Who are you?
I’m Ryan Erickson, and I am a visual artist.
What do you do?
My work explores the relationship between art and language. I am currently making work that investigates how art objects come to exist. I explore material processes and keep a written documentation of the making of the piece. The finished works utilize the written documentation to provide viewers an account for the creation of the piece.
What’s a typical day in the life of you look like? How do you organize your day?
I usually start my day by enjoying a cup of coffee while I write out a to-do list for the day. It is not intended to be completed, it just helps keep me focused throughout the day. Then I’ll head over to the studio unless I am updating my website, writing, or anything else on the computer. In that case, I’ll work from home. My days in the studio look different dependent on the materials I am working with at the time. Sometimes, I construct wood panels. and other times I’ll paint or experiment with new materials to find new ideas.
At the end of the day, I usually reflect and write out my thought processes along with any new ideas that I have had. These notes help me organize my thoughts and help me write about my work later on. In the evening, I like to read and learn about art historical figures and movements that relate to my work.
What are some of your struggles?
Managing my time can be difficult from working part time jobs, but I try to give myself small tasks every day to keep up with my creative practice. Its easy to blow off working on my website or promoting my work in order to be in the studio, but I do my best to keep up with those things.
What are some of your goals?
In the next couple years, I would like to earn an MFA. I’ve taught in the past and really enjoyed it. Eventually, I’d like to be able to teach as well as continue to make and show art. I’d like to start showing more and get to the point where I can start having larger solo exhibitions.
What do you do to relax and wind down?
I like to play chess, read, or enjoy a good film. I find these activities help divert my attention away from everyday stresses in my life.
If you could give your 18-year old self advice, what would you say?
I would tell myself not to get too fixated on having everything figured out. I would encourage myself to pursue what interested me at the time and see where life leads. I’d advise myself to think of 3-5 year long goals rather than trying to figure out all my long term goals.