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Art & Life with Erika Gomi

Today we’d like to introduce you to Erika Gomi.

Erika, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve always wanted to be involved with the arts. I love drawing and film, so it’s always been a dream of mine to create something impactful or see my name in credits. In high school, I discovered I wanted to go into animation because I thought it was amazing that my drawings could come to life. I wanted to tell my own stories however I wanted to visually. From there, I kept doing what I loved to do. I drew a lot in my free time and watched and took inspiration from many films. I worked on my observational drawing skills so that I could better my understanding of human anatomy and movement.

Later in my high school career, I had the amazing opportunity of attending California State Summer School for the Arts (CSSSA). It was a life-changing experience, being surrounded by so many other talented artists. In the animation department, I met many others with a love for animated movies whose goal was to make what they love doing their job. It was an inspirational and motivational four weeks that solidified my desire to follow my path into the animation industry.

I then decided to attend the University of Southern California for Animation and Digital Arts where I have spent the past four years continuing to draw and working on improving my portfolio. As a recent grad, I’m now looking for jobs as a designer, illustrator, or story artist.

Please tell us about your art.
I am an illustrator, designer, storyteller, and animator. I love drawing and creating scenes that use color and lighting in interesting ways, but I have worked on a variety of projects ranging from VR experiences to short films. I also recently realized that I have an affinity for combining spooky and silly things. One of the stories I’m trying to flesh out is about a guy being haunted by a ghost. However, the ghost is really just a bad and annoying roommate.

I am also greatly inspired by children’s book artists for their mastery of clear yet simple and stylized illustrations, and in my artwork, I incorporate elements from nature and try to capture the nostalgia and energy from childhood. I am also trying to create pieces that touch on my experience growing up Asian American in California. Growing up, I didn’t feel like there was much content in the media that dealt with Asian Americans, so I would like to create something that speaks to others out there with similar experiences.

What would you recommend to an artist new to the city, or art, in terms of meeting and connecting with other artists and creatives?
I just graduated from college so I’m new to post-grad life, but keeping in touch with your classmates and attending events is a good way to meet other artists. Plus I heard that if you just put yourself out there on social media with links and images of your art and are looking to collaborate, you’ll get a lot of people reaching out.

I’m currently collaborating with a writer I met through a school organization who reached out because she remembered I was in animation and thought it would be cool to work on a piece together. If you really want to meet other artists, just reach out and introduce yourself!

What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
You can check out my work on my portfolio website here:
I’m also on Instagram @egomi13 and Vimeo @egomi

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Erika Gomi

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