We had the good fortune of connecting with Erik the Artist and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Erik the Artist, how does your business help the community?
My art business helps the community and world by the raising money for charities and causes. It does this through sales and auction of artwork and merchandise at events and online. The simple key is a great eye-catching painting at a great price. I have strong relationships with George Lopez and his foundation raising over $7,400 to date, and also Ex- NBA great Matt Barnes’s of Athletes vs. Cancer. Most recently I worked with NFL HOF Legend Ed Reed and we auctioned a signed painting I did of him for his charity. Working alongside these three and other VIP’s, has afforded me the opportunity to seek greater impact.
I just finished a painting of Lucile Ball I hope to interest the Lucille Ball Desi Arnaz Museum. Their mission “is to preserve the legacy of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz and enrich the world through the healing powers of laughter through its commitment to the development of the comedic arts”. If added to their merchandise line, I am helping generate revenue and their mission with my artwork. Same goes for the David Bowie painting, my list goes on and on, commissions welcome.
With social media as my tool, paintings as my proof, Voyage LA as my platform and You the reader as my voice, please TAG who You think I should paint. How about leBron James, Lady Gaga, Snoop Dogg, Carlos Santana or Brad Pitt? Make sure they are attached to a charity or foundation. Your Like, Comment, Share, or Re-tweet really helps and thank you Voyage LA, as you are the real ones helping the community and world!
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.
I use a small brush and get excited about the challenge of painting the smallest details and making a painting look like a picture. I enjoy the challenge of mixing paint to get the right color for one small spot and the physical hand eye coordination to place it just right. I paint with passion, listen to Baroque and while painting, imagine the positive effect this painting can have on the patron, fans and world. I dream of the potential of Tim McGraw picking up my painting as merchandise and the revenue that can generate helping the Tug McGraw Foundation, Tim McGraw family and my family. This mammoth magnitude is equal to the amount of time and passion that goes into each stroke of each painting I create. It doesn’t happen by accident success, it’s working hard, tirelessly, through years of failures and closed doors, with persistence, practice, growth, evolution, passion and purpose. Just like a great painting, no matter how long it takes.
Is it easy to paint in theory, just like shooting a ball through a hoop, but each component must be broken down to smallest detail, practiced, rehearsed, and repeated until its natural, fluid and effortless. To paint is the same, I am looking at a picture, the smallest details, tiniest shadows, then I mix paint to try and get this color, use brushes and apply to canvas in the right spot. Then look at the photo then the painting and see what is good and what is not and fix. This takes time, I do not give up, I overcome my mistakes, I mix paint until the color is right and perhaps lucky to have big eyes and good hand/eye coordination. The key is not to give up, just like all the champion legends of any field, sport or trade and takes discipline, tools and gifts. Aristotle first spoke of the sum of the parts, then Gestault in his theory and applies to analyzing what you do and focusing on each element. What set’s people apart is how close or detailed they look at things, if through their eyes, dirty glasses, blurry glasses, magnifying glass or microscope. I like to zoom in on the smallest detail I can see and paint, perhaps that sets me apart.
Using social media to market, interact and create my brand has taken years of proactively painting, donating, contacting and following up. That’s included content, experiences, conversations, pictures, video, comments, messages and more. My father was a business man, said you have to figure out how to make money with your art. I have 30 years professional sales experience and combine the two. I add in my acting experience so I try to make it all a fun show. It takes a lot of time and that’s a lot of experience, which sets me apart as an artist and business.
Artistically, I always say the proof is in the painting. I love to paint on canvas, but also created a patent pending layered painting technique called Plexual Vision. I basically paint on different panels of plexiglasss sandwiched together and the painting as a 3D effect and amazing paint changing visual. It’s painted in dimension, so what is close in the photo is on the first layer and what is in the distance, is painted on the last. I have painted as many as 6 layers, average 4 layers and dream of more. I have added illumination for extremely unique color changing and dimension effects. I have videos on my social media pages and website showing this and how the t-shirts print in dimension. It’s great idea for corporate brands and logos to get an Erik the Artist make over (see HBO Perry Mason painting video).
The valued lessons I have learned are all the keepers or the 8 K’s to keep ( Keep it Real, Keep it Honest, Keep it Simple, Keep your Focus, Keep your Cool, Keep your Passion, Keep your Love, Keep it Fun). The challenge is our time spent and we have only 24 hours a day. Time isn’t valuable, it’s priceless and so why let anyone waist it or take it away? I am Erik-Jan Pliner the Artist and I hope to colorfully inspire you to Take your Time and enjoy the Smallest Details.
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?
A week-long visit with my best friend would just be fantastic so much Los Angeles has to offer that we would try this.
Day #1 Picking my friend up at LAX, we would stop in Manhattan Beach, park at the Shade Hotel, walk down to the The Strand House (tastes to match the view) eat and drink there, Walk down to the end of the Pier visit the aquarium.
Day #2 – We leave Redondo Beach, taking the 405 N then via La Cienega Blvd, through the hills of Oil Pumps and famous movie scenes, then wind through Beverlywood into Beverly Hills and lunch at Nat N Al’s, walk down Rodeo where I worked at the Spy Shop, show the Beverly Wilshire Hotel from the movie Pretty Women, Tiffany’s, Rodeo 2, then drive up to Hollywood, show the Mann’s Chinese Theater, walk of fame, then drive up to Griffith Park Observatory to finish. Dinner at the world Famous Lawry’s The Prim Rib in Beverly Hills on la Cienega’s Restaurant Row.
Day #3 – Take PCH/Lincoln route to Santa Monica, stopping at Fisherman’s Village in Marina Del Rey where I proposed to my wife and lunch at Sapori Italian Restaurant. Then stop by Venice Beach, drive up to Santa Monica down to the pier, check out the main drag, back to the car to drive further up the cost to the Getty Villa Museum for a look at the artwork, sculptures, glass of wine and amazing views. Then we drive further up the coastline enjoying Malibu and all the way to Nobu for dinner hoping to run into Leo ask if he’s ready to commission some painting from me.
Day #4 – Chill out in South Bay, start at Uncle Bill’s Pancake House in Manhattan Beach, then to the Palos Verdes Beach & Athletic Club for a swim then to Nelson’s at Terranea for lunch. On the way home we’ll stop in Hermosa Beach hit Greenbelt for food and drinks with owner Mike. Walk around Hermosa and on our way home, pick up a White Chicken pizza and homemade handmade Calzone from Paisano’s Pizza New York style for later at night.
Day #5 – Going up to the Getty Museum, say hi to Vincent Van Gogh’ Irises painting and other priceless collections of art and artifacts from high a top Los Angeles with sweeping views! When we are done, we’ll go down the hill to Sunset Boulevard and drive the windy road past UCLA, all the big mansions to the Beverly Hills Hotel for a drink and snack at the Polo Lounge or Chateau Marmont, which ever my friend picks. Stop my the Sky Bar at the Mondrian for view and night cap then home.
Day #6-#7 Over Night 2 dauy trip taking the Catalina Express to Catalina Island. Here’s the best list of things and places thanks Captain Jason : Descanso Beach Club for food/drink -NDMK for fresh sushi and fish -Zip Line -Ropes obstacle course -Lovers Cove for snorkeling and feed the fish (bring peas or bread) -Cyclone boat ride to Two Harbors. Once there, hike/walk to Cat Harbor. Hike/walk above Cherry Cove. Eat/drink (Buffalo Milk is a must, Mai Tais are delicious) at the only bar/restaurant there. -Back in Avalon, easy hikes are the Botanical Gardens, Bell Tower/Hogsback, Wrigley Mansion road for beautiful views. -Nice dinner out at Steve’s Steakhouse, Lobster Trap for fresh and local caught seafood, BlueWater Grill, Avalon Grill. -Casual breakfast, lunch or early dinner at SandTrap. Delicious Mexican food with the best drinks, very casual atmosphere, mostly local hangout, mellow vibe. On the way to/from the Botanical Garden hike. Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My wife Ana Cristina, daughter Sophia Mayer Pliner and mother Christina “Tina” are all huge supporters of the foundation that my late father Harvey helped nurture and grow. My father always made sure I always had art supplies to create, it was my outlet as a child. They all deserve credit for the love and sacrifice it takes in building a business, a brand and to paint paintings. Much love to all the patrons who have purchased paintings & prints, bid on auction charity items and commissioned original paintings. Much love to Dawn and Chuck T who commissioned my latest Tim McGraw painting and wonderful McBuddies I’ve met Cheryl, Lisa, Marlinda, Dani, James, Michelle and Billy “Thunder. Obrigado a Brazilian thank you to my photographer Ruth de Souza for capturing so many amazing moments with my paintings, my story and my headshots( Instagram: photographer_ruthdesouza)
I’ve had great opportunities to work alongside great sales professionals and marketing geniuses with invaluable professional work experiences at the Spy Shop in Beverly Hills (Mr. Jamil family, Tommy Felice) where I was the TV spokesperson and had great clients like Leonardo Di Caprio (who I reunited with on set of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood). I told him I’d like to do a painting for him.
Big turning point was meeting Gavin Keilly’s sweet mom Henrietta by chance, leading to feature spot at GBK’s American Music Award Gifting Suite. From those social media pictures and posts, George Lopez noticed, reached out and invited me to be featured at his 2-Day charity event championed by Linda Small. That’s where I met Matt Barnes, working with Athletes vs. Cancer, and leading to NFL players Malcolm Jenkins, Rodney McLeod, Dontrelle Inman and Charisse Milano of Milano Consulting and PR Firm.
Last shout out to Von Miller of Von’s Vision, who’s a fantastic big sweet kid and NFL monster, who I am looking for final approval on doing a painting of him. If it is okay to throw a proactive Hail-Mary shout out Gisele Bündchen of my wife’s State of Rio Grande do Sol, LeBron James and Superbowl QB’s Tom Brady and Patrick Mahomes . These are 4 people I’d like to paint, have big followings, great smiles, and positive role models. Tag them, or if you know someone interested to commission and own the original. Always accepting commissions, great investment and huge potential for fundraising revenue.
Ruth de Souza Ihor Nahornov