Shawna Erback holds up her “Alice in Wonderland

Shawna Erback holds up her “Alice in Wonderland

Trail artist featured at Oscars’ VIP suite

Trail's Shawna Erback will have some of her artwork on display in Beverly Hills

Trail resident Shawna Erback has painted her way to an opportunity of a lifetime.

She will be the only visual artist featured at this week’s Academy Awards gift lounge in Beverly Hills.

The self-taught artist will be mingling with the big names at the WOW! Creations VIP Gift Suite, where she’ll put her dreamscape fantasy style with gothic undertones on display.

Erback’s whimsy weaves together a story of a girl who looks to the skies – searching, waiting and longing – inviting her collectors into this world.

“I can’t believe it, I’m so excited,” said the 38-year-old before she left for California Tuesday.

Erback will give away prints from A Celebration of Film collection, which features her take on films “Red Riding Hood,” “Alice in Wonderland,” “How to Train Your Dragon,” and one yet to be announced.

She got her break last year, when she was the only visual artist at the Canadian Country Music Awards gift lounge. Her marketing tactics then landed her yet another networking opportunity, not to mention a fun girls’ getaway with her mom Esther Storvold and sister-in-laws Cora and Linnea.

“I’m not an artist at heart,” said Storvold. “I don’t have that kind of creativity within me that she has – it’s special.”

At a young age, Erback was watching her “Nona” draw and paint with Bob Ross beaming on the TV in the background.

From there, she honed her skill over the years and her profession came naturally.

“It wasn’t really a decision, I didn’t wake up and say I’m going to do this for a living,” said Erback. “My brother called me up one day and said, ‘There’s this new company called eBay, you should try and sell one of your paintings on there.’ So I did and it sold and I thought, that was easy.”

Erback hopes to finally meet representatives from DreamWorks Animation Fine Art studio, which she acts as a concept artist for.

After folding up shop at her downtown studio and settling back in her home studio, the stay-at-home mom is still moving toward future opportunities.

The ultimate, she said, would be to work as a storyboard artist on a film.

“I just love what I do,” she said, adding that her greatest passion remains her family – children Brandon and Amber and husband Cornell.

She plans to include her family, friends and fans in her experience this week by hosting contests via her Facebook group for chances to win the same prints that will be presented at the lounge.