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These are a few of my favourite things: Artist Erika Pearce

These are a few of my favourite things: Artist Erika Pearce

As part of Idealog's Design Month, we picked the brains of some of the most interesting individuals in the industry to find out their favourite design-related things, their not-so-secretive side hustles and what inspires them creatively. Here's artist and illustrator Erika Pearce.

What’s your favourite…

Brand identity?

OceanZen - a Aussie bikini company who's swimwear fabric is made from recycled fishing nets and plastic bottles from the ocean

Building?

The White Temple (Wat Rong Khun) in Northern Thailand, which is a contemporary and unconventional art exhibit in the style of a Buddhist temple. The detail and craftsmanship is truly fascinating.

Object?

The collection of seashells and coral I have scattered around my studio. Nature creates the most intricate and beautiful designs.

Artist?

Phil Roberts - American surf artist.

Clothing brand?

I am drawn to clothing with bright colours and patterns, many of my favourite items were found on my travels in south-east Asia.

Use of design to change behaviour?

Using street art and murals in areas like alleyways and car parks makes the area feel safer and more welcoming.

Design project you’ve had a hand in?

I painted murals for about a dozen Mexicali store throughout New Zealand. The Mission Bay kombi mural is still one of my favourites. 

Design project that isn’t yours, but you’re envious of?

Every giant, muti-story mural I have seen, I would love to play with a canvas on that scale!

What first drew you to design?

I really had no idea I would become a designer and artist, but when I look back at how I was always drawing and painting as a child it seems kind of obvious.

Where does inspiration come from for you?

The ocean and colours and patterns in nature.

Do you have a design ethos/motto you abide by in your work?

Pressure makes diamonds.

Do you have any creative side hustles going on outside of your line of work? If so, what?

A personal project I am working on, where I am painting portraits of Maori and Pacific women and linking real people to the characters of myths and legends. This project aims to lift and empower everyday women, and connect the past with the present, as well as our relationship with our natural environment.

How has technology impacted on your work? How do you think it will impact on it in the future?

The ability to share current work-in-progress with our audience via social media makes it a very special time to be creating. Having access to communicate with other artists from across the world at the touch of a button makes sharing ideas and inspiration really easy. I feel that my skills would have developed faster if I had had this access when I was younger, however, it may have made me follow the masses rather than create original ideas.

Who are some of your design heroes?

All of those that has come before me and paved the way. I really look up to other artists and designers and aspire to grow like them.

Best design-related advice you ever received?

Just keep creating.

What do you enjoy the most about working in this industry?

Even though it isn't always easy, I really do get to do what I love.

How do you define New Zealand’s design culture?

I think New Zealand has an incredible amount of creative people for our small size. I think our isolation has historically enabled us to think on our feet - that number eight wire mentality. Now, thanks to technology, we are able to show our ideas to the world. I think there is a great sense of pride in being a kiwi and our unique identity is reflected in our design culture.