Hi! I'm Erin Malick Thompson, an artist and designer, living in the Capitol Hill / Eastern Market area of Washington, DC, with my husband Matt, and our two children, Anna and Drew.
I've loved to draw and create since I was a young child. In high school, I would pay my sister in candy bars to let me draw her while she held still or slept. I started college majoring in Art but eventually graduated summa cum laude with a B.S. in Family & Community Services (University of Delaware) and thoughts about law school. I've made repeated attempts to follow more typical/societally-acceptable paths than becoming an artist (for example, working in consumer protection for the federal government), only to keep finding myself desiring to create. By the time my younger child was ready for preschool, I made the decision to try starting an art business, full-time (or, as full-time as you can when you have elementary school-aged children!)
Subject Matter, Inspiration, Medium, & Style
I've always been especially attracted to human subjects and drawing with pen — here's a collection of older sketches of fellow commuters, coffee-shop-goers, etc. It is a thrill to me to work very quickly to capture the essence of someone who may move and change position at any moment.
My work is line-heavy, because I'm drawn to the lines of a form — be it a human subject's pose or gesture, or a home/building's character. Among other things, my style is inspired by children's book illustration, and I like how pen and ink/watercolor or all-graphite can give a nostalgic, precious, storybook-like, illustrative feel to my artwork. This feels right for capturing the subjects I love: meaningful moments of togetherness between parents and children or between siblings, memories of places we've loved, objects that have held meaning for us or loved ones, beloved pets, etc.
Transitions like the end of breastfeeding, adding a new baby to our family, and sending my youngest off to preschool, were all extremely challenging, emotional, meaningful times for me. Art has been my way of comprehending and managing these emotions, capturing fleeting moments for myself, and trying to help others have a tangible, lasting reminder of moments, places, and objects of meaning in their own lives.
The concepts of loss and change are a significant source of inspiration for me. My family lost our home to a devastating fire when I was in high school. Many years later, my parents suffered a second house fire, losing the home they rebuilt after the first fire. These losses gave me an appreciation for the meaning and import of one's home and the memories it can hold.
I have also been captivated by DC and the Capitol Hill neighborhood where I live since I moved to the city in 2000 (and to the neighborhood in 2001). I take countless photos as I walk the neighborhood streets and constantly feel the urge to return home and make art from them. It is an honor to be asked to depict so many homes and buildings around our neighborhood and the broader DC!