Erica Barajas was born and raised in Livermore, California. She holds a Bachelor in Fine Arts with an emphasis in Printmaking from the Gwen Frostic School of Art at Western Michigan University, a Master of Arts in Education from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and a Bachelor of Arts in Evolution and Ecology with a Studio Art Minor from the University of California, Davis. Erica volunteered in the United States Peace Corps in Bolivia, worked as a white water rafting guide, high school teacher, and nonprofit program manager and executive director before turning her focus to visual arts. She lives in Richmond, CA, with her husband, two daughters, and three cats. Her studio is located inside the Compound in Oakland, CA.