My name is Erin Williams and I’m from Washington, D.C. I actually did not start painting until March of this year! As a kindergartener I was told that my artwork was “primitive,” and that, to me, translated into never being able to do art again. So for the next 25 years (I’m not kidding!) I never even deigned to do anything in the visual arts, beyond going to galleries and being jealous of other people who were able draw.
Fast forward to March, when I attended a book signing for Mari Andrew. While I was at the event I had a thought: ‘Her work is very simple in nature: a few lines, some shapes, some color – and look at what it has yielded! If she can do it then so can I.’
And, like Mari, I went and bought a simple watercolor set and some paper and started looking at different things to draw. For me, the most natural thing to try was food, and I was off to the races. I do at least one post a day on my Instagram, and I have also begun leading a few local classes.
I feel like my art is a superpower – I literally didn’t know I had such a talent within me, and I must use it as often as possible!
On a personal note, doing art and painting watercolors has been very therapeutic for me. I struggle with anxiety and depression, and the repetitive nature of sitting down and having to concentrate takes me away from whatever is bothering me and zeroes all my focus in on whatever I’m making.
I really like creating personal cards for people – just taking my watercolor paper, folding it in half, and doing a fun illustration and sending it in the mail. When I’m making cards, I like to dream that I am a greeting card designer for some big chain, and that I’m working on cards for the next season.
I get my inspiration from Instagram and Pinterest. I am always searching hashtags like #foodart #foodartist #watercolorart, and when it comes to painting food, I generally paint whatever I’m craving at the moment! I’ve really gotten into drawing chairs and room scenes, and would like to do more of that. Something about seeing a calm scene of a chair next to a window with a plant is so soothing for me.
When I first started painting, I was using a Sharpie to outline and filling in the colors with whatever cheap watercolor set I could find. I now prefer using gouache paint, and using Sakura pens to get that really thin line. I like to put on either a podcast, a Ted Talk, or something on Netflix and then just plunking down and painting. I think I get the MOST inspiration when I travel.
Changing locations and being around people I love who appreciate my work (or traveling solo and just feeling calm) can really put me into a good open place, artistically. Plus I live in a basement apartment, so whenever I come above ground and am near natural light, that is a big boost, too!