Erika Iris Simmons was born in St.Louis, but she spent most of her childhood in Orlando. Erika’s first job was as a face painter at Universal Studios. She likes to take random things and make them into composite art. Most of her pieces become portraits of people associated with the chosen item. Erika doesn’t add any paint or pigments. A lot of her art is made with cassette tapes and old film reels in a series called “Ghost in the Machine.” “The idea comes from a phrase coined by philosopher Gilbert Ryle, a description of how your spirit lives in your body. I imagine we are all, like cassettes, thoughts wrapped up in awkward packaging,” says Erika.