Her brand of creativity spreads worldwide
By Scot Crocker
Sacramento is changing. The evolution was driven by people who want to build a vibrant “creative class” that explores ideas, personal creativity and engagement in new and unique ways.
Erin Elizabeth personifies the new Sacramento—and our new creative class.
Elizabeth is not new to Sacramento. Her family has farmed in Yolo County for six generations. She graduated from Arizona State with a journalism degree and has worked in public relations around the world, from Mexico City and Bogota to Bangkok and Casablanca. Elizabeth is home now, living in Winters and making a difference in Sacramento.
Her talents and connections transcend the business world. As a painter and hatha yoga instructor, she wants to make the world a better place. Her focus is showing and selling acrylic paintings, primarily abstracts and roses. She recently completed 60 rose paintings as part of the World Peace Rose Garden.
“There’s one intention with all the work I do,” Elizabeth says. “I want to support others in finding and sharing their voice. Whether it’s through hosting art classes, retreats, executing a marketing strategy or showing artwork, I want my clients and students to know that we all have a gift, that they matter, that their uniqueness is their gift to the world. We all have a story. We all want to be heard.”
In Casablanca, she taught English to young men. In Sacramento, she sold a bright yellow rose painting to a young man who lost his mother.
She has taught at-risk gang youth in Stockton, using art as a way for her students to express themselves, find a sense of healing and discover ways to support each other. And she has taught Stockton police officers, showing them ways to express the impact of their jobs.
“I’ve been on a few ride-alongs,” she says. “What officers see and go through every day is beyond what I ever thought possible. They have incredible hearts to do what they do. The job can wear on the soul.”
Always in motion and seeking new opportunities, Elizabeth organized a women’s group trip to Africa in 2018 to study art, yoga and help people in need in Tanzania.
She first traveled to Tanzania in 2008 to teach English. She fell in love with the culture, people and landscape. “Africa was a game changer for me,” she says. “It showed me how to experience life more fully, including the opportunities, the nature and the wild. The red dirt, the long rides in the jeep, open land, the wildlife, its ancient wisdom. Being surrounded by nature and the people in this way was powerful.”
She’s currently planning a women’s expedition called “Wild Awakening,” a 10-day safari mixed with yoga, painting, cultural immersion with the Maasai and Hadza tribal groups, and a day spent painting with children at an orphanage.
“It was an amazing experience,” says Taruna Patel, a speech therapist who joined last year’s trip. “It was so unique. To land in Africa, see the sunrise and experience the people was so inspiring. And we all were doing things we loved like art and yoga, but also connecting with the locals who were so nice and kind.”
Elizabeth says, “My goal for the program is for my students to experience nature’s incredible diversity and ancient wisdom from the people, the tribes, and to connect more with themselves on a deeper level. I’ve worked with women primarily in my retreats. However, I’m definitely open to offering men-only classes and adventures. With all the women empowerment going on lately, which is amazing, we can’t forget about the men. They need to be acknowledged and supported as well.”
Growing up with two brothers, Elizabeth has no problem relaxing in jeans and a T-shirt before she dresses up for a formal affair. She hunts and fishes, and is comfortable around guns.
“On the weekends, you can find me either in my camo gear target shooting on the ranch, doing yoga in the fields or in painted jeans working on a new painting,” she says.
Ask Elizabeth for advice and she responds with a confident smile: “Be yourself. Share your passions, even if it’s off the charts different than everyone else. Take some risk. You’ll learn and grow more.”
Elizabeth has painting workshops and an art exhibition at Space 07 Salon on R Street scheduled this summer. What’s next? Impossible to say. Elizabeth will find new and exciting ways to find adventure, enrich lives and explore the world. She can be found at erinelizabeth.co.
Scot Crocker can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram: @insidesacramento.