The Art & Energy of Erica Wildman
Abstract forms, vivid colors and a mixture of media shine in the works of Austin-based artist Erica Wildman.
Her work, on oversized canvases that beg to be appreciated in person, has been described as “classy, yet down to earth,” and “full of life.” Each piece she creates radiates a sense of playful freedom, brought forth by the creative mind of an artist unhindered by fear.
Wildman has a dedicated (and growing) following in the Austin area, and has built a successful career as an artist through both sales of current works and commissioned pieces. But unlike many artists, Wildman has no formal training – instead, she came to the art world through a family with extensive creative juice (her father is also an artist) and the need to jazz up her blank office walls.
“I spent 12 years in finance,” she said. “In 2006, I decided I wanted some color on the walls of my office and thought, ‘what the heck, I’m going to try to paint something.’” That night, she purchased a canvas and paint, and let her imagination and intuition take it from there. “A week or so later, there was a gentleman that entered my office and loved the painting. He asked me who the artist was, and I shyly answered me.” This chance encounter propelled Wildman to start thinking of art as a possible career. “That man happened to own a small gallery, and my work hung there for 8 months. That exposure in a real gallery gave me confidence that maybe there was a future for my art beyond just a hobby.”
And indeed, there was. By 2010, designers were contacting her for art to display on home tours – following which, the pieces sold. And so, with no backup plan, Wildman left the finance world and dove headfirst into a career in art. “Truly, there was no plan!” she exclaimed. “I knew that I wanted to keep my eyes on the ball and stay micro-focused so that I could make something of myself. I felt if I had a plan B that would be too easy for me to have an “excuse” for this new path not to work.”
“I love color, having no rules and allowing myself the freedom to paint as free as the wind blowing,” Wildman remarked. She credits her impressive lack of inhibition with her lack of formal training. “Unlike most professional artists, I take great pride in not being formerly trained. It allows my creative abilities to work in the most organic form without the liabilities of doing something ‘wrong.’ I create with an open, raw mind, giving me my edge and my unique style.”
Wildman remains in awe of the reception her art has received, and still feels gratified with each and every sale. “My biggest accomplishment is the amazing followers that support and love me and allow me to have a lucrative career in art,” she mused. “When someone decides to buy my art, there is this high that comes with that. It’s a feeling that never changes or gets old.”
Jet Linx San Antonio was thrilled to partner with Wildman for her June 2016 Summer Art Show at the W Hotel. Nearly 500 people attended the event, which offered a fun night of sipping cocktails, mingling with friends, listening to the tunes of DJ Madcoin and his trumpet player, and viewing Wildman’s latest works. “I like to create a laid-back vibe so everyone is having fun, regardless of if they are only admiring the art,” Wildman commented. Daniel Kearns, Jet Linx San Antonio Vice President of Sales, knew instantly that the event would be a hit. “Jet Linx San Antonio had a great time supporting our local art community, and we are very glad at the positive response of attendees. Erica has an incredible following in Austin, and we were delighted to sponsor her show and meet her art patrons.”
Wildman sees many similarities between those who collect art and those who choose private aviation. “Both art and jet hours are things people want and don’t need,” she noted. “There is a level of service and emotional connection that should be expected with each. I am proud to go the extra mile for my clients, offering art consultations free of charge and producing commissioned pieces customized to their wants, needs, and desires. Jet Linx, with their incredible commitment to their clients and dedication to providing a value-added private aviation experience, was a natural partner for my Summer Art Show.”
Kearns noted, “I have been in Austin 16 years, and every single day, I get more and more questions about flying private. Austin is now a premier destination, and makes sense that more and more people are flying private out of Austin. We were delighted to share Jet Linx San Antonio with the Austin event attendees.”
Wildman continues to let her imagination run wild, plotting a course for additional creative pursuits including the creation of an accessories line and plans for a Gallery Wine Bar. “That idea combines two things I love,” she noted with a smile.