When she isn’t working at a casino, Las Vegas resident Erika Harm is creating art, illustrations, and graphic designs. She has created art for web comics, portraits for Ellen Million’s Portrait Adoption service, and many other art pieces. She’s attended several Comic Cons and Expos as an artist, and loves collaborating with other artists. Favorite hobbies include watching anime and collecting manga (comic books.)
As part of a team of artists who collaborated on several coloring books published by Ellen Million Graphics, Erika kindly answered our artist questionairre for AdultColoringBooks.com.
Nothing inspires creativity like creation itself.
– Erika Harm
Q: What inspired you to start creating art for coloring books?
Erika: I’ve always loved the idea of collaborative work. I’ve always enjoyed coloring, whether it’s as a kid with a coloring book, or coloring another artist’s work in a joint project. I learn a lot coloring others’ work, and preparing work to be colored by others.
Q: How long have you been drawing?
Erika: I’ve been pursuing art seriously for about fifteen years now. Some years are not as serious as others, it just depends on the other things going on in my life at the time.
Q: Do you work entirely digitally, or do you prefer pen and paper when creating?
Erika: I prefer pen and paper. Digital feels disconnected in a way. I like physical tools making physical marks. Also with a day job in which I’m at the computer all day, at the end of the day it’s easier on my eyes to look at paper than yet another screen.
Q: Do you make/sell other kinds of art?
Erika: I try. My mother was a seamstress and my father used to knit and crochet. I primarily draw, but dabble in those secondarily. Sculpting has always been frustrating to me, but I enjoy that struggle too occasionally.
Q: When coloring your own art, what is your favorite medium?
Erika: MARKERS. Alcohol based markers have come a long way recently! Very versatile. I also like water color markers, and gel pens for unusual color effects.
Q: What color or colors do you most love to work with?
Erika: In my opinion, purple is the best color. Purple is the color of royalty, power, flowers, the Zerg and sexiness.
Q: Do you enjoy relaxing with coloring books by other artists? If so, do you have a favorite artist or book?
Ellen Million’s coloring books are lovely collections of variety in skill level and style. I received hard copies of one of the books I have a piece in, and have been playing with coloring some of my contemporaries’ works. I also have some local Las Vegas friends that color each other’s line art occasionally. Joe DeCuir had an epic sketch of Thor one day; as I recall, he wasn’t interested in finishing, so I colored it. We were both quite pleased with the result! My friend Vincent Pizarro has colored my work a few times as well — always a pleasure.
Q: Tell us a little bit about your art. Do you have a favorite piece that you created?
Erika: My favorite of my own work right now is a rather graphic drawing of an Aztec War goddess, Coyolxauhqui. She’s an important icon to me personally, representing both tremendous defeat and victory.
Q: Other than creating coloring book art, what interesting hobbies or activities do you enjoy?
Erika: Comic books. I like to experiment with crochet and sewing. When I’m much more lazy, I like to binge watch anime and sitcoms. I’m also a bit of a cinephile.
Q: Have you had any memorable responses to your art work from collectors?
Erika: I’ve been fortunate enough to be at conventions where artists I look up to had given me high praise. It’s humbling and rewarding to feel like you might be closer to their level than you realize.
Q: If you had to choose one superpower, what would it be?
Erika: My power would be I never need rest or sustanence. As I get older, I feel daily maintenance gets in the way more and more, and I can’t spread myself as thin to do as much as I want. I can’t stay up to all hours of the night anymore without some intense consequences these days.
Q: Who is your favorite artist?
Erika: I have many artists I look up to, but I guess I have to say my favorite is Riyoko Ikeda. She drew and wrote Rose of Versailles, probably my favorite manga, which is also my favorite anime next to Hellsing. She is talented, and always balanced her characters very well between impossibly beautiful and totally bad ass! She is very educational too, and often references French history. I appreciate her strong female characters.
Q: Is there some person, place or thing that inspires you when you are creating your art?
Erika: Nature is the best non-person inspiration. Whenever I feel drained or uncreative, a quick walk outside to look at the rocks, plants and animals is the cure. Nothing inspires creativity like creation itself.