Andrea, you have a lot of creative interests and your background is quite interesting, too. You have some exciting projects before you and are a very busy artist. I am so excited you have chosen to share your work and life here in this interview.
K: You are fluent in 4 languages, is that right?
A: „Yes, almost, my mothertongue is german, and I’m fluent in french and english and speak spanish quite well.
K: You understand as an American that is quite remarkable.
K: Do you have a web presence in each language or publish any trilingual blogs or web sites?
A: „I have french website at http://www.cestandrea.book.fr but no trilingual blog or website. Maybe in the future, for now this takes too much time from my already restricted studio-time.
K: I understand that. I have read an artist needs to spend 50% on art making and 50% on marketing. Then just today I read where someone said 20% on art making and 80% on marketing. Can you imagine? Time, if we could only have more.
K: Would you consider a multilingual web presence?
A: “If I were to put up a website, yes, sure.
K: Will you give us a brief history of your creativity?
A: “I have been drawing and painting my whole life, but decided to follow my second passion and study languages, when I was young. I then worked international as a translator and trilingual assistant for almost twenty years. I painted and created in my spare time, taking evening courses in oil painting, etching, drawing, watercolour, and nude painting and was part of a woman’s artist group in Germany. In 1995 I moved to Strasbourg, France and in 2001 to Paris, where I decided to go “back” to studies. Thanks to a scholarship I took evening courses in Photoshop and Illustrator design for a year and in 2003 enrolled in a full-time private artschool in Paris where I got my diploma as a textile designer two years later. Since then I have been working my way through many different creative activities, mostly related to textile design, in order to make a living with my art. I have worked in the fashion-fabric industry as a pattern designer, have hand-painted T-shirts and crocheted fun-bags.
At the moment I have a parttime job at a non profit art-photography association where I work from Monday to Friday in the afternoon. The mornings and weekends are dedicated to the creation of a collection of designs for the textile industry and to my sacred idea-sketchbook.”
K: What a fascinating journey. I have always felt as though the journey is so much a part of the art I create now. It sounds as though that is also true for you. Actually, I can see that in your work.
K: What inspires you to create?
A: “Everything. Nature, thoughts, people, colours. I commute a lot and I’m taking in everything that is happening around me. I sketch a lot while “metroing”. I’m also very much inspired by all the friends, artists themselve[s], I found through blogging in Internet.”
K: I can see that in your sketchbook work. Yes, you are very much a people person and a huge doer.
K: You have a new and exciting project before you. Will you share that here?
A: “I became very fond of playing around with a little creature I invented recently and which I’d like to publish in a magazine and later in a book. At the moment I spend every free minute illustrating because I just feel well with it. It is one of the media which I need right now to fully express the feelings I’m experiencing when I look at the world around me. “
K: I think it is wonderful to go with what feels right for you. As you have been told by many people, there is a great future in your new project. I am so eager to watch your journey. I am sure you have also sparked the interest of others who will be eager to watch how this progresses.
K: You have a very strong sense of the joy life and that shows in your work. How do you maintain that each day? Do you have a secret?
A:“I think that I have no secret, I only try to enjoy what I do, to bring joy and love to myself and such to the others. Also to have fun with what I’m doing, if I must do it anywayJ or else try to change the things I have to do and which bother me.
K: Yes, the secret is living an authentic life! I think that means everything! Good for you.
K: You are a very generous person and that shows on your blog and with your work. Have you always been accused of being generous in the other parts of your life?
A: Generous with love and colour yes, but not in a material way cause I’m known to have a very careless relationship with money:) But as I have lots of love, I may as well be generous with it!
K: Well that is the most important generosity - Love!…because, as is said, that is what makes the world go around and it is no good unless you give it away. And you are so very generous with your colors! So very true! As far as a careless money relationship, I think that probably comes from generosity, too, although it is something we all must be careful about.
K: What materials and mediums do you enjoy working with the most?
A: “Acrylic paints on fabric and canvas and paper, watercolour, ink and brush and pen, pencil, fiber, thread, coloured pencil, photography.”
K: What do your days look like? You seem to manage your time well.
A: “I get up at 8 (in winter, at 6.30 in summer). Then I exercise, sometimes inside sometimes outside for half an hour, have breakfast with the cat, then work on the computer or in the studio before taking off to parttime job. I have to leave home around 12.15 and get home at 6 in the evening. When I come home, I paint or draw a little hour, prepare dinner and watch TV movie with my husband. Or read, when there is no interesting movie. But when I read, I sleep”
K: You are very busy! And such a good woman to be getting your exercise in daily. You do work your studio/drawing time in any moment you can. When you read you sleep because you have been so busy.
K: How do you think you were able to find your creative voice?
A:“By getting rid of all the other voices, this took time and age!”
K: Oh, how I can understand that! A beautiful answer.
K: What other artist inspire you (living or not)?
A: The great and famous: I simply adore Picasso, Oskar Kokoschka, Paul Klee, Rothko, Pollock yess, Paula Modersohn Becker, Käthe Kollwitz, Wilhelm Busch and I could go on for hours, the living ones: the artists that I meet via Internet!”
K: You are right, there are so many wonderful artists, both long past and alive.
K: What is the most difficult creative project you have faced?
A: “The present one, find a way to bring my creativity to the people”
K: True! That is a HUGE challenge.
K: What are you looking forward to now?
A: “I’m looking forward to a publication of my Miss Doodle’s Day drawings, and to my next meeting with a canvas, the easel and my acrylic paints, I miss them.”
K: It is difficult to miss old friends and to be making news ones, too. Give yourself a gift soon of your time with the easel and paints. You deserve that. Miss Doodle is a wonderful character, and I am sure she is going to make as big a sensation in the print world as she has in the blog world! It is a very exciting thing for an artist to have their work published and Miss Doodles is clearly heading in that direction.
K: What other things would you like people to know about you, your art, Miss Doodle, etc.?
A:“I’m happy about the comments I get from people about my art, they keep me going and help me to focus on what I’m good at.”
This picture perfectly illustrates my personal and spiritual development as a typical aries:
From age 19 to 33 I road the motorbike, from 33 to 43 the bycicle. Since 2001 I walk:)
K: And you are so good at the things you do! I love this sketch so very much. It is just wonderful how you reflect on your own life on a daily basis as well as a life basis and can so successfully share that with others. It is like the novelist who writes about everyday things which is so appealing to others because they can identify with it immediately. I want everyone to see all the lovely things you have said about them and about your work, Andrea. You are an inspiration to so many artists and non-artist, alike. I appreciate the time you have given to this interview and the time, inspiration and love you have given to so many artist…myself included.
Andreas work can be found at: http://www.cestandrea.blogspot.com/ and you can find Miss Doodle’s Day at: http://www.missdoodlesday.blogspot.com/
[note: Tomorrow's post will be a little more on this project]