100 Creatives

76: Erin Sotak

76: Erin Sotak

Erin Sotak moved to Arizona as a child in 1982, exchanging grass, snow drifts 241 shades of Ohio gray sky for a granite lawn, "faster-than-me" tumbleweeds and 241 shades of brown.

"I used to lie on my back in the driveway and stare up at the thick blue sky as it stretched up from the warm ground I could feel under me," she writes. "The lone skinny cloud in the sea of blue would slowly drift out of my plane of vision. I was lost in the bald sky. The desert has become my north star and I always return home. The heat keeps me liquid."

Sotak received her BFA from The University of Arizona and her MFA in photography from San Jose State University. She has exhibited both nationally and internationally and her work has been published in Phoenix 21st Century, SPE Exposure Journal, Voices of Art Magazine and Horizon television programming on PBS station KAET.

Name five things on your Inspiration Wall (real or imagined).
1. In my pocket, a small windmill.
2. On my dresser, a fading silver gelatin of sailing boat , oh so yar.
3. In my bag, a geology chart ripped from the front of a Faulkner novel.
4. On my ipod, unabridge reading of Waiting for Godot.
5 In my hand, a lemon.

What is your next big project?
I am working on recounting the epic journey of the Eternal Optimist who sails in a tiny red wooden optimist dingy in search of Lost Lemons.

Why do you do what you do?
I believe in grand romantic gestures, epic failure, endless absurdity, aesthetic gasps and always, hopeless optimism.

What's something you want Phoenix to know about you?
I'm always willing to accept new patrons.

The Creatives, so far:

100. Fausto Fernandez
99. Brian Boner
98. Carol Panaro-Smith
97. Jane Reddin
96. Adam Dumper
95. Mayme Kratz
94. Daniel Tantalean
93. Yuri Artibise
92. Lisa Starry
91. Paul Hoeprich
90. Betsy Schneider
89. Mary Shindell
88: Gabriel Utasi
87: Tiffany Egbert
86. Angela Cazel Jahn
85. Dayvid LeMmon
84. Beatrice Moore
83. Michelle J. Martinez
82. Carrie Bloomston
81. Paul Porter
80. Rachel Bess
79. Karolina Sussland
78. Aaron Abbott
77. Mary Lucking

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Amy Silverman is a two-time winner of the Arizona Press Club’s Journalist of the Year award. Her work has appeared on the radio show This American Life and in the New York Times, the Washington Post, Lenny Letter, and Brain, Child. She’s the co-curator of the live reading series Bar Flies, and a commentator for KJZZ, the NPR affiliate in Phoenix. Silverman is the author of the book My Heart Can’t Even Believe It: A Story of Science, Love, and Down Syndrome (Woodbine House 2016). Follow her on Instagram (@amysilverman), Twitter (@amysilvermanaz), and at amy-silverman.com.