|Eric Webb, image: Clara Sophie Photography|
Tell us what sort of a child you were. Did art play a big part in your growing up?
I was a funny child – as in, literally hilarious. I was a bit of a clown, very happy-go-lucky. I adored sitting and reading, putting on funny voices (I did a mean Steve Urkel impersonation), drawing, reciting poems and tongue-twisters that I’d memorised, making up stories and writing them down. Art has always had me in one form or another. I drew a lot as a kid, and had a favourite game I used to play with my dad. He’d draw a bunch of random lines and shapes on a page and then I’d have to turn it into something. It was a hoot. As I got a little older, I spent hours recreating my favourite cartoon characters and colouring them in meticulously. When I was in grade six, I even won a competition with a drawing I did of a ‘friendly monster’ and it landed me on television! You can imagine how that felt to my 11 year-old self!
|Week 1 2017: Whimsy|
Why do you make art now?
I make art now because I love to. I’ve finally gotten past listening to the inner critic who demands I’ll never get good enough. She hasn’t gone anywhere, but I just turn up another channel louder so no one has to hear her negativity! And so I make art because I feel compelled to. I love putting into an image the things I’m thinking and feeling. Plus it just feels really nice – that swoosh of a paintbrush, the smudging of pastels, the flow of pencil over paper. The process is meditative for me.
|Erica Dullege Webb, image: Clara Sophie Photography|
Have you formally trained as an artist or illustrator? Describe your art background/journey:
No formal training here. I have done a short course and spent some time in informal art classes, but I have to admit that for me, I do my best work when I’m home alone, without any feeling of being watched! I need the freedom to get it ‘wrong’ and for that to be OK. My journey started when I was a kid, drawing all the time and devouring ‘how to draw’ books. As I got older, the inner critic won for a while, and I stopped. Then, after having my second child, the creative urge was too great, and I had a couple of picture book manuscripts waiting to be illustrated, and that’s what got me back to the drawing board. The picture books remain un-illustrated, but that’s another story!
|Week 6 2017: Garden|
Do you have a favourite medium or subject matter?
I love drawing women’s faces at the moment, and my favourite medium to work in is a combination of watercolour, pastel, pencil and pen. I also tend to draw a lot of yoga and mindfulness related images because I’m a yoga teacher and it all ties together nicely!
|Week 38 2017: Jump|
Describe your artistic process, from ‘no idea’ to ‘finished artwork’:
I’m a ‘fly by the seat of my pants’ kind of girl, so ‘process’ seems like a fairly optimistic word to use! For me, I like it best when an idea lands in my head and demands to be put onto paper. I tend to sketch my idea and get it as close to ‘right’ on scrap paper, then trace and transfer onto my watercolour paper. Then it’s usually filling in the colour before adding outlines, but sometimes the other way around. Lately I’ve been digitally manipulating more of my images, and I love the freedom this gives me to be less precious with the original. The power of digital erase is awesome.
|Week 13 2017: Cinema|
How do you fit your creative work in with a busy family life? Do you have a routine?
Routine – another optimistic word! No is the simple answer here. I will often draw while my boys do, or while they’re playing, especially if it’s a particularly urgent idea (i.e. won’t leave me alone) or if I’m working on drafts for a custom piece. Otherwise I draw at night once my kids are in bed. It can be a tough balance as I’m also running a yoga business, but it all comes together OK. I’d always like more time to create, but wouldn’t we all?
|Week 37 2017: Queen|
Where is your favourite place to create and illustrate?
My kitchen table or study! I’m a simple gal – just give me my home and I’m happy as a pig in mud.
|Week 36 2017: Printing|
What impact has the Challenge had on your creative journey?
The challenge has been awesome for my journey. It’s pulled me into a place where I trust my creative instinct more than I ever have before; it pushes me to come up with ideas that I otherwise wouldn’t; and it’s led me to embrace my place in an artistic community. I think we artists and creatives can spend a lot of time feeling separate and not good enough and somehow on the outer, but the Challenge is such a supportive, inclusive space – it’s lovely.
|Erica Webb, image: Clara Sophie Photography|
Do you have illustrators or artists who give you inspiration?
Ooh! Everyone in the challenge! I adore following the journeys of fellow challengers. And I spend a lot of time reading to my boys (they’re 3 and 5 years old) and we admire all the beautiful pictures. It’s not unusual for me to leave their room with an armload of books to inspire me while they sleep.
|Week 18 2016: Grandmother|
What are you currently working on and what will we see next from you?
At the moment I’m working on a custom illustration for my chiropractor! A bit random, but good fun. Other than that, I’m really working up the momentum to illustrate my manuscripts. Why not, right? Don’t hold your breath while you wait … they could still be a while!
|Commission for a chiropractor practice, 2017|
Do you have a dream creative project you'd love to be able to do?
Picture books. Hands down. I adore them and they are my favourite. Don’t let the fact that the kids’ bookshelf is in my boys’ room fool you into thinking those books are theirs. I’m just letting them borrow them for a while!
|Week 22 2016: Science|
Tell us something that we don’t know about you.
I am a cookie monster. The real deal. Make me a cookie and we’re friends for life. There are some cookies cooling on the bench as I type. Yum!
|Erica Webb, image: Clara Sophie Photography|
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