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Biography of American painter, Erin Payne, wife of New Girl lead actor, Jake Johnson

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American painter Erin Payne is a successful artist, born on 8 September 1971, and mostly recognized as the wife of famed actor and comedian Jake Johnson. Erin, who holds an MFA from the prestigious Claremont Graduate University, was rewarded with the New American Painting Reader’s Choice award in 2012.

She has showcased her work at various exhibitions and venues such as the OBJCT Gallery and the Los Angeles Contemporary. Though already successful in her career, Erin was not a popular figure till her relationship with the Hollywood star Jake became public knowledge. The public learnt about her through her involvement with her husband, and thusly, she became yet another subject of scrutiny.

Getting famous through relations with a public figure may be a no brainer. In fact, it is one of the things you mentally sign up for when getting involved with a renowned personality. For Erin, however, it wasn’t to change her preference for private life. But, if we have learnt anything, it is that the more discreet you try to be, the more curious and interested the public gets.

As once revealed by Jake in an interview, he and Erin have been together since 2003. If my Maths is any good, it will mean the year 2021 makes their relationship 18 years old. The couple also have twin children. Learn more about Erin Payne in this article as we look closely at her life, marriage, career, and more. Firstly, here are ten facts about her.

10 interesting facts about Erin Payne

  1. Erin had been with Jake long before his breakthrough in the film industry. He once mentioned that their relationship began at a time when the doors of Hollywood were shut. Safe to say, he found himself a keeper.
  2. Erin and her husband started living together in 2005 and eventually got married in 2011 in a private ceremony.
  3. Erin made two of the paintings used in the American television sitcom New Girl. According to Jake, they were two paintings in Nick Miller’s bedroom—one of a gorilla, another of a squirrel. When the series wrapped, he took them home as souvenirs.
  4. In 2015, Jake Johnson produced and starred in Digging for Fire, a film about a married couple who find a gun and a bone in the backyard of their house. The premise is based on real events he and Payne experienced in their Los Angeles apartment.
  5. She has attended several exhibitions displaying her painting works on grounds such as the Los Angeles Contemporary, Ray, Groundspace Project, and OBJCT Gallery, among many others.
  6. Before securing her masters in fine arts, Erin bagged a BFA in painting and drawing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2002.
  7. Erin Payne has also worked with other well known skilled painters like John O’Brien, Cole James and many others.
  8. Other than painting, being a mom is something Erin enjoys a lot. According to her husband, their children have a sophisticated taste in food, and she enjoys cooking for them.
  9. While Erin’s career as an artist has been very successful, her net worth is unknown due to how private she is.
  10. Erin’s husband, Jake Johnson, has an estimated net worth of $20 million in 2021.

Related article: Everything you to know about the fight between Ellen Pompeo and Denzel.

Erin Payne age and education

Resultant of her very private lifestyle, not much is known about Erin’s background or childhood. One thing the public is, however, most curious about is her age. Just like we mentioned at the opening of this piece, she was born in September of 1971, making her 50 years old in 2021.

Fine Arts have always been Erin’s passion. On completion of her high school education, she joined The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting and Drawing in 2002. She didn’t stop there. In 2011, she graduated with a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Fine/Studio Arts from Claremont Graduate University.

Erin Payne art

Erin Payne Virgo Painting
Erin Payne with her painting

In 2012, a year after completing her master’s degree, Erin’s efforts and expertise in painting came into the limelight, as she was rewarded with the New American Painting Reader’s Choice award for her series, Pile Paintings. “I’m addressing an ambiguous relationship to place and the environment and navigating the slippery definitions of those terms,” she told the magazine in her acceptance statement. “The result is a mix of realism and abstraction.”

The quality of her artworks earned her the opportunity to showcase her work at different painting exhibitions on platforms like the Los Angeles Contemporary, OBJCT Gallery, Ray, Groundspace Project, among others. As earlier mentioned, she has also collaborated with some heavyweights in her industry.

Erin’s work has also been showcased in a TV production. The series New Girl, which features her husband, showcased two of her paintings. In an interview with Crooked Llama, Johnson revealed that two paintings were in Nick Miller’s bedroom—one of a gorilla, another of a squirrel. Jake took the paintings as relics after the series ended.

Describing her passion on her LinkedIn profile, Erin says: “During the years following graduation, I realized art was the only thing I was willing to sacrifice comfort and money for. I could also pursue all of my interests within it, so I was hooked.”

As Jake Johnson wife

Erin and Jake kept their relationship under wraps for so many years. The couple have been together since forever but went to great lengths to keep their affairs away from the media. A good example is a 2013 interview Jake had with Glamour. He refused to tell the writer how long he’s been married, “my business is personal!” Jake said twice. He, however, didn’t have a problem saying a few words about finding the right partner.

“I think you can meet the right girl at the wrong time, and it gets screwed up,” he said. “If you meet the right girl at the wrong time, that girl has to be the most understanding person in the world because there’s going to be a lot more bumps in the road. And, hey, it might be the right time for the guy and not for the girl … Both people have to be ready, and they might not think they’re ready … that’s why I think it’s the right girl first.”

In another interview in 2014, this time with Variance, Jake made loving reference to his wife yet again, without giving away too much. In his words: “I love to act, but I didn’t get into the business to be a huge celebrity. Of course, I’ll be out to eat with friends and a woman might come up to the table and have nice things to say. It’s cool. But I didn’t get into acting for that. And I’m married. I know that’s tricky in Hollywood but I’m not going to give up my wife so I can have more of what someone perceives as success. I love two things: my wife and my job. And although I love my job, I’m a happier person because I have my wife.”

Relationship timeline

From what we know, Jake and Erin started dating in the early 2000s. In fact, they moved in together in 2005, long before he made his acting breakthrough. According to Wikipedia, they tied the knot in a discreet ceremony in 2006. This detail appears to be wrong because the couple said they weren’t married till 2011.

Also read: 7 awesome budget-friendly date ideas you need to try today.

Jake Johnson kids

Three years after getting married, Jake and Erin welcomed their children, a set of twins (both girls). The names of their daughters are not precisely known to the public. While some sources report they are Elizabeth and Olivia, some say they are called Rachael and Dan Johnson. Although their exact birth date isn’t public knowledge, they should be 7 years in 2021.

Jake Johnson, Nick Miller actor
Jake Johnson, Nick Miller actor

Born 28 May 1978, Jake Johnson is a famous Hollywood actor and comedian. He is best known as Nick Miller actor in the sitcom New Girl. Some of his other well-known films are Paper Heart21 Jump StreetGet Him to the Greek, and Safety Not Guaranteed. During his university days, Jake developed an interest in writing. He wrote a play in an attempt to earn admission into the Dramatic Writing Department of Tisch School of the Arts, NYU. Being a prestigious institute for playwrights and performing arts, Jake’s admission into the school laid a strong foundation for his acting and writing career.

In 2015, he appeared in Colin Trevorrow’s science fiction adventure film Jurassic World, where he played the character of Lowery Cruthers. Later that year, Johnson produced and starred in Digging for Fire, a film about a married couple who find a gun and a bone in the backyard of their house. The premise is based on real events he and Payne experienced in their Los Angeles rental apartment. Payne disapproved of the initial screenplay, which had the wife on the sidelines while the husband and his buddies dug for more clues. “Not only do I hate your character, but I hate this movie,” she told Jake. Jake went back to the drawing board and rewrote the story to include a stronger female co-star.

The actor also played the role of Tom Cruise’s sidekick in the 2017 film The Mummy. Interestingly, it was a role Jake signed up for because Erin Payne was passionate to learn more about Tom Cruise and his stunts.

Jake has a successful modelling career too. He signed a contract with the luxury automobile series Dodge Dart Fiat Cars and appeared in a music video titled “Rouse Yourself”. As a voice actor, he worked on video games like Lego Dimensions and Lego Jurassic World.

Jake Johnson net worth

As of 2021, Jake reportedly has a net worth of $20 million. He has appeared in over 50 projects in his 14 years of active acting. An impressive feat to have accomplished in such a short space of time.


Undoubtedly one fascinating thing about Erin and her husband is how intentional they are about their affairs. The couple carried on for almost two decades, living their lives strictly on their own terms. They have also both enjoyed a good deal of success in their chosen fields. What’s not to love about them!

You may also like to read our latest article, President George Bush daughter, Barbara Bush welcomes first child.

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