We had the good fortune of connecting with Ed Eberhart and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ed, what role has risk played in your life or career?
I feel like “risk” is maybe a scarier word than it should/could be.
Wayyyyyyyy back in 2011, I was travelling 30-35 weeks a year with a job I didn’t really enjoy, and I was looking for a way out. I’d been painting and doing some marketing/design/photography projects, but never with any regularity or focus, and for sure never thought of doing so to pay bills. I had a ton of vacation pay/time saved up, so I put in my notice and committed myself to only working on things that interested me for a few months before finding a new full time job. It went better than I could have imagined, and I learned so much about work ethic, balance, and myself as I continued to do freelance work and produce commissioned art for a few more years.
Being brave is way easier than being regretful, and the consequences are very rarely as dire as we imagine they’ll be – “Leap and the net will appear,” as Mr. Burroughs said.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I’m self-taught, and though I’ve been painting and selling canvases for more than a decade now, I still feel like (with apologies to Vonnegut) an armless, legless man with a crayon in his mouth. If there is a silver lining to my relative lack of education and technique, it’s that I don’t have any pressure to be good – the freedom to make mistakes is always there for the taking because I don’t have anyone or anything to disappoint.
The best pieces always seem to come to fruition when I stop trying to steer the painting and more or less let it go where it wants. The right soundtrack helps, and I like starting with a basic plan, but my best work for sure comes through me rather than from me.
The most important lesson I’ve learned is that there’s no rhyme or reason as to which canvases sell. Once I accepted that I wasn’t smart enough to predict a piece’s value to an audience, it was way easier to just do what I wanted, whether that means a series on rappers and icons that we lost too soon (all sold very quickly) or a rumination on Big Trouble in Little China (currently hanging here in my office). It’s cliche and tired, but I really believe that the process is more important than the result, and any time spent making a mess in the studio is time well spent.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
If/when the world figures out how to safely gather without transmitting diseases, I would say a few things are mandatory.
– Dinner at BoccaLupo, specifically the chef’s tasting menu that changes every night.
– Drinks and games at Joystick.
– Dinner/drinks at Argosy in EAV.
– An early-morning drive up to Suches/Dahlonega/etc in a fun car.
– Pickup soccer at one of the MARTA station fields.
– Ice cream from Morelli’s.
– An Atlanta United home match.
– An afternoon at the High Museum.
– A motorcycle trackday at Road Atlanta.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
The only reason I’m able to make anything is that my wife is the most thoughtful, supportive person on the planet. She’s so patient and encouraging, no matter whether I’m getting up at 5 AM to go coach at the racetrack or spending all night in the studio. I don’t know what kind of art I’d be producing if I hadn’t met her, but I can’t imagine I’d feel as free and safe to chase down these ideas if she wasn’t around to help me make sense of them. I don’t know if it’s her training as a yoga instructor or her being exceptionally well-read, but she has a great sense for finding meaning in things beyond their surface, and she usually sees what a canvas is trying to say before I do.
track.jpg – Andrew Long EC racing.jpg – Blake Werner