“There is nothing like a concrete life plan to weigh you down. Because if you always have one eye on some future goal, you stop paying attention the the job at hand, miss opportunities that might arise, and stay fixedly on one path, even when a better, newer course might have opened up.”
— Indra Nooyi
Bachelor of Science, Organizational Communication, Lipscomb University, 2004.
Juris Doctor, Advocacy Concentration, University of Tennessee College of Law, 2007.
Erika is a Tennessee-based mixed media artist. Her work is described as funky, yet refined. Although the subject matter varies from abstracts to animals to architecture, every piece incorporates texture, usually painted on wood, and warm, inviting tones. Her artistic process is part sculpture and part painting. Typically, she sculpts the piece using a texturizing medium on wood first, before applying acrylic paint, paper, ink, and metallic leaf.
Her career as an artist developed first as a child. Drawing came naturally, and as she grew older, she devoured every art class available. In high school, she was selected for and attended the Tennessee Governor’s School for the Arts, focusing on visual arts. With college applications looming, she turned her attention to business, and obtained a degree in organizational communication from Lipscomb University. After working for an entertainment lawyer in Nashville, Erika enrolled in and attended the University of Tennessee College of Law. She practiced law off an on for nearly a decade, first as a clerk for the Tennessee Court of Appeals, then at a firm defending medical malpractice and automobile collision suits, and finally as a clerk for the Tennessee Supreme Court. During the course of her legal career, she realized how satisfying and fulfilling creating art was for her. It was a difficult decision to leave her legal career, but that struggle to redirect her career path and redefine her identity now informs her artistic work.
In 2017, Erika opened her own business and began painting full-time. Now, she spends her time painting on commission, showing and selling her art across the South and instructing children and adults through preschool art lessons and local art workshops. Erika’s goal when creating a piece to is evoke a feeling happiness and comfort. She is inspired by nature, the exhilarating feeling of exploring a new city, kind hospitality and celebrations. She believes strongly in the importance of community and its integral presence for a healthy society.
Next Show: “Where We Gather” April 17-June 25, a solo exhibition exploring life’s joyful moments, The Harrell Performing Arts Theater, Collierville, TN.
Though she is no longer practicing law, she hopes to use her background and legal training to coach and encourage women entrepreneurs and help facilitate art mentorships. Artistically, she is working on creating a stationary and fabric line featuring her abstract and floral works.