From Ernest W. Watson's Forty Illustrators and How They Work:
"It was Victor Hugo, I believe, who was asked if the writing of epic poetry were not tremendously difficult. His classic reply, "Easy or impossible!", may appropriately be applied to such drawings as come from Erickson's inspired brush. They give the impression of having sprung to life without suffering the usual labor pains."
"But his performance looks too easy; its nonchalance is deceptive. It is not accomplished without a struggle."
"Erickson, indeed, is a hard-working man, a very serious artist who is usually practicing when not actually performing. For every piece of work reproduced in the magazines he has made dozens of studies. In spare moments he is usually busy drawing or painting from the model - he never draws without a model - and his sketchbook goes with him to the restaurant and the theatre."
"Although few are aware of it, he has done a lot of painting in oil, principally portraits."
"All of which is no denial of Victor Hugo's epigram. Erickson's particular genius is pretty much a gift of the gods, even though he has met the gods considerably more than half way."
"Erikson's line drawings are usually rendered in Wolff pencil, charcoal or chinese ink. This latter comes in cakes or sticks which have to be ground in water in a small mortar designed for the purpose. It will yield a jet black or produce any tone of gray, depending upon the saturation of the mixture."
"Erikson's art is primarily an art of line."
"Color may be added, as more often than not it is; but the net result is a colored line drawing. [He] is an impulsive worker. Standing at his board, which is tilted at a slight angle, he attacks the paper with a free arm thrust that reminds one of a fencer wielding his foil. The drawing isn't always good. Indeed the studio floor may be littered with innumerable trials before one is certified by that well-known fixture, "Eric".
"There is no such thing as "fixing-up" an Erickson drawing: if it is not right as it first springs directly from his hand, it must be discarded and a fresh attempt made. The artist would no more think of going back to correct an error than would a musician during a concert performance."
* Many thanks to everyone who assisted with this first foray into fashion illustration - rest assured there will be more to come!
* My Carl Erickson Flickr set.