We had the good fortune of connecting with Sage Eriacho and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Sage, why did you pursue a creative career?
I pursued a career in painting because I believed I could have a sustainable and supported lifestyle through my art. I envisioned that my career would help others funnel their creative energy, and had a large amount of support from my family. I always had this inner-guidance that this gift I was born with would take me through many obstacles and barriers that I would most definitely be able to concur in my journey. As of today, I have fulfilled a big part of my life prophecy in creating a small business that is running off the joyful process and energy I carry painting for others on the reservation and around the United States. When I decided to go into this career, I knew that it was more than possible to have a viable lifestyle through my talents. In middle school, I used colored pencils and paper to sketch ideas and doodles. It was from that point forward that a sheet of paper turned to canvases and colored pencils to paint. When I graduated from Window Rock High School I had no plans on going to college; it never crossed my mind. I witnessed many small-town artists pursuing a job that they loved and shared in the online community and my area; I have seen myself in them. I had this inner-standing as a child and young adult that my life would be devoted to my passion for art, and never doubted it in the heart. It felt as though I have been doing this work for many lifetimes. When it came to inspiring others to find their inner creativity, I knew my artwork would resonate profoundly with many like-minded individuals. I genuinely believe that we are all born with a gift to share with the world, and how we channel it is everything. Beneath all of the programming and un-learning, we can find our greater calling and happiness through different art forms. As I grew, I knew that my artwork has always channeled through me from source and the higher realms. As a collect consciousness, we can heal and find ourselves through our creativity and the art of many others who are just like us but different in their unique way. The primary factor in this whole process of becoming an artist has been the never-ending support from my family. They have been key witnesses to the progress that has taken place since the beginning of my art journey. In a time of need, they have always provided me with supplies, love, and encouragement, and for that, I am eternally grateful. My uncle was initially the first person who purchased my paint, easel, and canvases, and nine years later, to this day, he still provides when possible. When you are surrounded by people who can allow you to be yourself, follow your dreams, and provide guidance along the way, amazing things can unfold. All in all, I am very proud of the steps I have taken in getting closer to the career of my dreams. I’ve been able to balance the in’s and out’s of being a business owner, helping others dig more in-depth than your mundane lifestyle, and slowly giving back to my loved ones throughout this expedition. The gratitude and honor that is within have opened many doors to opportunities I never thought were possible. There is still much more to learn, fail, succeed, and travel towards this beautiful and colorful life of mine.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
When I started my art career, I was following my heart and intuition. I had a deep trust that the universe led me to my most extraordinary destiny, and the journey up until now has been very knowledgable. I started in 2018 on my Instagram and soon found myself showcasing my art in our border town of Gallup, NM, at the art crawl every month. I gained most of my professional mastery through many nights of setting up my paintings and talking to buyers interested in my work. I had to get out of my comfort zone and put my marketing skills into action. When people were more than curious and willing to purchase, I’d let them take a feel of the canvas to allow for the connection to set in. I’ve learned many things throughout my journey; never sell yourself short, the value and price you place on your work are always valid, and the right people and buyers will cross your path. Patience and trust are two of my biggest lessons that this career path has taught me; it is easy to get caught up in the demand of your ego when we allow things to flow as they should the door of opportunity opens. When it comes to creating a piece of art, I like to dig deeper than the surface. I always paint through my intuition and inner-standing that the divine source flows through me, undemandingly and effortlessly. I feel as though I am tapping into the collective consciousness, and my artwork seems to captivate the heart of individuals. Have you ever thought of an idea and never acted on it, and soon after someone is creating that very thing; that is how the collective mind works. The most exciting aspect of my painting comes from the energy and intention that goes into the process. I’ve recently taken on commissions, and this has allowed for significant growth to take place; I am using my skills and the insight of others and applying paint onto a canvas. At times it can become quite exhausting, but I love a challenge. The most incredible feeling as an artist is to exceed the expectations of someone’s vision and bring it to life.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
My city is a small town; in my opinion, I love to take long hikes at the historical Blue Canyon and Window Rock, trips to the local museum, and long drives to see the beautiful scenic rock formations. The weightless feeling you gain from a successful hike will always leave you wanting more to explore. Our small museum carries the Navajo treaty and the paintings in the gallery will imprint our culture in your heart in a powerful way. The cuisine includes a flea market and home-cooked meals that consist of indigenous foods. The most profound thing about my hometown is that there is so much history established long before my generation. The Fort Defiance area was one of the first military presences created in 1851, to prohibit Navajo people from utilizing. A decade later, the military rounded up the Navajo, and the historical Long Walk was in motion. The land that we walk upon carries the prayers and hardships of our Navajo people; it is a privilege to be the carrier of this lineage. The question asked me about city life; my heart resides in the rule areas where my ancestors roamed.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I would love to give a shoutout to my immediate family, friends, followers, and ancestors for the fantastic generosity and guidance that they have provided along the way. I find myself in a place of gratitude for the many connections in my life that have led me closer to my calling. My parents Myron Eriacho and Deborah Eriacho, allowed me to root myself to my ancient culture and language. Through that, I was able to know who I am as an Indigenous artist. My mother and father have always provided me with sustenance, love, and drive for my journey. In my own experience, I have learned so much from my parents. I appreciate the hardships and the ease and flow of my life thus far; without them, I would not be where I am today. I expect myself to one day be able to repay them for all of the goodness and knowledge they have given me in my 22 years of life. My siblings were there to lean on in times of uncertainty and in my times of needed encouragement. My sisters and brothers have repeatedly reassured me that the path I am on is my truth, and it is a gift. My biggest wish for them is to find their calling and happiness in this life just as I have. My friends and followers have shown me support through my online social platforms. They have shared and liked many of the art pieces I have created in the last two or three years; this has allowed me to reach further out from this small reservation of mine. I give much gratitude for the support I continue to receive from my brothers and sisters online. My ancestors have endured bloodshed and hardship for us to be here. I give love and admiration to them for the knowledge they provided for this generation and many generations to come. My ancestors prayed and believed in my relatives and me to fulfill our lives through the Navajo teachings and philosophies.
Sage J. Eriacho