I am an Artist,  Oregon

I am an artist: Erin Please

1. Why are you an artist?
I’ve always figured I started making art because I grew up poor and art gives me one more marketable skill on my resume that is more meritocratic than learned. On the flip, I’ve never trusted an artist that came out of an art school.

2. Is there a concept behind your work? If so, please tell us about it.
I like to make things I find to be aesthetically pleasant. If it doesn’t look good, I’m going to paint over it.

3. Why do you use the medium that you use?
I’ve never had the patience for oil paints; they take too long. Even on arid summer days, you can find me with a hair dryer over my acrylic paintings. I don’t like to put too much thought into my work and I hope it shows.

4. Is your work a diary?
I’ve wondered if in thematics or color choice I might be memetically replicating things I may have seen before. I hope not.

5. What role does humor play in your work?
Humor plays a large role in my work. This humor is mostly based in self-degradation.

6. What is the role of the artist in our society? and in Oregon?
To counter anything that will lend itself to a slick advertisement.
In Oregon… well, after spending my entire life here, I’ve given up on Portland. Bigger fish to fry, etc.

7. Where do you see yourself as an artist in 5 years?
In another city, working a job that frustrates me for eight hours a day. Painting on my days off.

8. What are your ultimate goals as an artist?
I haven’t thought about that. A new question to ask myself.

9. What does art mean to you?
Untaxed secondary income.


  • Anonymous

    I can’t figure out if any of his answers are serious. I almost feel like they are a performance of some sort.

  • erin please

    Ah, well. I used to have a hard time even being labeled as “an artist”. Just because I don’t have a curriculum vitae or an art history degree, it doesn’t get me down. The question posed about the role of humor in my work best states my feelings towards the climate of the city I show my paintings in, I’m pretty self-degrading. It’s a form of gallows humor. Taking the serious and making it more fun. You can always check out my blog at http://erinplease.blogspot.com to gain a better sense of who I am.

  • Frankie

    You know I have never thought about using a hair dryer. I’m from the desert and since moving to PDX I’ve found it a pain in the a$$ waiting for my stuff to dry. Thanks for the tip!