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Meet Erica Ferguson

Today we’d like to introduce you to Erica Ferguson.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Erica. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
Growing up, I always knew I was a creative. Throughout high school, I explored different avenues of my creativity, video production/editing, like my father and graphic design. And for a couple of years, I thought I wanted to be graphic designer, however, I desired more out of designing. I wanted to bring it to life, to create something for people to enjoy.

To create an experience. It wasn’t until I transferred to a university that I finally saw those pieces coming together and the magic of animation. I explored almost every animation class offered at my university until I discovered a path I never thought I’d venture down; 3D animation. Maya, the software that causes many headaches and provides a steep learning curve, actually became something I naturally gravitated towards. My instant “click” with that program sent me into a love for 3D animation and modeling, and a desire to learn more. This has lead me to creating my own characters, teaching myself new aspects of the software and learning new ones.

Has it been a smooth road?
Life is never a smooth road, and even though I knew what I wanted to do since high school, I never knew how vast the world of animation was. I experimented through various animation and illustration courses, but for a while, nothing that I could picture myself doing for the rest of my life. 3D animation gave me that spark, something that I actually enjoyed. However, that too was only a section of animation with its own various subsections. Specification/specialization is something I still struggle with, the constant debate of generalizing or being the best at a particular trade. So instead of dwelling on it, I have taken the opportunity to have fun with exploring. Might as well find the good in what seems like a daunting situation!

Please tell us more about your art.
While I’m going to a specialized 3D school, I am currently a freelance illustrator. What makes me stand out as an artist, found both in my illustrations and 3D work, is my love for the art of drag. These queens don’t apologize for who they are and embrace every part of themselves, which honestly is everything. Drag is what sparked a light in me and gave me my own voice and style. The community of drag and lgbtq+ inspires me, not only their strength and confidence but the energy they put out in the world. This positive energy is almost overwhelming and was exciting to translate into my characters. I started out my 3D modeling career creating drag queens, combining my love for fashion and makeup, while exploring various personalities that drag entails. This has lead to my current project of gender fluidity. I’m working with young people who are either part of the lgbtq+ community or don’t comply with gender or “social” norms. I want to create a story of self-empowerment and represent the new norm. Something that other young people can look at and feel empowered to be whoever they want and that it’s ok to do so.

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
Los Angeles seems so vast, as the hub for the country’s entertainment. I thought that animation industry was HUGE and how hard it was going to be to find connections and network with people. That was until I joined the Woman in Animation group. Going to these networking events and industry showings/talks really showed me how small and tight-knit this community really is. These opportunities showed me that this vast and intimidating image of this entertainment capital was actually very welcoming. The variety of creatives and people who live or work in this city is unique and provides the chance to hear new stories, experience a variety of new things, and provides commonality within the struggle of the entertainment industry. Of course, as with everything, this also comes with a downfall, the darker side of LA. The industry sexism and racism, the undeniable drive to make it in the industry, and, of course, the traffic…There’s nothing like sitting 2 hours on the freeway to only go 30 miles.

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