Being a female in the male-dominated world of graffiti gave her a name that let people know that she would not be defeated: Miss EGR (pronounced Eager).
EGR (also known as Erica Gosich Rose) faced a lot of prejudices when she first entered the urban art genre in Toronto.
Erica was well aware that she was a minority in the boys club of urban art and found it quite difficult to adjust at first.
“That was probably the hardest thing is guys not taking me seriously at all,” she said. “I had a lot to overcome to feel comfortable.”
Her fiancée, partner and assistant Rob Ballon can attest to that. He has seen Erica struggle with hardships in the realm of male dominated urban art.
“Sometimes guys can be jerks,” he said. “But I think remaining true to herself, keeps her [Erica] strong and persevering.”
EGR made it her mission to become an emerging female voice in the largely male-dominated world of graffiti.
According to director of the Show and Tell Gallery (www.showandtellgallery.com) Simon Cole, who also happens to be EGR’s rep, the struggle for women to make their mark in graffiti started in the early days of the scene with Lady Pink.
“I am sure Erica has faced some difficulties with being accepted in to the local scene, but her skills speak.” Cole said.
To prove her worth to the boys, EGR employs feminine motifs in her work, drawing strong, curvaceous, and beautiful women.
“It gave me that extra edge to make me feel powerful,” she admitted. “Just for me to gain a bit of confidence because it was really tough.”
And nothing or no one can stop the determined artist. Even the feedback EGR has received for her art pieces have provoked emotional responses. Especially one entitled Sweet Nothings ñ featuring an angelic woman.
“A lot of people gave a big response to that [Sweet Nothings],” she said. “It’s not what I created, but what sort of came about – it’s spirited.”
And EGR’s spirit and ambition doesn’t stop there. Her talents have attracted a large clientele including: Bell Canada, Mac Cosmetics and even Tiffany & Co.
More recently she was invited to participate in a two week long live art exhibition in Florence, Italy.
“This was my first time overseas so that was pretty exciting,” she said with a grin on her face. “I was painting on private boards which was amazing.”
EGR explains her aggravation about tags she noticed on buildings in Florence.
“There’s a difference between tagging (putting your name up) as opposed to putting up an art mural where the statement is in itself,” she said. “That’s beautiful [the latter of the two].”
EGR says the message she wants to convey through her art is an expression of what’s going on in the world and her personal interpretation of it.
The female figures, dominant in her art, are a reflection of where EGR is at in her personal life and tries to make her work as relevant as she can.
The artist is flourishing with her own company, EGR Art Incorporated, and it doesn’t stop there. Miss EGR even aspires to launch her own clothing line someday.
“Graphic design is evolving amazingly and itís interesting to see how art is developing and [it’s] exciting to see what’s to come next,” the thirty-year-old artist said. “And graffiti artists have a contribution to that.”