New Drawing: Dinner Party

dinner-party, drawing by erika rier
Dinner Party; ink, gouache, watercolor, and graphite on paper; 11″ x 20″; 2014

Another finished drawing for another call for art. I enjoyed making this piece very much. I’m really loving watercolors and animals right now. Available as prints here.

Blog Tour!

Around a month ago the talented, Brie Spangler author & illustrator, tagged me in a blog tour post. Ever since then I’ve been trying to find the time to follow through and post my blog tour. One hold up was my lack of others to tag. I’ve decided to forgo tagging 2 more people because I think that I might never get this post up otherwise. Perhaps I can add some tagged individual after the fact.

Let’s get to the questions!

What am I currently working on?

This is always a very long list. Because of the high level of patterning in each piece I find it best to work on most pieces from 30 minutes-an hour at a time which means I rotate through quite a few pieces each day. I’ll run through a few of the projects I’m working most actively on.

First up, are the final drawings for the contributors of my IndieGoGo campaign. These pieces are taking longer than I had hoped but I’m really happy with the way they are coming out. I think that the recipients have found them to be meaningful pieces to them as well. Here is one of the in-progress drawings:

In-progress dream drawing for an IndieGoGo contributor.

In-progress dream drawing for an IndieGoGo contributor.

Another thing I spend some time on each day is creating pieces for Calls for Art. While I spend 6-8 hours per day drawing I unfortunately have almost no paid work at this point. I find Artist Calls to be a great chance to get my work out in the world but also to give me regular practice of creating work for a specific theme. I keep a calendar on my desk with all of the call deadlines which I’m interested in submitting work to. Here is a sneak peak at a piece I’m working on for a call with the theme of “Bountiful”.

I’m also working on a book project. It is a memoir meets graphic novel meets demented children’s book (a children’s book that should never actually be shown to an actual child). I’m working on writing and illustrating a portion of it which I will print up a zine-sized version and will send out to publishers with a book proposal. I have quite a few book ideas sitting around and am excited to be moving forward with this one in particular. I just started drawing an illustration for the zine version this morning.

I’m also in the beginning stages of designing a very exciting mailing for art directors. This project is so very early in its development that I’m afraid there is not much more to show than folded paper and brainstorming notes.

How does my work differ from others in its genre?

This is a tricky question because for the life of me I can’t figure out what the hell my genre is. I’ve dubbed my style “Folk Surrealism” as I feel it best sums up my style but I’m not seeing a lot of other artists I would lump under this heading.

In general, as an artist, I find myself wasting a lot of energy comparing myself to my peers (I usually lose out to them in my head) so try to not worry about this sort of question, or really any question, that has me get into that comparison mindset.

Why do I write what I write?

Ah, writing. I consider myself a bit of a closet writer at this point which is strange because if you had asked me from the ages of 6-24 what I would be when I grew up I would have answered without pause: writer. It’s hard to pinpoint what went awry for me and writing. I think I got really into abstract poetry and writing theory and kind of wrote myself into a corner. I took a good ten years off from writing.

It’s only been in the past year that I’ve started to write again. I’ve been mostly dabbling in YA Science Fiction and weird comics/graphic novel stuff for adults (like Killer & Moonchild). Why I write this stuff is easy: it’s fun. I like letting my imagination run wild and to throw all of my strange interests into the mix.

How does my individual writing/illustrating process work?

Brainstorming. For writing and drawing brainstorming, mapping out the project and its details are the bedrock of my creative process. Once I have a map it makes moving forward much easier. I hate to spend time redrawing pieces or scrapping chapters so my brainstorming helps to cut down on the amount of stuff I have to toss out.

Another thing is making sure that I have a schedule and I do the work every day. If I’m an artist and a writer I need to be writing and making art. I make no excuses, I get into my studio everyday and work at this just like I would a “real” job.

Who are the two author/illustrators that you are passing the interview on to?

No one…yet!?! Sorry to have dropped the ball on this part. I’ll try to pass the torch soon.

More Sketchbook Pages



2 more recent pages from my sketchbook. Trying to still work in my sketchbook every day, which I think I really have managed to do more often than not since I attended ICON8. That’s been the biggest change in the way I work since attending the conference, remembering the value of working in my sketchbook.

New Drawing: New Day

New-Day, drawing by erika rier


New Day; ink & watercolor on paper; 18″ x 24″; 2014

Another new piece which I’ve submitted to yet another artist call. This is the largest piece that I’ve used watercolor in yet. I’m enjoying the watercolor very much, especially when combined with black and white drawing like this. This is available as a print & such here.

Sketchbook Madness

Since returning from ICON8 I have been going crazy in my sketchbook! I learned so much at the conference and made some great connections. In my daily life though the biggest change has been that I’m playing like crazy in my sketchbook again. This is already changing the way I’m approaching pieces and helping me to expand my materials a bit.

These pieces are done with a variety of colored microns, white gel pens, markers, crayons, pencil, and regular old black pens. I just finished a book and am starting a new book with watercolor paper. I got a small tray of dry watercolors and am excited to start experimenting with washes under my patterns.

The sketchbook is great for these little experiments. How could a forget what a valuable tool a sketchbook could be?