artist spotlight : erin fickert-rowland

Today I am so thrilled to share an interview with a lovely lady and a fellow artist , Erin Fickert-Rowland !  
Erin is a talented painter, jewellery designer, textile artist , owner of Elysian Studios and also ... my Bead Soup Blog Party Partner. You might be asking What does that mean? Well, I will write more on that in a different post :) }

 How long have you been creating ?
Like you, I’ve been creating ever since I can remember.  I was often left with pens,pencils, crayons and paper to entertain myself while my parents were working.  I’ve also always been obsessed with books.  I love to read them and look at their beautiful pictures.  Since I was a child  I’ve always made some sort of book- whether it was drawings in a sketch book, or my own fashion illustrations!  Being an artist is just who I am at this point- I am constantly taking in information, putting my own spin on it, and creating new things. 

How did you choose the name Elysian Studios?
Where I live, just outside of Denver, Colorado in the U.S., we have these beautiful ornamental grasses that develop this gorgeous wheat plumage every late summer/fall.  They come up to your waist and you can just run your fingers over the tops of them.  I absolutely love them and never grow tired of looking at them.  They reminded me of a scene from the movie “Gladiator,” where Russell Crowe thinks fondly of his home and the similar grasses in the field. In the movie his character refers to “Elysium”, which originally the Greek term for the afterlife, but later became “Elysian Fields”, and is associated with the concept of “Paradise.”  For me, Creativity is Paradise, and it comes in many forms.  I want “Elysian Studios” to reflect that feeling of bliss.

Do you have any formal training in jewelry or art?
I do! I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Art, with an emphasis on painting.  I obtained minors in both Philosophy and Art History.  I have also worked as the coordinator for an art gallery in California, and as the assistant manager of a framing shop. 

What inspires you?
So many things! Nature, music, literature, art (both historical and contemporary), fashion and the work of contemporary jewelry artists

What are your favorite materials to work with?
Paint, fabric and gemstones!  Though I sometimes blur the lines between them, I just can’t be a “mixed media” artist.  I have to make paintings, and I have to make jewelry- The textile work is where I start to get to play with mixing concepts from both (you can see a piece here ). It’s a lot of fun, but the most time consuming!  My favorite part about all of these materials is their tactility.  I work with thick oil paint and love to feel it “smoosh” around.  I love hearing gemstones clink and roll around in my palm, and feeling their different textures.  Fabric is also so thrilling because of all of the forms it can take, and I love the raw, fraying edges the most!

How would you describe your creations in five words?
Colorful.  Textural.  Experimental.  Thoughtful.  Sincere.

What have been the biggest challenges faced so far as a designer ?
1. I put my career on hold for 10 years while I started a family and began to raise two boys ( they are now 11 and 7 ). I returned to my art full time about a year ago, and getting back into it has been extremely challenging ( but I’m loving it! )
2. Because I work in three mediums, it has been hard to develop a serious body of work in any one of them.  I have been bouncing back and forth a bit, but am now taking the time to stop and work in each medium.  One always informs the other, so I just can’t give any of them up!
3. Finding the balance between what I want to do and what I think my audience will like.  My home (and most of my extended family’s) is filled with my art- now it’s time to share this work with others! Figuring out what type of work resonates with my audience, that is authentically mine, is quite a challenge!

Who are your favourite artists?
Picasso, Matisse, Van Gogh, O’Keefe, Henry Moore, Walt Disney, Wassily Kandinsky, Michelangelo
I know most people would probably rattle off the same names, but each one of these artists has affected my artistic career in very powerful ways.  All of them were passionate about color and made such important contributions to Art as we know it.  Most of them also worked in multiple mediums, and I find such comfort in that! 

What are you working on right now? Do you have any upcoming projects?
I have one more line of jewelry that I am going to make (some of the pieces will be in the bead soup reveal!)- I will have then completed six collections of jewelry, and will have a nice inventory of pieces.
After that, I’m going to finish a series of twelve paintings I am working on, which are still lives of Apilco porcelain (you can see one of them here ).
  I am using this white porcelain as a way to intensely study color, and to start to really develop my “style” in painting. 

If you had to design jewellery for a celebrity who would she be?
Zoey Deschanel… no question.  I love her! She always looks amazing, and has a quirky, artsy vibe.  I am so excited to see her in her new sitcom this fall - and she is married to the lead singer of one of my favorite bands: “Death Cab for Cutie”!

What 5 accessories do you believe every woman should have?
1. good lingerie…. If the base of your outfit everyday doesn’t fit properly it just ruins the whole thing!

2. boots (in all heights and colors!) I am obsessed with boots….

3. a beautiful big, slouchy handbag in tan leather (it goes with almost everything!)… buy the best you can afford (even if it’s fake leather)

4. at least one statement necklace- they make a simple, mundane outfit look like a million bucks!

5. a snowboard and a rockin’ snow outfit (haha! I am a snowboader and I love, love, love it!)- but really, every woman should have at least one physical activity that makes her feel amazing, and a great outfit to do it in!


Check out more of Erin's work :
or visit her blog where you will find many  tutorials, food recipes, style and shopping advice, fabulous inspiration collages, beautiful photography  and lots more;
and say 'Hi' on her Facebook page or Twitter

Want to find out more about my work, what inspires me and future projects?  Check out Erin's interview !


  1. Hello! I found you through Erins blog - she is such a sweet thoughtful friend as well as a jewelry maker : ) . Your work is stunning - I will be thrilled to peek at both your soups!

  2. Hello! I am happy to see you here!
    Erin is indeed a very talented and super friendly girl!
    Thank you - just started working on a few pieces for the Big Hop Day :)