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Taking the Leap to Become a Full-Time Artist with Erika Lee Sears

How do you take the leap from working full-time to becoming a full-time artist? Erika Lee Sears did just that when she felt unfulfilled by her day job. In this episode, Erika shares how she planned her exit, how she got her work out there by applying to everything which led to her work being featured in Portlandia and on the cover of Lana Del Ray’s recent album and book of poetry.

Erika Lee Sears is an oil painter from Portland, OR. As a self-taught artist who has painted all her life, Erika took the leap to retire from her profession in the banking industry to pursue her artistic endeavors full-time. She has gone on to be wildly successful in her social media endeavors striking up a following on Instagram of over 239 thousand followers. Erika is dedicated to making every day and shares insight into her studio practice, inspiration and how she balances her creative work with the business side of being an artist. Erika has a passion for capturing nature and elements in her immediate surroundings from fruits, food, and moments captured alone such as her bathtub series.

“You can always try something and see if it works for you and if it doesn’t, you are no worse for the wear”- Erika Lee Sears


-Take six months to plan your exit from your day job

-How she stays creative as a parent

-Be creative everyday

-The importance to having kids who know their mom is a business woman.

-Apply to everything

-The importance of networking

-Show up for your art

-Social media and connecting with people who love what you do

-Licensing your work

-Multiple streams of income as an artist

-Be authentic with your journey

-Allowing yourself to try something new

-How Erika deals with too many ideas

-Organization as an artist



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