Fresno State grad lands artwork in Hobby Lobby

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Creating art is more than just a hobby for Valley native Alia Eriksen, it's now her profession.

"Hobby Lobby is one of my favorite stores personally for my own home, and to see my own artwork at Hobby Lobby was just surreal," Eriksen said.

She has a design company called "Prickly Pear Paints" and works with a home decor business that sells her prints to retailers, most recently Hobby Lobby.

"It's been really fun to have my friends and family call and text and show me pictures of my art in stores wherever they are across the U.S.," Eriksen said.

The Coarsegold native went to Fresno State and Fresno City College and worked as a nurse for years.

Then the mother of two decided to try an outlet -- watercolor painting.

"When I first started painting, I was so hooked on it. I would get up early to paint before the kids would wake up just to paint for an hour," she said.

Eriksen says she learned from Youtube videos.

She paints a wide variety of items from unicorns to flowers and plants.

"Kind of bring nature into the house and have these happy plants, just kind of make you smile," Eriksen said.

That uplifting art has caught the eye of many admirers on Instagram.

She now lives in Orange County, and she's able to sell her art and connect with others worldwide.

"It's not something I ever imagined I would be making money doing. It was just something I picked up as a hobby and the idea of being able to get paid to do something that you already would do for free. I think that's the dream," Eriksen said.

A dream that becomes reality in a colorful way.
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