Hi! Hello! Bonjour! And greetings to you!
Whether you are here checking out my art, do you need some one of a kind work for your business or current project to really stand out, maybe you need some beautifully memorable custom artwork to give as a gift, perhaps you are here to read trail reports or thru-hiking tales and found yourself pondering over to the artwork side of things – either way, I am certainly glad you made it, welcome and may I just say .. Thank You!
So, who am I?
My name is Erik and I simply love to create things! Whether it is a mind-consuming pen and ink line drawing, a beautiful timeless photograph, a new logo for your company or the tiny home that I am in the process of constructing within the shell of my 2005 IC Corp school bus – I have been known to pour my heart into everything I do!
Bear with me as we take a quick trip back in time; I grew up with a very creative mother who would paint her psychedelic imagery on anything she could get her mits on (no surprise that passion got passed down, we are both left-handed!), so naturally, I began drawing pictures of race cars, trees, bikes and eventually my favorite band logos became the standard on all of my school notebooks.. to the extent that I can recall being the ‘go-to’ from a very early age when friends wanted their favorite cartoon characters showcased on their new school gear!
Fast forward a few years to somewhere around 1998.
Growing up in Upstate New York, we took occasional trips to Manhattan in NYC where my mind became flooded with images of subway cars tagged and spray painted in every color of the rainbow. From that point on, I was hooked on the graffiti lifestyle!
Luckily for me and my crime record, I kept my “tagging” still to notebooks and painting primarily to my bedroom walls and scrap pieces of plywood.. constantly awaiting my big break where I would be the next big graffiti artist – in my mind I saw the end years later where I was the next Warhol.. however, did not know how to get from point A to point B.
When I graduated from high school I had no idea what “career” I wanted, couldn’t tack a name on it – all I knew was that I wanted a life of art! I applied to a local college and got accepted to their Fine Arts program, learning of the news my friends and family quickly talked me out of the decision with the argument, “what can you be with that degree.. an art teacher?“.
After a year of Automotive classes, I quickly realized that I enjoyed working on my car.. not other peoples greasy cars and that a life of Automotive Technician was probably not something that I wanted to pursue!
In 2006, I made the Presidents List and graduated with my Associate’s Degree in Computer Aided Drafting & Design. I felt as if I found a field that I enjoyed enough to see myself in for many years to come. I deeply enjoyed the preciseness of the work whether drafting by hand or computer, using the tools to produce and manufacture goods was a dream come true for the left side of my brain.
Unfortunately, I was highly discouraged after dressing my best, going through the interview process (many, many times..), just to be asked time and time again if I had the 5+ years of experience they were looking for.
So with my new piece of paper in hand, I went back to the same college in Upstate New York to take part in a new program they had just launched: Digital Media.
This curriculum became some of my most favorite that I had ever sat in on; History of Photography, Digital Photography, Website Design, Movie and Short Film Production, Illustration and Photo Editing became what I consumed for the coming months (I took the Certificate program at my pace which allowed me to continue working full time on the side).
I loved to show up to class where I could create logos and manipulate photographs or see the result of mind boggling C++ programming. In my mind I would think to myself, “they pay people to do this when I’ve been messing with Adobe for the past ten years!”.
By this point, lets say 2010, my own artwork had become a kind of “thing”, you could say.
I had joined the Upstate Artists Guild and had canvas work displayed (and SOLD!!) on Lark Street in downtown Albany, NY. I took photos of the first check I received from that shows sales and remember thinking that I had officially made it into the art world!
Around this time, I enjoyed winning 2nd place for my photography in a Nature Art Show at a local conservation center, I felt as if I was living the life that my 16 year old self dreamt up in the back of class!
I was beginning to strike up business from clients from far away places, cities that I had thenceforth not yet visited and was soon shipping custom aerosol (spray paint with acrylic on canvas) artwork to places like California and Alabama. I loved the creation process and when I would receive photos of my artwork displayed proudly on the walls of my new friends, those were moments I’ll forever cherish!
Fast forward a few years, I have since moved a few times and now find myself in New Hampshire still creating – although my focus has now switched from the “paint everything” graffiti mindset to one of a deeper connection with nature. I still love photography and take part in it almost daily, but lately my direction has been to fine linework and producing details in my work like never seen before!
I suppose at this point in my life, what I produce has a strong influence from all aspects of my life; the digitally rendered artwork combined with the fine detail and crisp linework of drafting all while trying to remain mindful and grounded with nature and my surroundings.
Upon relocating to New Hampshire, following a multi-month-long journey around the United States (including several lay-over nights in Canada), my then partner and I found ourselves handing over cash for a 35′ retired school bus from Delaware with the intent of converting and building it into our tiny home to take back around our beloved country.
Oh my, how times change!
I am still building our dream bus.. solo. Not far into our building journey we came up with a thousand and one names for our project bus and only one stuck: Summit. Some may remember our Instagram page where we were documenting our build process to look back on many miles down the road; Summit Shenanigans.
I couldn’t bring myself to change the name of my bus and today it remains my Summit. However, being the sole occupant of my tiny home on wheels it has now been dubbed Summit Studios; a place of free-thinking where I can let the creative process flow.
Whether I want to roll my home to the Badlands of South Dakota or wake up with my cup of coffee drawing images of the iconic Half Dome in Yosemite National Park, I have the freedom to roam any place I can find a path capable of hosting eight thousand pounds!
That is just about where my story ends, I am still working on writing the best version of it every day. I hope you find that you or your business would like to take part and write me into your journey – please feel free to email me with any questions or even to see what new tricks are up my sleeve.. I may just be the perfect fit for your creative needs!
Thanks so much for reading along – I hope to talk with you soon or see you on the trails!
Erik Hamilton, happy owner of Summit Studios