What he does: Scott Erickson is the artist-in-residence at Ecclesia, the Montrose-area church off of Taft Street.
"I called it 'Creative Catalyst' but they wanted something more pastoral-sounding," he says in regard to his title. Erickson paints and currently holds a studio on the church's second floor, but he also creates in a public setting, painting during music and speaking events, religious ceremonies and conferences. "I do this because I'm convinced that this is my calling to the world -- to create. This is my participation in the restoring works of the Almighty," he explains. "I think I'm the only painter hired by a church to do what I want to do."
Why he likes it: "I'm wired this way," he says. "It's my way of responding to the world I live in -- it's the most natural activity I do. I used to fight it -- mostly because of pragmatic economic reasons, but I realized that this practice of creating is my most natural way of living."
Erickson enjoys the live aspect of his work because his audience gets a glimpse of the creative process. This often allows him to partner with other creatives as well. "I love people, really, and I think I just want what I do naturally to involve people," he says. "The studio solitude is great sometimes, but it can get lonely. Art comes from people and it says something about us; I want to work amongst people with my art."
What inspires him: Music plays a large role when it comes to inspiring Erickson. "I wish I was a musician," he says. "It's my favorite medium. I'm inspired by all of it."
Following music, he cites food. "There is an art there -- it feeds, it blesses, it draws people together; it is so good." Erickson also calls water a primary inspiration. "I surf; I swim. I love it -- the sound, smell and feel. I love cold water. For me, water is a connector to the Divine," he declares.
If not this, then what? "I don't know. All I know is this: I don't have any other options planned. My goal is to travel all over the world making art."
What's next? Erickson is always at work, with several concurrent projects up his sleeves. At the moment, he's in the middle of a series focusing on orphans he met in Swaziland this summer, incorporating their own art into portraits he is painting. He's in the concept stages of a propaganda poster series concerning humans' fascination with everything being reset, our postapocalyptic fetish if you will, called "Post Us." Finally, Erickson expects to have a series of portraits depicting characters of Wes Anderson films as saints (much like the Saints Of LOST series he produced in 2009) finished before the end of 2011.
Those wanting to see more of Scott's work should visit his portfolio. Or for a more narrative form, follow his blog, Creating A Visual Culture, or find him on Twitter at @scotthepainter and check out Scott's Flickr account as well.
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