We had the good fortune of connecting with Erica Puckett and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Erica, how do you think about risk?
I think risks are necessary for growth; without risk, there is little to no real reward. Some of the biggest moments in my life and career -in both the legal and art worlds- came from me stepping out on faith and taking risks.
Please tell us more about your art. We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others, what you are most proud of or excited about. How did you get to where you are today professionally. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges? What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way. What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story?
My art was born out of a search for peace of mind, creating art has always been a beautiful escape from any stress in my life. One of the qualities that helps to set me apart from other artists is my refusal to be placed in a box creatively. I love to jump out and try new techniques and/or explore a variety of mediums. I think that quality mixed in with my joy in finding beauty in even the most mundane objects, allows my mind to wonder & create artwork that is visually pleasing and speaks to people’s souls. I am most proud of my ability to shift and pivot as an “artrepreneur.” When I first started sharing my artwork in shows, I would meet people who would tell me how much they loved my work, but couldn’t afford it. And although it helped that those same people would tell me my work was worth every penny, if not more, that I was asking for, it still stung a little to lose a potential collector. I finally realized I needed to meet those supporters in the middle; so I searched for and partnered with professionals to provide high-quality prints, apparel, home decor items and much more (see website: www.epuckettart.com). Out of my willingness to pivot and meet supporters where they were, my artrepreneurship blossomed in ways I never could’ve imagined. In regards to answering how I got to where I am today professionally, and whether or not it was easy, I would say the short answer is that it was not easy, but with determination, confidence and thick-skin, it is doable. While traveling along this journey as an artist, I have learned that everyone will not see nor understand your vision and value as an artist, and that is okay…the way I overcame dealing with those people -even some family & friends- is by refusing to take it personal, and instead understanding that they are simply not my audience. The ultimate lesson I’ve learned as an artist is the importance in knowing how to say “no, thank you.” When you’re first starting out, you feel immense pressure -albeit, it is largely self-inflicted- to say “yes” to every opportunity or offer that comes your way. There is value in being exclusive, but more importantly your creative spirit deserves to be protected. I had to make the time to truly listen to my voice as a creator, and once I did, I made a vow to only embrace projects that spoke to creative spirit and aligned with my zen.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Well now that I am a forever-Houstonian who lives on the East Coast, I have my own must-see and do list when it comes to visiting the city that I love the most. Depending on how long my trip back home is, I like to carve one day out for visiting the MFAH (Museum of Fine Arts), and/ or drive around and take in all the beautifully vibrant street-art. When it comes to food, I absolutely have to go to the classic spots in my beloved 3rd Ward; so for my family and I, that’s Frenchy’s for the chicken, and then Cream Burger for the homemade burgers, fries & shake. I also love Tex-Mex, so pre-COVID, you could catch me out with my friends meeting for happy hours and Taco Tuesdays at our favorite spots; my latest one being Pistoleros. While I love getting dressed up and going out to turn-up with my girls, I also enjoy being lowkey and having a girls-night in full of jokes, good food + drinks and convos catching up on each others lives. I say all that to say, I am not really the person to ask where the best hang-out spots are.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I want to dedicate my shoutout to my mother, Sharon Johnson. She is the epitome of selflessness and unconditional love. I was blessed with the type of mother who saw no limits to the ideas and dreams I expressed interest in. It is because of her support that I walk through life knowing I can do whatever I set my mind to; from pursuing my childhood dream to go to law school, to exploring my passions in the art world.
All images were created & provided by E. Puckett Art.