We had the good fortune of connecting with Eryion Williams and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Eryion, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
I started painting at the end of 2018 as a way to cope with my anxiety, depression, and panic attacks. I started going to therapy and we were trying to figure out what hobbies I could do that would help alleviate my anxiety. I remembered attending a paint party a couple years prior where I felt very relaxed ,so I decided to take on painting. I originally started sharing my art to let others know that they were not alone in their mental health struggles. Although I saw so many amazing artists that were succeeding in sharing and selling their art, I never thought that I could pursue a career in it. The more I posted, the more people began asking if I sold prints or personal pieces so I opened a shop where I sell clothing, stickers, prints, and other items that display my art. I will also be starting a blog in 2022 about mental health on my website www.artsijai.com. The main goal of me sharing my art has not changed. I still want people to know that they are not alone and being able to sell my art is just a plus!
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I am twenty three and still growing in my art and within myself. It was not easy to get to where I am today because social media can be a very toxic place so sharing new pieces and different things about my mental health is always preceded by an immense amount of anxiety. Luckily, the community that has been created on my page welcomes my art with open arms and my comments are full of love, but that’s not everyone else’s experience. Not only can social media be toxic, but with the constantly changing algorithms, it can be discouraging to work on something for hours, if not weeks and not receive a lot of likes or engagement on a post. What I have come to learn is that likes do not equal value. I create for myself and no one else, so as long as I am pleased with my work, nothing else matters.
My brand was created to show others that they are not alone in their mental health struggles and to show more Black people in art. My art embodies all different sides of myself: the vulnerability, the spirituality, the femininity, and all the other parts of me that I am still exploring. The majority of my subjects are Black and female because that’s who I am and though each painting may not be of me, there’s a piece of me in everything that I paint.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
If my best friend was visiting the area, I would have to of course show them Downtown Los Angeles first. There’s so much art and culture that are must sees for anyone who decides to vacation out here. We would have to go to The Broad Museum, not only to see the art, but to visit the Infinity room. They also have a few interactive art experiences that would be fun to go to like the Selfie Museum or World of Illusions. Next we’d definitely have to hit up the Westfield Century Mall to shop because it’s huge and has so many stores to choose from. During that week, we’d go to the beach, Universal Studios and eat at Taco Nazo. Los Angeles is known for its Mexican food and Taco Nazo is in my top three favorite places to eat. There’s an enormous amount of activities to take part in , so we would literally be able to park anywhere and just walk around exploring.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would like to dedicate my success to God, my online supporters, my family, and my PR Consultant Farrah Wynn of Elite Performance. Without God, I would not even have the gift of painting. I love my online community because we’ve created a space that is kind and uplifting. My family and friends have supported me through every step of my journey and Farrah has helped me to reach many goals that I did not see possible. Without them, I would not have experienced the growth that I have and I can’t wait to see what the future holds!
Photos that display me in a black turtle neck and tan pants were taken by Diamond Williams of @the.eye.visuals.