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photo of Erika

Erika Reichert

IG: @erikareichertillustrations

Brooklyn, NY

Erika is a native New Yorker and illustrator/animator with a particular interest in character design and world building. She graduated with an AAS in illustration from the Fashion Institute of Technology and a BFA in animation from the School of Visual Arts. She also studied and is fascinated by feminist film theory in horror movies particularly, loves to analyze the feminist aspects of film and media, and just genuinely loves a good movie.


Spotlight on Erika


Tell us a little about yourself.

My name is Erika and I am a recent college graduate, a part-time freelance illustrator, and an aspiring full-time character designer/animator for film. I moved from Long Island to New York City right after I graduated high school to go to college. I’ve stayed here ever since and now reside in Brooklyn and hope very soon to make the move to California. I have been creating art and writing stories and characters ever since I was a very young child and I wouldn’t trade the ability to do so for the world.


What is the primary medium for your art?

Digital art is my favorite medium. I enjoy working my way around various programs and I feel as if art becomes magical when you figure them out. You can do endless things on the programs I like best: Procreate, Sai, and Photoshop.


What made you pursue the arts?

It has been the one thing throughout my entire life that I knew I had to do. Almost as if there couldn’t possibly be another option for me! When I was a very young child, my dad used to teach me how to draw. He would demonstrate (and entertain) me by drawing Pokémon. I was so fascinated that I immediately took to the craft and unlocked a world of fantasy and imagination. I’ve kept at it ever since then because I want to tell amazing stories.


What’s your favorite part about being an artist?

It’s hard to think of just one! The endlessness to what your imagination has to offer, and the satisfaction and fulfilled feeling when you complete something you worked so hard on.


What is your artistic process like?

There are two ways I usually go about creating work. The first is doing a lot of thinking, mental planning, research, note-taking, etc. I like to make sure I will have access to proper reference if needed. The second is diving headfirst into absolutely anything that comes to mind, and then just letting my hand go to work at trying to flesh out my idea. I always start with a basic sketch. My process always involves listening to music or a podcast!


Describe your experience as a female artist in a male dominated industry?

We are often overlooked. It’s difficult to watch credits roll to an animated film and see that the artists were all men, maybe one or even two (if you’re lucky) female names seen across the whole board. It makes you want to change it. It makes you want to succeed even more. And then you see these up and coming female artists becoming show runners, content creators, directors, and you cling to that "with all you got" because you have to remember it is possible.


Where do you draw your inspiration from?

I draw my inspiration from everything around me, but mostly it is from movies and shows that I watch. I am very into how stories are told, how characters are written, and it is something I pay very close attention to.


What does the theme “Time to Shine” mean to you?

‘Time to Shine,’ to me, means empowerment for women and to feel confidence in themselves, who they are, their appearance, and being unafraid to fully express that in every way they can to show the world their individuality and strength. ‘Time to Shine’ can feel especially applicable now today, because more and more women are taking the stand and making themselves be seen. And it’s great.