We had the good fortune of connecting with Erika Donaghy and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Erika, what role has risk played in your life or career?
Everything about starting a business as an artist has felt so risky to me! I’m a naturally risk averse person, but over the years I have learned to take the risks that matter. It helps that my husband is very supportive and pushed me to take the leap. I had to start with small risks and work my way up to the big ones. Sharing my art publicly was the beginning and a very low risk proposition. This spring I built my own ceramics studio. That’s the biggest risk I have taken and has much bigger consequences if the business doesn’t pan out. However, I would much rather have taken the risk and failed than not have taken the risk at all and live my whole life in a job where I wasn’t happy and fulfilled.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
The way I have gotten to where I am in my career (which is still at the beginning, by the way) has been to say yes to almost anything. Is it a request for a mural that is definitely outside of my comfort zone. Great, I’ll do it. Does it scare the crap out of me? Do it. For the most part I have sought out opportunities that push my boundaries and challenge my skill set. Good things come from being a little bit uncomfortable.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Living in the mountains is really special, and sharing it with my favorite people is even better. My favorite thing to do with friends right now is take my kayaks out on Lake Dillon and have a beer at the Tiki Bar afterwards. Summer is fleeting up here, so we have to make the most of it.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My shoutout is for my husband. He has been incredibly supportive of my journey to make a living as an artist. He spent pretty much all spring helping me finish a shed in our backyard and turn into the ceramic studio of my dreams. I am so appreciative of all his hard work in drywalling, tiling, replacing windows, helping me troubleshoot my kiln, and everything else he has done to make my dreams a reality.
First image (of me): Heather Distad