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Acclaimed Sculptor Inspires Student Success

Erik Blome embodies the qualities Academy of Art University seeks in its instructors – artistic mastery, passion, drive, knowledge and professionalism. These attributes have led him down a path of great success as a sculptor. Now he’s passing his expertise on to the world’s future artists as an instructor for the School of Fine Art.

Blome feels one of the most important lessons he can teach his students is perseverance. Though he faced many hardships on his journey, each time he made the decision to hold on to his dream he came closer to achieving it.

“I did odd jobs to support my goal of being a sculptor,” he said. “Any spare time I had I was sculpting in my tiny apartment in Chicago.”

He went after every opportunity he could, finally landing the job that became the catalyst for his booming career. Blome was commissioned to do a bust of Supreme Justice Thurgood Marshall by the Chicago Mayor’s Office.

“It was a great commission to get at 23 years old,” admits Blome, but he didn’t let his part time work go. Even after completing a monument of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., he continued to do odd jobs.

“All the sudden I was doing two or three monuments at once. I was making a living. I was scared to let go of the other work, but eventually I decided I had to try it,” he said.

Eighteen years later Blome has produced a huge portfolio of work with projects won largely through his own ingenuity. He encourages students to be proactive and make their own way as artists.

Blome believes many artists rely too much on marketing. “That’s the least effective way to get projects. Go to people with ideas. It’s how Mt. Rushmore ended up being carved. You have to have a vision,” he said.

In the midst of teaching, Blome continues to work on a flood of commissioned sculptures for locations across the nation. His sculpture of boxer Oscar de la Hoya will soon be unveiled at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. He’s also working on a memorial commemorating the Edmonson sister’s journey to freedom from slavery.

The Edmonson sisters were the daughters of a free man and an enslaved woman. After a botched escape attempt, the sisters were sent to New Orleans to be sold as “fancy ladies.” Henry Ward Beecher, a young Congregationalist preacher, raised the necessary funds to purchase the Edmonson sisters' freedom.

“As an artist, it’s cool to tell those stories that have been lost in history. Your abilities are being used to rediscover them,” he said.

Academy of Art University empowers students to leave their own mark on the world with inspirational instructors, cutting-edge facilities and strong industry connections.

Visit www.figurativeartstudio.com to view more of Blome’s work.

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