For artist and curator Erin Przekop, it took temporarily leaving New York and hiking the Inca Trail in Peru for her to realize she needed a change. The former fashion designer, who worked the grueling pace of the fashion industry for over a decade, was feeling increasingly less satisfied with her creative process. And as clothing production shifted overseas, she missed the direct interaction with sewers and drapers.
“I felt like I was lacking the creative banter we used to have,” says Przekop. “It led me to think I have to get back to what I’m truly impassioned by, not to find a way to collect and gather the hottest new disposable thing.”
This realization inspired her to open Fiercely Curious, a collective of artists based in Brooklyn, along with her partner in art and life Tom Critchlow. Przekop promotes their art through online boutiques, pop-up gallery shows, and private studio visits, all with the goal of bringing clients closer to the art and the artist — sort of like playing matchmaker between artists and buyers.
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As a hybrid curator/artist/entrepreneur, Przekop is one of many creative types striving for that delicate balance between pursuing her passion, and finding a practical way to pay the bills. In this first installment in our series on artist entrepreneurs, Przekop shares how she stays focused, inspired — and sane.
Name: Erin Przekop
Creative Endeavor: Artist, curator, fashion designer
Business: Fiercely Curious and Fiercely Made
Where do you turn for inspiration? Artist's studios. They are magical places. Galleries and museums often carry similar excitement and energy. I love having conversations with creatives and hearing their story.
What gets you unstuck? After talking with artists, my head is reeling with sparks and synapses and I can't wait to tackle that thing that I was so uncertain of before.
What are your foolproof sources of inspiration? Music. My heart beats to the guitar riffs and drum beats of the Black Keys and Jack White, so they are often a creative breakthrough requirement!
Instagram. I follow creatives who post stunning works in progress, new projects, beautiful design, home decor, art, illustration, inspirational sketches. For me, using Instagram is like sifting through a creative journal. Design porn, if you will.
Creative Mornings: If you don't know it, you should. They give you free coffee and pastries and then someone very inspiring talks for 45 minutes on any given Friday morning. Paula Scher at her talk at the MoMa pointed out that it's when she allows herself to be bored, staring off into the distance in the back of a taxi cab, is when she comes up with her best work.
How or where do you unwind on the weekend? Yoga, swimming, the Brooklyn waterfront, coffee shops, on my couch cuddled with my cat, my partner, and a good flick or book.
What’s your biggest challenge as a creative person? Balance. Carving out equal time for both my business and my creative endeavors. If you can find a way to meld those words together, one can inform and inspire the other. That’s the happy place.
Zooming out: I'm a details addict and can get caught up working small tasks to perfection. Life is too short to linger on just one thing when your creative juices are flowing. In order to not lose steam, I physically get up, move around, walk away and remember to come back without my microscopic lens.
Any words of wisdom for fellow artist entrepreneurs? It is important to remind myself that nothing spectacular just "happens" (except for the Northern Lights. They just "happen" and it's totally mind -blowing). Other than that, it's good old grit, patience, hard work and time.