As a writer, I’m constantly asking my fictional characters about their motives, backstories, hopes, dreams, and fears. Over the years, I’ve become more empathetic to the choices we make in our own lives. In the segment, Walking in Their Shoes, I’ll talk with real people in an effort to learn about their personal journeys. I’m sure I’ll find inspiration through their stories.
Today, I visit with Andrea. As a twenty-four-year-old artist, she works with many mediums. Not only is Andrea my daughter, she designed the cover art for my romance novel, The Garden Collection.
Christina: Hi sweetie, I mean, Andrea. Thanks for joining me today. When were you first interested in art?
Andrea: While I was in middle school, my grandma got me interested. She painted ceramic figurines, and I’d help her. Later, she gave me a bunch of acrylic paints and canvases, so I could paint at home.
Christina: Who has been the biggest influence on your love of art?
Andrea: During class, my middle school art teacher, Ms. Patterson, was sketching a landscape of a creek under a bridge. She asked me to help with the shading of the bridge’s bricks. It changed how I viewed art … to appreciate the details.
Christina: What types of artwork have you worked with? Which is your favorite?
Andrea: I’ve worked with acrylic, watercolor, and pencil on paper, canvas, shoes, wooden blocks, and logs. I’ve painted a motorcycle helmet and designed tattoos. I enjoy all types. However, on lazy days, I prefer pencil and paper … less cleanup.
Christina: What kinds of things bring you the most pleasure now?
Andrea: I love naps. In art though, I’ve found pencil drawings easiest and more laid back. My earlier work was primarily landscapes. Now, I like doing portraits.
Christina: Do you feel differently about yourself now from how you felt when you were younger? How?
Andrea: When I was younger, I didn’t like details so my work was impressionistic. Now, I work on finer detailed work with less shading … more positive space; less negative. I think I’ve progressed. My art’s more realistic.
Christina: What’s the best compliment you ever received?
Andrea: In high school at a local art show, a couple wanted to buy my Fred Astaire painting. (I love dancing.) Instead of a paint brush, I had used Q-tips with oil-based paint on a plastic canvas. It was the first time someone loved my art outside my family.
Christina: I have your artwork on our walls; and I cherish every piece. Do you prefer to keep art as a hobby or would you like to pursue it full-time?
Andrea: I like to design my own creations so there’s less pressure as a hobby.
Christina: What are you working on now?
Andrea: I’m going in a quirky direction with an apocalyptic series of settings from around town. I’ve also had offers to design tattoos which are fun.
Christina: As a proud mom, I suggest checking out Andrea’s artwork. She definitely has the artistic talent in the family. (Let’s just say she got it from my side of the family.)