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Art & Life with Ericali Johnston

Today we’d like to introduce you to Ericali Johnston.

Ericali, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
I mostly grew up in and around L.A. I am half Korean and white. I was raised by my mom who encouraged my creativity growing up. As a child, I was enrolled in a traditional Korean dance, which sparked for me, a strong interest in Korean art and culture. I have been a part of some local art shows around L.A over the years and have put together a few community art shows in the past.

Can you give our readers some background on your art?
I have primarily been painting using acrylic on canvas. More recently I’ve been using ink and acrylic on wood.

Though my works are diverse what unifies them is the use of simple composition, strong colors and (often) bold lines. I am inspired by the strength I see in women, the beauty and power of nature and our connection to nature and one another. Another major inspiration has been Minhwa (Korean folk art), I appreciate the bold, bright and playful nature of traditional Korean painting.

In recent years, I have been gravitating towards merging traditional Korean painting aesthetics with more “Western” styles of painting. I also enjoy painting portraits. Despite the diversity in my work what I hope is that people can feel the energy I put in each piece.

What responsibility, if any, do you think artists have to use their art to help alleviate problems faced by others? Has your art been affected by issues you’ve concerned about?
Many artists have long used their art to express their feelings about themselves and the world around them. With the internet and social media, however, messages conveyed in the art can reach millions of people around the world. Art can have the power to cross linguistic and cultural barriers. If a piece strongly impacts people than it has a collective energy around it- it can be a force. If I were to convey any message in my work to people these days, in these times, it would be that it’s important to have a strong sense of self, and not let the world strip away your uniqueness, your identity or pride in your roots.

What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
I have an Instagram account and I have a website, I participate in community shows from time to time and will post about that. I will also be working on creating an online store for prints in the near future!

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