For a long time .. I went by the name Poncho. When I say a long time, I mean like close to 13-14 years. It's a nickname I received in bar from a drunk soon-to-be close friend while serving in the Army. Being one that had grown up being the quiet or shy only child doodling in the corner or the back of the class while carefully coddling my less than inspiring self-esteem and insecurites, the Army, while a horrible place for an artist to be trapped, provided me with an abundance of friends and forced me to be a part of something. Obviously, it was a great feeling to have my tight group of brothers latch on to a nickname. I mattered. I was Poncho.
Don't ask me why it took a nickname to feel that way. I do know it had a little bit or perhaps alot to do with self-loathing, my dreaded enemy to this day, or to the constant drift towards the subconscious comfort of being a loner or outcast, cause ya can't get hurt if you cut everyone off, right? Maybe you can relate, I don't know? I do know that it was at that point that I started signing my art with Poncho instead of Eric, or EK. I now had a psuedonym and I embraced it.
I would eventually complete my tour of duty and come back home .. I was still only 23, but the years would fly by after 2 failing attempts at college, one being at Georgia State University and the other being at Art Institute of Atlanta .. I would find myself directionless and waiting tables at the age of 28, yes i was still drawing, yes I was still dreaming, yes I was still Poncho. The nickname lived on in my art but at this point no one around me knew me as the name. That was until I actually got the chance to be professional concept artist at a fledgling game developer here in Atlanta.
The developer was named Rapid Reality and without a degree or any previous experience ... they hired me. That feeling was wonderful. Once again I was a part of a team. A young bright led by poor leadership team, but a team nonetheless and once again after several years without it ... I was more than just Poncho in my head. My fellow artists, seeing the name attached to each concept and being forced to differentiate between the not one, not two, but three Eric's amongst them, dusted off the name and pinned it to me once again and once again I mattered. I was Poncho.
It is now june/july 2012 ... It's now been 5 quick years since Rapid Reality closed it's doors. I've since been blessed with a beautiful and supportive wife and a wonderful daughter. It's also been a hard 5 years financially, creatively, mentally. I've done very little in the way of art .. or at least finishing much. Honestly, I've been pretty lost since June 2007.
It's taken me a long time to acknowledge and except why.
Self-worth. Sefl-respect. Self-esteem. Self-pity. SELF.
This is not my first Deviant Art Page. MY first which I canceled this month was called Art-of-poncho ... I hadn't added anything to it in years. It needed to be cancelled.
See, what I've realized is that I've let the Army, the game studio, and even a possible opportunity in the future .. I've let them define me ... and because I've let them have that power over me, I don't know what I am without them. I've relegated myself to dreams that I am terrified to make happen on my own terms because of that fear. Fear ladies and gentleman. Fear is that tall lanky kid sitting by himself at the lunch table. Fear is that dreamer that didn't stick with college. Fear is that Husband and father that has all but gave up on himself and his ability.
Poncho is me hiding from that fear. Hiding behind a psuedonym beacuse i don't respect myself. Hiding behind a nickname that defines me spoken by those that I would let define me.
I'm 35 years young and I'm finally ready for the beginning.
I matter, because I'm Eric.
Welcome to my NEW Deviant Art page.