This week I got to interview the highly talented, self-aware Andrea Berry. Andrea is a graphic artist based out of Reno, and is also the first artist I’ve actually had the opportunity to interview on eyE[before]E. Honestly, I feel like Andrea’s exceptional talent speaks for itself, both in her awesome design work and through her thoughtful words.
I give y’all the effervescent Andrea Berry.
What first made you want to become an artist?
Every child has a dream of what they want to be when they grow up. At five years old my number one choice was to be an artist. I would spend my days ripping off sheets of paper from the butcher-block reel that my father had given (to) my sisters and I, encouraging our imaginations to run wild.
Like most kids, I went to school because I had to. Yet, I absolutely loved the art classes! Go figure. If I knew one thing about myself it was the fact that I could never get bored creating. All that I wanted to do was to have fun.
I graduated high school in 1997, moved out of my parents’ house, found an apartment and attended Arizona State University. It was time to grow up and start thinking seriously about my career, although I had no idea what to get my degree in. In my heart I wanted to pursue a degree in the field of fine arts but I had always heard that you can’t make money off of it and that’s where the ‘starving artist’ phrase was coined. So, what to do?
After I completed my first year of college I moved into a condo with a good friend of mine. Who would have thought that this move was in divine timing to meeting my mentors? I got to know my neighbors who lived a couple of condos down from me. There were four guys living there at the time, three of them were incredibly talented artists. I became friends with them, as they were my inspiration. Almost everyday, I would swing by to catch up and see the new projects they created. They opened up my mind to the different paths an artist can take in life, including graphic design. I wanted to be a part of it. I wanted to learn more.
What are your inspirations in your design work? What motivates you?
My passion for design is what motivates me. I love challenges and I absolutely enjoy taking a set of requirements, putting it together and ‘wow-ing’ my customers. Since art and any kind of creative media are based on perspective, the message that I create isn’t always perceived as I intended – yet… I hope will resonate with some.
At times I will randomly come across a creative design whether it’s on the internet or seen in passing… (and) I will challenge myself to create it. Since I believe that everything happens for a reason and that there are no mistakes, I look at inspirations as something divine, as life presents it to me for a reason.
As a professional graphic artist, how do you reconcile doing something you love as a day to day job? Do you find it difficult to find the distinction?
As I previously stated, I love a challenge. Every project I take on is different, thus fueling my creativity and keeping me engaged. Getting lost in projects is a true form of meditation for me. The fact that I can create and get paid blurs the line between job and passion. Of course there are times when it does seem more like a job when I take on projects that require little to no creativity. However, those projects are few and far between. As a designer, the possibilities truly are endless when it comes to my job. In fact, I believe that everyone should pursue his or her passion and make a career out of it. Not only does it make life more enjoyable but also makes life a heck of a lot easier. In my experience, I truly feel that this is my path and it’s what I’m here to do.
How important a role do you believe social media and online networking, plays for the modern professional, or semi-professional, artist?
Social media has its role as it allows an artist to get their work out in cyber space for people to see. If people don’t know who you are (it’s) not going to help your business, no matter how amazing your art is. (Social media) is also great for critiquing and obtaining new ideas. When it comes to acquiring more business, I wouldn’t say that social networking is the best solution. I typically acquire business through people I physically know, word of mouth and advertising. Many people on social networking sites just enjoy looking at art with no motive behind it to pursue a quote, different reasons for different people. I look at social networking sites as what it is, social networking. I have met many wonderful people through online networking, which have created much inspiration for my work and myself. Social media/networking does however help your web presence and drive more traffic to your site, which is a plus for your reputation as a designer.
What is the greatest form of artistic expression that has never been invented?
Wow this is quite the question! To even define the word ‘art’ is subject to interpretation, however I will give it my best shot! First off there is a scientist by the name of Dr. Masaru Emoto. He has proven that water has consciousness and changes according to surrounding moods, thoughts, and vibration. With kind and loving thoughts the water molecules form beautiful snowflake-like patterns; with lower vibrational thoughts like sadness and anger, the water molecules turn chaotic without symmetry or appeal. I think it would be cool if people could easily and effortlessly take photos of water molecules according to one’s emotions. They could post it on Facebook, frame it, send it to friends and family, add quotes, etc. It would allow people to realize how powerful their thoughts really are. And by seeing this as an art form I believe it would bring a larger sense of creative realization through humanity and one’s own being-ness. This artistic form of expression would be inspired through Dr. Emoto’s work yet taken to the next level of mass awareness through creativity.
Andrea’s professional site can be found here – Dre’s Graphics
Her WordPress blog can be found here – DresGraphics WordPress
And her Facebook page is located here – Dre’s Graphics Facebook