Gravel Shows Fan Art at Art World Expo Edmonton

by Monika Blichar

I found Eric on Instagram and reached out to ask him if he was interested in participate in the Art World Expo in Edmonton. I loved his fan art work and thought he make a nice addition to the event since our show themes this year are “Celebrating Cinema!” The power of social media is so amazing these days! I caught up with Eric and asked him about his work, inspiration and what he would do if he had an unlimited bank account…his answer to that question is awesome!

Web- Arrow Print - Eric Gravel (1).jpg

What inspires you to make art? 
I’ve always had deep love and appreciation for drawing. But what really motivates me to continue creating art is seeing how people react to it in such a positive way. Whether it’s the excitement that someone gets when seeing a character that we share a love for in my fan art, seeing themselves drawn as one of their favourite characters, or something else! It’s immensely motivating!
When did you know you wanted to pursue your art as a business?
 
I’ve always drawn for fun, but when I started to see that other people get pleasure from it as well (and are willing to pay money for it) I realized that it’s something that I could actually turn into a business. It started with selling my own comic books and drawings in Elementary school and evolved into what it is now!
Web- Buffy the Vampire Slayer Print - Eric Gravel (1).jpg
 
We met via social media. How does social media help you market your art products today versus what artists had to do say 10 or 20 years ago to “get out there?”
 
I’d say a strong social media presence is a key element to any successful business. It was more or less the same 20 years ago, though the avenues may have been a little different then. Instead of marketing through selling commissions through eBay, DeviantArt and DigitalWebbing, I can now save time making posts, and reach a much wider audience, through the likes of Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.
 
This will be your first Art World Expo event. Will you have any never before seen work or show specials for our event on April 12? 
 
I’ll have a new fan art print for sale this weekend of a certain Marvel superhero that’s graced the theaters recently. Available in 3 different sizes! Every purchase at Art World Expo will also earn you an entry to win a portrait sketch of yourself (or someone you know) drawn as a favourite character!
 
Your IG profile says that you create “Fan Art and other Nerdy Goodness.” Can you elaborate on what Fan Art is and why it’s cool to be a nerd? We love art nerds in particular!  
 
Fan Art is artwork that is created as an expression of love for a certain franchise, usually found in pop culture but not necessarily. It’s about expressing a love for something you get pleasure from, and sharing it with others who might also share in that same love.
I think being a nerd is about having a deep love for any specific thing, wether it be art, pop culture, music, or sports nerds. In the wake of the internet and expos like this one, people are more capable now more than ever of realizing that they’re actually a part of a much bigger community of obsessed fans than they ever thought possible.
Just for fun, if you woke up and suddenly had access to an unlimited bank account, what would you tomorrow?
 
I’ve just recently gotten engaged with a truly amazing woman, and we’ll soon be moving into what might as well be our dream home with our two awesome boys (possession date on April 25!). On top of that, I’m lucky enough to be in a position where I get to do what I love for a living! I can honestly say life is pretty perfect right now and no amount of money could make any of that better than it already is!
👨🎨
To learn more about Eric’s work, be sure to visit him tonight at the show and connect with him on social media!
Web- Star Wars Print- Leia - Eric Gravel (1).jpg

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