Em-URGE-ing Voices

Your urgent thoughts, urging action

Artist We Love: Erika Moen

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August 8, 2016

What encouraged you to become an artist?
The friendships I made as a teenager with other kids who were passionate about art. We all egged each other on and supported each other and we’re all in the professional art world today as 30 year olds. My studio, Helioscope, has been absolutely invaluable in teaching me how to turn my creativity into a career. My community encouraged and enabled me to become an artist, really.

What is one of your favorite pieces that you have created over the years?
Collaborating weekly with Matthew Nolan on our comic Oh Joy Sex Toy is my proudest achievement of my life. In addition to that, I’ve spent the last several years making very slow progress on a painting and print series called Venerable Vegetable. I post pictures of my progress on Instagram under the tag #VenerableVegetable.


Who are the artists or activists that inspire you?
Steve Lieber and the rest of my studiomates at Helioscope.
Heather Corinna, the founder of Scarleteen.
Lucy Bellwood, Matt Bors, Dan Savage, Amanda Palmer, Jiz Lee, Shine Louise Houston, Isabella Rotman, Zoe Quinn, Jacq the Stripper, Tracy Puhl, Ellen Forney, C. Spike Trotman, Vex Ashley, Dwam, Melanie Gilman, Dr. Emily Nagoski, Sfé R. Monster, Lux Alptraum, Jamilah King, Sinclair Sexmith, Laci Green, Shing Yin Khor, Jess Fink, Cherry Rae, Claire Hummel, Brenna Zedan, and, oh lord, so many more that I am embarrassingly forgetting to include right now. These are people who write and create powerful, important, beautiful, challenging art.

Do you have any advice for budding talent out there?
Don’t wait for permission and don’t wait till you’re “good enough”. Whatever it is that you want to exist, start working on it. Give yourself permission to suck and just keep pushing forward, keep making progress.


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