• Tessa Barron

February Art Showcase: Tempest Studios/Erika Schulz

Why hello there.

We are back for another month with my favorite series.

February is all about fantasy...again. Because I'm too lazy to switch over the spotlight from last month and make all new content to feature. To give myself some credit, I have been busy editing and getting books ready for release in the next few months. The first of those being Queen of the Skour: Book Two of the Bloodstone Dagger!

But anyway, enough of that. Today we have our first traditional media artist on the showcase. So without any more ranting from me, here she is.

Who are you and how did you get started?

My Name is Erika Schulz, and online my social is Tempest Studios.

I’m a Canadian illustrator and painter. I try to tell stories and get lost in the magic of the details.

It’s hard to nail down the moment when I “started” because I have been practicing these skills my whole life. I think I made the commitment to become a professional artist in high school, and when I become an adult (I’m only 132), I would like to be a full-time artist.

Where do you find inspiration for your work?

I find inspiration from a lot of diverse sources.

When I’m working, I look to other visual artists who have a fascinating style and perspective. I am always trying to push myself to have a unique viewpoint and challenge what has been done in the past.

Like I mentioned, I want to tell stories, so storytellers are also big influencers. I love giving a visual to an author’s written word or showing a new perspective on a well-known tale through my illustrations. Of course, there is the pursuit of beauty. I often feel incapable of capturing it, but I like to try.

Who or what has influenced and motivated you?

Drawing and Painting have always been my favorite activity, so the motivation is just there. I have a long list of projects I would like to work on, so there is always a reason to head back to the paper or canvas.

I have a few favorite artists that influence me. The work of Japanese printmakers Hiroshige and Hokusai are considerable aesthetic influences. The texture and patterning of Margaret Macdonald Mackintosh is a very formative influence. Arthur Rackham, Eyvind Earle, Studio Ghibli, Walter Crane, and Moebius are also quite influential to name a few.

What advice do you have for budding artists out there?

The great thing about art is that anyone can do it at any point in life. The bad thing about art is that it will be a lifelong pursuit of excellence. If you desire to become a professional/full time/working artist, then be prepared for work.

This skill, in particular, is going to be a lot of work.

Natural talents can help you find a path or an inclination to a specific skill set, but you will still need to practice a lot. Consider yourself a student of art, whether you take formal training or you are self-taught.

There is ALWAYS room for improvement and a need to challenge yourself to head into uncomfortable areas. Try to judge yourself on how well you can see your finished product and how well you can translate that from your head using your tools.

Lastly (I hope this isn’t too long-winded), start and finish your projects. Even if they're terrible. The biggest hurdle for many is getting past that point when you want to quit because it’s not turning out the way you thought it would.

Just finishing teaches you so much.

What's the best advice you have gotten?

Maintain good mental health.

Staying motivated and fighting the typical artist blocks and self-criticism is always one of the hardest things to do. Everyone is different, however, so I wouldn’t be able to pass on anything specific.

One general piece of advice I have received from multiple places is to remember that being a working artist is also a business. Learning entrepreneurial skills alongside the creative ones will benefit you in huge and noticeable ways if you want to earn a living from art.

What are some goals for your work? What's in the future?

I have that long list to work on!

I don’t like to set firm goals. I operate in a very organic way and try to take advantage of opportunities as they come. Still, I spend a lot of time trying to create opportunities for myself, which means a diligent dedication to increasing my following online.

There are dream projects that I would like to work on and a very misty idea of what my “ideal” work/life is like, but that isn’t what I plan for. In this business, dream projects can come in the disguise of something totally unexpected. I hope that I will always be moving forward, even if by baby steps.

Editor's Note: The one below is of a crag golem from The Eye of Verishten! If you go to bearhillbooks.com in the bookstore, the epub format is still free for the next few days until I get around to taking it off sale. My procrastination is your boon! You're welcome.

As usual, we have only given you a taste of this artist's work.

Find more of Erika at these places...

Website: http://www.tempeststudios.net

Instagram: https://instagram.com/tempeststudioss/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/tempeststudioss

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/tempeststudiosart

Want to see more great art?

Check out last month's featured artist: TESETCH

If you're an artist and would like to submit your work for one of our features, email the editor at tessabarron@foulfantasyfiction.com

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