Currently on display at The Gallery on Main, ‘Voyagers’ by Red Deer artist Erin Boake, is something of a new venture for her in her career as an artist.
Boake said she got the idea for the ‘Voyagers’ series after doing some traveling and having several friends ask her if she would be doing artwork inspired by her trip.
However, Boake said she normally does not get her inspiration from such ventures.
But, she was willing to give it a try this time. She said she started thinking of how to tell the stories through her artwork. What she came up with was a way to make her art suggest an event that is going on, but allows for the viewer to fill in the blanks however they like.
“These pieces are based on experiences that I had while traveling, but they are kind of in a void,” said Boake.
“The environment is left for the viewer to figure out.”
Boake said she has been drawing and painting since she was a child. She said that she discovered a passion for art at a young age.
As she grew up, that passion led her to pursue a career in the field.
Boake studied art at Red Deer College and Alberta College of Art and Design (ACAD) in Calgary.
She said studying art and having a career doing art, or at least something related to it, seemed a natural choice.
“I never really thought about doing anything else. I’ve been really involved in the arts, I really enjoy it.”
Before going to school, art was more of a hobby for Boake and something she enjoyed doing because she was good at it. In school, she began taking her art more seriously.
Getting formal training as an artist has been very beneficial for Boake.
“I think I’ve learned a lot of stuff at school that I wouldn’t have learned on my own.”
She added that getting an education in art also helped her learn how to take criticism and to critique herself as well. She said this is important because it can be hard for her, or any artist, to see her mistakes and where she needs to improve.
However, Boake said this is essential in the growth of an artist.
She added that she has enjoyed getting an education in art and plans to further her education in the future.
Now, Boake has been a professional artist for about 11 years. She said that because of the financial challenges that come with being an artist she has often taken other jobs to supplement income from her paintings and drawings. However, she has always been in positions related to the arts.
Often, Boake has taken positions in teaching. She said she started by teaching summer camps in Red Deer and now has taught all over Central Alberta and in Iqaluit, Nunavut as well.
When teaching, Boake does not only teach drawing and painting skills, the disciplines she practices, but other aspects of art like sculpture and clay work. She said this is beneficial to her because it helps her develop her creativity in other ways. Boake added she enjoys teaching because it is a way to stay involved with the arts and share her passion.
“I just like to share my passion and creativity. I love to see other people get excited about making art.”
Teaching also allow Boake to work with kids, which is something she enjoys.
“It’s really enjoyable and invigorating to work with kids.”