Happy Thursday beautiful people!
I’m a little later than I wanted to be with today’s post as I was traveling to Miami this morning for mentoring this weekend! Super excited about that, but even more excited at the moment to introduce you to super awesome designer and illustrator, Andrea!
I have been following Andrea’s work for YEARS, I believe I first stumbled across her blog while I was still doing admin work back in 2006/7 and I was hooked! Her use of colors, patterns, texture… I loved it all! We ended up connecting a couple years after when I photographed her blog’s 5 year anniversary party and have kept in touch since so I knew she’d be perfect for the Artist Spotlight feature.
I won’t spend the whole post rambling about how awesome she is though, you can see for yourself ;)
What is your name?
Where are you located?
What do you do?
I am an artist with a background in graphic design. I currently teach courses in graphic design full-time at Maryland Institute College of Art.
How long have you been a designer/illustrator?
I’ve been designing for almost 13 years and doing illustration here and there for about 10 years.
How did you become interested in graphic design?
My interest in design was sparked by television and a movie. I was intrigued by Halle Berry’s character in Boomerang where she was an art director. In the film she was also an artist and an art teacher. When I saw “Angela” I was AMAZED (even though she wasn’t a real person). Before that character, I had never seen a person working in a career where they could be creative; let alone a woman of color!
Around the same time I saw a Saturday morning segment (during cartoons) about a woman who was an art director at a magazine. Again, I was amazed because she was talking about drawing, and designing, and sharing how all that informed her work as an art director.
Who/what are some of your creative influences?
Hand-painted barbershop signs from various countries throughout Africa. Photography from Malick Sidibé and Seydou Keïta, patterns, women of color, Brazil, 80s-90s hip hop styling, vintage black american ephemera, folk tales, black mythology, afrofuturism, the Black Arts Movement, and people who make things by hand. Libraries, museums, and markets always get my creative juices flowing.
What has been your favorite project that you’ve worked on so far?
Hmmm, that’s hard because there are so many that I loved. But there is one illustration project I worked on last summer that I loved because I learned a lot about the given topic and learned a lot about myself as an artist and business woman. It challenged me creatively and professionally. That assignment really changed my perspective on who I am as an artist, a professional, an entrepreneur, and as a working woman. I think about that experience all the time because what I learned continues to influence the work I do and my decisions regarding the projects I take on. Sadly, I had to sign a non-disclosure agreement, so I can’t share any details. In addition, it was put on hold so I don’t know that it will ever see the light of day.
What other types of creative work do you do?
I’ve been doing collage work and also experimenting with animating my artwork. I’ve also been wanting to do more writing lately — so looking to take a creative writing course. And of course teaching design is creative work I’m always doing.
What keeps you motivated? Lots of tea, and reading.
Any advice to fellow creatives (in your industry or otherwise)?
For budding artists, don’t be afraid to take risks with your ideas. Experiment and explore. Be excited, and immerse yourself in your work. For everyone, when you learn, teach. Whether it’s becoming a mentor, teaching a workshop, writing for a blog, or even just tweeting information, share what you know.
Any other fun tidbits we should know about you?
I really want to dance in the Brazilian carnival and I make a mean caipirinha (the national cocktail of Brazil). My mother is Brazilian, and I speak Portuguese. I’m addicted to Lemonheads candy and Flamin’ Hot Cheetos. My middle name is Georgia, after Ray Charles’ “Georgia on My Mind.” and I love to sing.
I hope you enjoyed getting to know Andrea better! Please be sure to keep up with all of her awesomeness everywhere on social media and check out her etsy for any prints she may have for sale!
‘Till next time!