We had the good fortune of connecting with Erica Ostrowski and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Erica, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
It may sound cheesy but perusing the arts felt like my destiny. I come from a long line of artists starting with my great great Aunt. She taught my Grandma who passed the gift to my Mom who passed it to my 3 siblings and I. There wasn’t a time in my life starting at two years old that I wasn’t creating art. Family time at my home was drawing together after dinner and making handmade gifts to my relatives and teachers at school. I would watch the handsewn pillows my Mom and I made together bring smiles to everyone that opened it. It hit me that making art for others brings them happiness. Being a kid in the 90’s you were surrounded by cartoons and animated movies. I would re-watch my worn down Lion King VHS tape over and over and was mesmerized with how Mufasa moved. It hit me again that making art like this would bring me happiness and I knew this is what I wanted to do. My Mom was very excited and enrolled me in child’s art studios at Maryland Institute College of Art. From there I got into an art magnet high school, and soon went to MICA. After graduating it took me a while to find where I fit in the art industry but after 5 years that was comics. Being a comic colorist feels like a young me making pillows with my Mom. I get to add color and life to inked comic pages and it feels like magic! I also started a small pet and family portrait business where I get to satisfy the other side, making art that brings me happiness!
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I’m kinda a jack of all trades when it comes to my career, but my passions for character design and comics have always stuck with me. I ended up doing various things that I’m pretty proud of. I’m the most proud of running my own small Illustration company BearMoonStudios for pet and family portraits, with handmade clay and embroidered crafts on my etsy shop. I have two web comics I wrote, inked and colored in the works “Champion” and “Sh*t Boofrin Does”. I’m a colorist on an amazing comic series called “Bait and Switch” with my good friend Rachel Roth! Getting where I am today was extremely difficult. I struggle with a high anxiety disorder that really set me back for years. Being terrified of success and failure, but learning to trust myself and keep pushing forward was the hardest challenge I’ve ever had to face. I’m not perfect and still struggle now and then but I’m here and I’m finally happy dipping into the industry! My brand and story is about self love and growth. When you struggle with mental illness the main person you put down is yourself. I’d like to inspire others to find their own happiness within themselves weather its happy family portraits or funny goofy comics!
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?
Oh we would have a crab feast! There’s nothing more delicious than a good ole fashioned steamed crab pig out, smothered in old bay! We would hit up Ocean City and walk along the boardwalk, playing rigged crane machines and chasing seagulls eating stolen french fries. Baltimore has one of the best art scenes on the east coast! My favorite museums are the Baltimore Museum of Art with their gorgeous sculpture garden and the Walter’s Museum with their cool showcases. Then we’d have to check out Center Stage for their performing stage arts and the Lyric Opera House for their huge concerts! There’s lots of fun things to do and see here that will keep you excited and busy! Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
For me it’s a few people. My Mom is first for always being there for me and supporting me through it all, especially staying up late with me to crit my art homework. Even though I lost her to liver cancer last year, I know she’ll always be there still to help me continue growing as an artist! Second would be my partner David who helps me remember the goofy and fun side of art, to make people laugh and smile. Third would be my past illustration teacher at MICA, mentor and now good friend Greg Houston who helped me understand my self worth as an artist and to never let anyone change that! Fourth would be Dad, Sean, Anita and Vince (my siblings) and my friends Rachel Roth, Jill Kazack, Nicole Pedone, The Team and the rest of my MICA friends who are always there to support me, make me laugh, remember why I’m here and to give me advice and love! Special shoutout to my Amazing Aunt Lisa and Aunt Kim for supporting my work and being there when I needed an ear!
Instagram: @LadyBearski and @Bearmoonstudios