Incarcerated: 5 years
Interviewed by our inside team: Edwin and Miguel
How would you describe yourself?
I am a loyal, honest, driven person. I like to set goals and accomplish them. I have artistic goals and am trying to sell my art online to help my wife financially since she supports me in here. I design artwork on T-shirts, posters and coffee mugs. Morally she’s all my support. She likes my art a lot and believes in helping me be successful. Art is my creative, positive passion. I was missing that in my life and they may be missing that in their life.
Is that why you got into art?
Yes. It took me to come to prison to see I need to be creative to have a job, it’s how I feel fulfilled. I’m able to show my personality while telling a story. I use it as a healing tool. It brings me extreme happiness, satisfaction and a sense of euphoria that I created something new. Growing up my parents were not there for me emotionally. They did not praise or tell me I was doing anything right. In creating art, I give myself a sense of reassurance that I never received. I can praise myself. I started drawing as a kid in seventh grade. I was a natural. I left it alone for years until I saw others in prison doing it as a way to pass the time and stay occupied. It took off then.
Tell us about your tattoos.
In junior high, I was a chubby, geek. I liked video games, movies, and comic books – like Batman and X-men. My tattoos are an extension of that. On one arm is video games and the other is a haunted Halloween theme. I was an eccentric before I came to prison, 6’3″ hipster. I stick out in here.
Were you in the shadows as a kid?
Yes, I was extremely introverted. I only had a few friends in high school and the same ones after. I was bad at reading social cues. I’m more open to talk to people and extroverted now. In prison, it’s not good for your health to be an extrovert or too friendly.
What are your future plans?
I want to accomplish a successful online art business, get an AA degree in sociology and develop a deeper relationship with my wife. I want to maintain inner peace.
📸Erick’s wife Christine