We had the good fortune of connecting with Erica Eden and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Erica, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
As you know, the Quarantine forced all of us to slow down and reflect. So I did. I needed something to bring me joy, something to fill the gaps. Aside from all of the self tapes and online classes, I needed something to do on my off time, so I sifted through my storage bins and found some old paint brushes. Art was a big part of my life growing up, and my art teacher at the age of 5 was my first hero! The arts have always meant a lot to me; it has shaped me into the person I am today. Finding those paint brushes brought back a lot of happy memories for me, which motivated me to buy some new paints and canvases. I then started painting. A LOT. My house was full of new artwork. I was so excited that I posted my paintings on my social media and got a lot of positive feedback, which was very exciting! This made me think, “Why not turn my hobby into a business?” And voila! “Eden Made” was born! Because of my upbringing, I’ve always been an advocate for arts programs being part of education in schools – which, in recent years, has become less and less. The arts is a fundamental part of children’s development, and even though most schools have cut arts programs, after school/weekend art programs are still available. There are few free programs, and I’m hoping that more will pop up eventually – that’s the goal! Because not everyone has access to these programs, and some come with a hefty price that isn’t affordable to everyone. When I volunteered at the local YMCA to teach young children the basics of art, it was such a rewarding experience to see how excited the kids were about art! Even though I’m not teaching now, I want to continue to give back, which sparked the most important reason why I started “Eden Made”: to donate a percentage of the proceeds to organizations that sponsor programs for children who are less fortunate, who don’t have access to art classes/theatre classes/etc. It’s up to us to ensure that the next generation is given the necessary tools to succeed, and the arts will help make that happen. It’ll give them the confidence to think outside of the box, to make their own decisions, and to make the world a better place. After all…the Earth without “art” is just “eh”.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
My visual art is heavily influenced by my hometown, Palm Springs. Growing up in Palm Springs taught me a lot about abstract art and modernism – there are so many art galleries and museums there! Adding the desert landscape, these three factors come together in such a fun way! I like to think that this combination, mixed in with a little bit of my personality, sets me apart from the rest! I like my art to reflect who I am as a person, which is very bright and “out there”. I’ve always been the one to stray away from what is considered normal, and stay true to my “quirky” nature. I’m the kind of person who will dance at full force through a crosswalk, or dress up as a banana in a sea of sexy nurses at a Halloween party. Why? Because who cares what people think. After all, our differences are what sets us apart. I’ve gotten to where I am today as an artist through hard work and determination, as well as passion and drive! As an actor, too, you need to have all 4 to succeed. The film industry is very tough. I’ve had to get through many hurdles to be where I am as an artist and creative. My perseverance keeps me moving. In this industry you have to be comfortable with hearing the word “no” and not letting it completely destroy you. You are going to have to accept that not everyone is going to like you. It doesn’t mean you suck. For example, I love broccoli. But not everyone enjoys eating broccoli. It doesn’t mean it’s bad. In fact, a lot of people love broccoli, and broccoli is good for you – it’s full of nutrients and it looks like little trees, which is fun to think about… The point is, the “yes” will come eventually. Don’t let the “no’s” break you, because for every few “no’s” there is going to be a “yes”. And that “yes” is going to make all the “no’s” you’ve pushed through worth it! Never give up!
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Hi, welcome to my side of Los Angeles! This is what would be on my itinerary: We’d start off by seeing the Hollywood sign. DUH. But we are going to do so by hiking up to Griffith Observatory because it’s my favorite place in all of Los Angeles. And you get a really good view of the sign right outside of it. And then we’d go inside so I can tell you all the random facts about space that I know while you tune me out and see how much you would weigh on each planet. After that we’d stop at my favorite coffee shop in Hollywood: the Bourgeois Pig. If you want to feel like a forest elf while drinking your coffee, this is the spot to be at. After that I would give you my own personal tour of Hollywood Blvd. because I used to live right on the strip, and BOY do I have stories.. I kind of miss living there, it was a fun time in my life for sure. Are you hungry? Because we are going to Sage Vegan Bistro in Pasadena. The Cauliflower wings there are the best in Los Angeles, DO NOT @ ME. They also have really good acai vegan ice cream for dessert! Then, after that, we’d go to the Santa Monica Pier and ride the Ferris Wheel! …Wow, sitting here writing this in the middle of a Pandemic is making me really anxious to make this day a reality… There’s a lot of great places to see and things to do. The rest of the week would consist of visiting all of the best beaches and restaurants. Here is a list of my favorite places to get food/drinks: – Teapop in North Hollywood is THE BEST boba spot in all of Los Angeles. The teas are brewed individually, and they have the best selection. Plus, they are awesome to their customers. I got a Christmas card from them last year, it was so cute! – If you like Pho, Mama Hongs in Burbank is the way to go!! Their veggie/vegan pho is really good too. – My favorite Mexican places in Los Angeles (because there isn’t just one): La Villita Cantina in Hollywood, Leo’s Tacos Truck, Guisados, and the Poquito Mas in Burbank holds a special place in my heart – I’d go there all the time when I first moved out here. – Also, if you don’t go to Urth Caffe in Beverly Hills then wyd??? I like their boba there too – they have a decaf chai which is so good, so you can drink it any time of day and it won’t keep you up. Seriously, there are so many amazing places and events all around Los Angeles. For example, during the summer months, movies in the park are the best! Cinespia movie screenings are my jam! I truly feel very fortunate to call this amazing city Home. I look forward to the day we can all roam around the city safely (post-pandemic) once again.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
There’s a long list of people I could thank; it would probably take up the entire page. My childhood friends (who are still my best friends to this day), my teachers and coaches, my friends in Los Angeles, and everyone in between. I believe every person that has crossed my path has molded me into the person I am today. In regards to my art, I’m going to have to shout out my mom though. I really wouldn’t be the artist I am today without her. Thanks mom for forcing me to learn to draw the perfect circle at the age of 4 years old.
Greggywawa Photography (B&W photo, white background/floral dress photo)