I love Sketchbook that is a decent program. How long have you been painting?”

Erin: “I’m on the hunt for a waterproof brush pen so if I can manage to find one I’ll pick up my paints again. I’ve been painting with acrylics off and on for about . . . seven years and mixed media for about three years.”

Erin: “But I’ve drawn my whole life.”

Me: “Waterproof Brush Pen? Is that like waterproof ink?”

Erin: “Yes, it’s a pre-loaded ink pen with a brush tip. It’s really flexible to make those nice tapered strokes that I love so much. I’ve tried stiffer tipped pens but it doesn’t give the expressive strokes that I’m looking for. Unfortunately, since a lot of my work is heavily inked I go through pens like crazy.”

Erin: “I get maybe one pen per 3-4 pieces I create.”

Me: “You’ll you have to let me know when you find one, I’d like to try them out. So do you have any phobias?”

Erin: “I will most definitely pass that info your way. Hmmm….. I guess you could say I have a slight case of claustrophobia of crowded places and on the road. So opening weekend for movies and gridlock traffic is out. Haha! I always plan to go to any new movies at least a few weeks after it’s been out in the theaters because of this.”

Me: “I see…Yeah I totally agree with you there, do you ever use the feeling claustrophobia in your artworks?”

Erin: “I haven’t before but now you’re giving me ideas!”

Me: “Hehehe, what has been your main subject matter this year?”

Erin: “I put out an entire collection of The Shining. I have an undying love for Stephen King books and movies and Colorado so I started first with Danny Torrance. I wanted to do both the horror classic by Stanley Kubrick and pay tribute to the book. I started with the film first and then once that half was complete I went back and drew scenes from the tv-mini series. If you haven’t seen the mini-series I highly recommend it. It holds much closer to the novel. ”

Erin: “All in all I believe there’s about 15 pieces in that series. My first digital art painting experiment is of Jack Torrance. That entire collection can be seen on my website.”

Me: “Ooh yeah I see now! (Checking out your website…) Nothing beats room 237.”

Me: “So do you believe in Aliens and all that?”

Erin: “Thanks! Right now that collection is my pride and joy. Presently I’m working on a Stranger Things series. I have one in the works at the moment. I often don’t do this type of art unless there’s something about the story that touches my heart. ”

Erin: “I do believe that there are beings more intelligent than us out there. There’s actually a fiction novel I’m writing that cover that a little. I picked up writing when I was younger when a teacher discouraged me from pursuing art.”

Me: “So cool! You have multiple talents! I haven’t seen Stranger Things but I will check it out. Do you also write poetry and stuff?”

Erin: “I write some poetry. I have a children’s book that I wrote and illustrated in September. It was based around a poem I wrote on a whim one night when I thought I was going to be the next Shel Silverstein. It’s called The Furry Hero. You can find it on Amazon. I had a dream to illustrate a book and when I couldn’t land a gig doing it for someone else, I thought “Hey, I’ve got this stack of poems. I’ll make one into a book.” And just under a year later I had it completed. Thanks to the support from Amazon of letting authors self publish I had no need to go through a publishing house. Although I did have help with formatting from my dear friend and sister by choice, Tricia of Lucid Frame Productions.”

Me: “You can self publish books on Amazon? No kidding…seems we are both giving each other ideas. I’ll try to find your book and if not maybe you can send me a link to add along with your interview here.”

Erin: “Haha! Yes, you can even publish art books through there. If you need help with book formatting you can hook up with Lucid Frame on Facebook. Tell them I sent ya. Sure thing! I can send you a link. The book is very Edward Gorey inspired.”

Me: “Definitely, I always though I could write a decent book for 1-3 year olds. So do you have any funny art stories?”

Erin: “I don’t have a funny one but I have one where it was more like an epic fail. Haha! Several years back when I was more active on DeviantArt there was a contest to paint a Barnabas Collins portrait. It could be either in traditional format with paint or pencils or it could be digital. You would win some kind of prize package but what snagged me was that one of the judges was going to be Tim Burton. So of course I flipped. I love Burton. He was the one that motivated me to go to animation school, which I was in at the time. I was thrilled just to have him look at my work. I found out about the contest late and had very little time. I tried to paint on canvas but I messed it up twice and time was running out. So I whipped together a digital portrait which turned out beautiful. So I had everything ready to submit. Now here’s the kicker. I had just switched to a hot spot type of internet connection at the new house that was out in the sort of country area of Katy, TX (it’s just outside of Houston). I hadn’t tested the connection yet. It was due at midnight and lo and behold the connection didn’t work so my work was never submitted and Tim Burton never saw it. I still like the portrait though. Haha!”

Me: “Awwww. What a bummer! Damn Wifi! That is adorable. So you also do animation…Holy smokes! Did you go to full blown college for art?”

Erin: “Haha! Right? There was no helping the wifi. I switched to a real, wired provider the next day. Yes, but I truthfully started out learning to draw cartoons from when I was about six years old. I started out learning how to drwa Garfield after watching a documentary with Jim Davis. I recorded it and played it over and over again as he instructed on how to draw Garfield. I also watched this old PBS show that showed how to draw sci-fi cartoons. I can’t remember the name of it now. I think it was called something like “Space City”.”

Erin: “I was so determined to learn drawing cartoons that I’d save all my allowance for those book club orders they offered at school and I’d buy “How to Draw” books, along with other books similar to “Scary Stories”. I was and still am a true book nerd. There’s a real power in knowledge and books. At school I learned to make my art move. Animation school helped me to learn more photorealistic drawing, which I still can do, but I just choose not to.”

Erin: “Oh wait! It’s called “Secret City”! That’s the name of the PBS show.”

Me: “I think I remember that…There was one show that taught perspectives and they would teach you how to draw cityscapes and such.”

Erin: “Yeah! That was the one!”

Me: “Very very cool!Ok I don’t want to keep you all night…One last question. What advice would you give to artists that are just starting out?”

Erin: “Sure! No worries, I’m enjoying talking to you. The advice I could give is to never give up. Always believe in your art. It doesn’t happen overnight and there will be some bumpy times but with practice you will get better. If the passion is there you will improve. You’re only as good as the next thing you’re creating. For starting out I suggest life drawing classes, or even going to those hosted drawing events where models pose. When you can draw the human form in realism with light and shadow you’ll be able to draw just about anything under the sun. The human form is the trickiest thing out there to get on paper. Also, pay good attention to your perspective. It can make a scene turn wonky really quick. But read up on that and you’ll be good to go. Check out a book from the library or check for tutorials online. To quote the animation Ratatouille “Anyone can cook” but I believe that “Anyone can draw.” Never give up.”

Erin: “Sorry, I’m a bit long winded. Haha! I’m passionate about creating.”

Me: “It’s perfect! Great advice Erin! Always learning and creating!”

Me: “Thank you so much for taking a moment from the studio to chat with me and let us all get to know you a bit better. Would you mind sending me 20 photos of your favorite works so I can display it with your article?”

Erin: “I had a wonderful life drawing teacher in college, Mr. Richert. He taught me so much about light and shadow.”

Erin: “Sure thing! I’ll have to see what I’ve got. Do they need to be a certain size or DPI?”

Me: “Nope! They sure don’t…”

Erin: “Ok! Cool. I really enjoyed talking to you. Should I send them to an email address? I think they’ll get compressed in messenger.”

Me: “Umm, funny enough I don’t have my e-mail set up yet on my new computer…can you google drive them?”

Erin: “Oh yeah! I can do that.”

Me: “Awesome! Send them over and I will add them and get this all prepped and ready!”

Erin: “Great! I can’t wait to read it.”

Me: “Thanks again Erin! This has been fun!”

Erin: “No, thank you! And agreed!”

Well that is the interview! Thank you all for checking out Erin’s artwork.  You can find her at all the wonderful links below!

Check out Erin’s website for a collection of her artworks and purchase a few prints from her at http://www.erindiaz.com

Let’s get social!

You can also find her on on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ErinDiazArtist

And also follow Erin on Instagram: @endiazherself

On Twitter: @theerinherself

and on Behance: https://www.behance.net/erin-n-diaz

Erin is also setting up a Patreon link which you can find here: patreon.com/ErinDiaz

Here is Erin’s book called, “The Furry Hero” on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Furry-Hero-Erin-N-Diaz/dp/1975633784/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1513826538&sr=8-2&keywords=erin+n+diaz

Up Next…
Featured Artist – Alora Rovatti

Erin N. Diaz – Featured Artist
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