We had the good fortune of connecting with Erica Burgess and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Erica, how has your perspective on work-life balance evolved over time?
I used to be so hyper focused on getting paid creative work so I could fund the next project/idea. I was constantly moving from project to project and feeling exhausted and overwhelmed. I had almost zero life outside of my job because I loved what I do for a living and worked with friends in a fun environment. The line between work and personal life became blurred. This led to some burnout. The loss of the live music industry due to the pandemic forced me to really stop and focus on what was left. I spent a lot of time working on not only my physical but mental health which in turn caused me to have a more strict balance between my work and “off” time. I started scheduling time for myself and my own creative projects as if I were scheduling time out for a new client. I treated it as a priority, as something I couldn’t move or cancel. Along with doing creative projects for myself, I scheduled time for hiking, reading, or going out with friends.
I think my life is way more balanced now that I’ve taken these steps to prioritize myself and not just my job, and it makes me feel like I have more energy and spirit for the projects I take on in the future.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I’ll start by saying that its not easy making a living on being a professional creative. I’ve done countless projects that were incredibly difficult because not only was I learning new techniques as I went, but also because I’m trying to match visually how musicians see their brand/music. More often than not, paying clients don’t want you to be weird with it and just want you to do something really basic or just “get the shot” that they can use for socials.

I’ve learned to refine my visual style over time so that when I’m editing projects, shooting photo/video, or mixing visuals that I can still deliver something the client wants- but in my own ‘realm’.

I’ve always enjoyed darker art with bright vibrant color accents. I started with shooting video of house/techno DJs in dark venues, often with little to no lighting. Using a bright flash in a dark club ruins the mood and takes people out of the world the music creates, so I always used the lighting that was available (even if it was incredibly minimal) because preserving that is essential to me. Thus the brand I created around my work came about due to a means of adapting to my environment. I’m always looking for the vibrant hints of color hidden in the darkness now.

I’m really excited for fall 2021 and beyond because I’m transitioning from a photographer/videographer role to VJing, which allows me to express myself more freely than before. Instead of focusing on capturing the moment, I’m going to help the artist create it for fans, and that’s really special to me.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I would take them to Ave 26 night market for tacos then to 1720 warehouse for a party at night. During the day a short hike around Elysian is always peaceful.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I want to shout out Justin Martin and his manager Jonathan Mcdonald. Justin helped me get through the pandemic by keeping me inspired and motivated to try new things and keep creating, it was such a difficult time that it would have been easy to just give up, but working with him gave me the spark I needed. Jonathan helped me out by always giving great advice and helping me find gigs whenever he could. I appreciate both of them endlessly and love working with them!

Website: https://sterismedia.squarespace.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/st.eris/?hl=en

Twitter: https://twitter.com/st__eris?lang=en

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutLA is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.