Under the Spotlight….Erica Sturla

“I loved watching Tony Hart as a child, I think he (and Morph) may have influenced my work hugely.”

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“Erica creates colourful scenes and funky characters from polymer clay”

It’s difficult to appreciate the work that goes into one of Erica’s pieces of art as they are so effective, the details can be taken for granted.  Erica plans, paints and makes to create her scenes……..

Do you have positive/negative memories of art when you were at school?

I always remember Art as being my favourite lesson and art teachers as the most interesting ones, so very positive memories!

What would your school report have said about your art?

Enthusiastic and hard-working, but often in too much of a hurry to finish and start the next thing.

Did you go on to further education in art or are you self-taught?

I studied Fashion illustration and journalism at art college.

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 What or who has inspired you over the years?

My mother always painted, she took us to art galleries, exhibitions and I even remember her taking us on residential art holidays as children. I’m not sure we appreciated it at the time, though! I loved watching Tony Hart as a child, I think he (and Morph) may have influenced my work hugely.

What Artists do you admire?

I love the work of Beryl Cook, Quentin Blake and Anita Klein. They seem to achieve colour, form, movement effortlessly and always manage to inject a little (or a lot) of humour. Recently, I’ve been admiring Andrew Macara’s paintings – his treatment of light and shade is masterful!

What is your favourite piece of work (yours and someone else)?

That’s almost impossible to answer as I’m always finding new ones. If I had to choose an old favourite of mine, it would probably be “A Walk in the Park”. If I had to choose a favourite from another artist’s work, “Sabotage” by Beryl Cook is pure genius and “Children running” by Andrew Macara, is simple but beautiful.

What has been the highlight of your artistic career so far? What are you proud to have achieved?

I suppose I’m most proud of my greetings card ranges. Highlights would be the happy reactions of people to their portrait commissions and having my digital illustration, “The Menagerie in the Tower” shortlisted for the Serco Illustration Prize 2014 and having it sold in the London Transport Museum shop.

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What have you sacrificed for your art?

A neat and tidy house. In all honesty, I would never have had that anyway!

What’s the best bit of advice that has been given to you?

If you love it and believe in it, just keep doing it. If you keep doing it, you’ll get good at it.

What advice would you give to an aspiring artist/craftsperson?

As above, but also to learn to use criticism, rather than be deflated by it.

How do you start a piece of work?

For a painting or portrait commission, I start by making a few small thumbnail sketches of composition, then a full size plan before starting in the clay. It’s always clay first, paint second. For digital work, I just get stuck into drawing straight on to the virtual page. The delete button is a beautiful thing!

When is it finished?

When I say it is.

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Do you have a mantra, quote or line from a song that best sums up what your art means to you?

Not really. Well, it sounds cheesy, but maybe “spread a little happiness”

Does music help with your creativity?  If so what would you choose to listen to whilst working on a piece?

I always work to Radio 2. Ken Bruce and Steve Wright are my favourite companions during the day. If I’m working into the night, lately it’s been Paolo Nutini, Fleetwood Mac or Paloma Faith.

What is your favourite medium to work with/in?

Polymer clay. I love it because the possibilities are endless and the results are often surprising.

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Do you have a lucky or favourite something that you use that has been with you forever?

I still use my A1 drawing board every day that I’ve had since college. I don’t think it’s lucky, but it’s very useful.

Are you living your dream through your art or do you have one – what do you strive for?

I strive never to have a dull day job ever again. Ever.

Is there anything you avoid with your art?

Depicting people without smiles.

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Erica it was an absolute pleasure to photograph and watch you at work…just love those little people!  Thank you 🙂

To see more about Erica and her work visit:

http://www.ericasturla.com/

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Erica-Sturla-Original-Art/279603642156776

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About worthingart

Worthing Art is the invention of three artists/craftspeople living in Worthing, on the sunny south coast of England. Our aim is to create a central point of information about the visual arts in our local area. There is such a lot going on and so many creative people around here and we want to help spread the word through our Facebook page and this blog. We will also share national events and info if it's relevant. We are entirely non profit....we're in it fot the joy! We are: Lorraine Heaysman: Photographer. Marie Vickers: Mixed Media Artist/Printmaker and Textile Artist. Naomi Frances: Illustrator, Maker of Stained Glass, Mixed Media Artist.
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