Starting today, you can follow the Copyright Alliance on its 35-state road trip by watching artist interviews and reading blog entries, as we showcase artists and creators at work in copyright-dependent jobs across America.
Moments after beginning to chat with Erin Ergenbright in her tastefully decorated home in Portland, I felt I should vacate. That’s because Erin had, after months of struggling, just found herself at a creative high point, ready to launch herself into her work. When an artist is at that point, I’m loathe to stand in her way. I hope, at least, that our lengthy conversation on art and creativity in some way helped focus and motivate her.
Erin is an author, an MFA graduate of the prestigious Iowa Writers Workshop, and a writing teacher at two local universities. She also is a professional voice-over artist. I was so caught up in the creative moment she was in with her writing I completely forgot to ask her about that last job, which I find absolutely fascinating. Perhaps the next time we cross paths.
One aspect of Erin that is not on the video is her social consciousness. She confessed she’s having to cut back on her NPR listening because her empathy with the plight of the individuals whose stories are told on the newscasts affects her too deeply, impacting her ability to create. She also furnishes her home through cast-off and second-hand furnishings. You’d never know it to look at it, although many of her pieces have that character-filled “worn” look that some professional designers work hard to replicate with new pieces. She showed me a bookcase she had just come across that a friend helped her mount to the wall, to hold the many journals she’s kept over the years that she’s now mining for her collage work. The bookcase, thus, is a collage in itself, a combination of her lifestyle and her art.