WHAT OR WHO DO YOU FIND INSPIRING?
A friend of mine in Amarillo once shared a quote from Chuck Close that has stuck with me: “Inspiration is for amateurs; the rest of us just show up and get to work.” I’ve really tried to live by this in recent years, though I have been lucky at MoMA to be surrounded by so much inspiration on a daily basis. The most impactful inspiration of late has been Björk. I do a lot of writing and recently created a body of work that is extremely personal, so her show at MoMA affected me. I find her vulnerability incredibly courageous.
HOW DID YOU DISCOVER YOUR CREATIVE PROFESSION?
I work as Image Production Manager for the MoMA Design Store, so I manage their photo shoots as a producer and art director. I started in that department about five years ago as an intern. I had been working as a graphic designer at the Amarillo Museum of Art in Texas for a few years and felt the need for a change. People always tell you “it’s a numbers game,” but I have never followed that advice. I put everything I had into that one intern application and amazingly, I got it. The rest sort of fell in place along the way.
WHAT IS THE TOUGHEST THING YOU HAVE BEEN THROUGH PROFESSIONALLY?
I can’t think of one story that encapsulates “the toughest thing,” but for me, it all comes down to forming positive interactions with myself and other people. I have had to learn how to speak up and voice my opinions with confidence. I have had to learn to be diplomatic—sometimes that means having a personal conversation rather than sending a curt email; sometimes it means apologizing; other times it means taking a deep breath, walking around the block, and laughing off a frustration.
WHO ARE THE PEOPLE THAT HAVE BEEN INSTRUMENTAL TO YOUR SUCCESS?
I owe my New York career to Brian Bergeron, my former boss at MoMA, because he had so much confidence in me from the beginning. I had no experience in production or art direction when I started at MoMA, but he told me I had a good eye and kept throwing me projects. As an artist, I count my professors at Abilene Christian University and confidants Jonathan Hance and Leah Rama as the people who have most fostered my creative practice.
WHY DO YOU LOVE ADHESIVE?
I started going to Adhesive because Brian Bergeron invited our design team, and it is amazing how many people I now know, or work with, because of that group. Some of them are coworkers at MoMA; others are frequent freelancers; a few are close friends. Adhesive is smart because it gets at the heart of what makes good work: good relationships. (Plus it’s fun. Who doesn’t like beer and bowling?!)
Visit Erin's upcoming show, You Touch Me, at Cornelia Street Café, 29 Cornelia St., New York. Opening night Tuesday, May 12, 2015, 5:30-7pm; and a Performance, Me Touch You, 8:30pm. Exhibition open through June 28.
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