“Art is the only thing I want to be doing right now. It’s a little scary yet invigorating at the same time – when making art starts generating income, paying for bills, and some form of reputation starts building for yourself. But, you’re willing to sacrifice nearly everything else to sustain this type of lifestyle.”
View in FANIQUE Magazine Issue 3 HERE
FANIQUE: Tell us one interesting story about you.
Andre: I still have my very first set of drawing pencils from when I was 7 years old! I’m turning 25 this year, and I still use them.
FANIQUE: Most of your works are about spatial structures and interconnectivity, what are the reasons behind that?
Andre: Recently my work has been dealing more with kinetic movement and urban objects levitating within atmospheric environments. It’s depicting more of a focus toward the actual ‘construction’ of these landscapes, rather than just a slight suggestion. Interconnection – how it relates to architecture and the evolution of space – is a big underlying theme in my work. The paintings are a culmination of marks that depict alternate realities and suggest what ‘possibility’ means through these cognitive, futuristic blueprints.
FANIQUE: Why is art important to you?
Andre: It’s important because I’m almost certain that art is the only thing I want to be doing right now.
It’s a little scary yet invigorating at the same time – when making art starts generating income, paying for bills, and some form of reputation starts building for yourself. But, you’re willing to sacrifice nearly everything else to sustain this type of lifestyle.
FANIQUE: What materials do you usually work with to create an artwork? And what is the process like when creating an art collection?
Andre: Materials wise: A lot of tapes. Like, a LOT of tapes. I use a bunch of rulers in varied sizes, pencils, tracers and markers.
Paint wise: I stick to acrylic and spray paint most of the time simply because it dries faster, provides more immediacy to experiment, and layering becomes much easier oppose to the traditional oil paints. Although I love the finish oil paints have when it dries, I think acrylic based paint is just more appropriate for the type of work I do.
My process is relatively slow because every piece is done in stages. To make up for it, usually, I’ll be working on a few pieces at a time. Near the end, when I’m concluding each painting with its final touches, only then am I usually working on just one. The process at that point becomes a lot faster.
FANIQUE: Is there any subject, in particular, you like to explore through your work in the future?
Andre: No, there isn’t a subject in particular. I’d still like to be exploring themes of memory and architecture. However, I could switch up the subject matter – like construct vehicles instead of buildings. Or explore new mediums, like sculpture/installation (which I’m planning on this year!).
FANIQUE: What is the biggest challenge about being an artist to you?
Andre: Probably the sacrifice involved in actually being a ‘full’ time working artist opposed to a ‘part’ time starving one. The drive and determination to become widely successful is probably the biggest challenge. To sustain this capability and quality of work is a whole other story.
I know a lot of artists who live off making art, and who are certainly on the way to fame. But I can’t even imagine what they had to go through to get there – what they had to give up, and what they were willing to do and change, to come out on top. Obviously, every artist has a different direction, separate paths from one another. But, the willingness to not be afraid and to sacrifice things when the going gets tough will always be a challenge as an artist. So the question is, “Are you alright with being a part time starving artist?”
FANIQUE: What is the process like to pricing your artworks?
Andre: I have a rough guideline I follow when pricing my work. It’ll vary sometimes, but that’s rare since I’ve finally figured out an appropriate method that works for me. Every artist will have a different formula when it comes to pricing his or her own artworks. But the consistency with your formula despite certain exceptions (and galleries acknowledging your ability to do that) will be what’s important and ultimately the most profitable for your art.
FANIQUE: Sometimes, art is “weird” to some people. Not everyone could understand and appreciate it. When it comes to criticism on your work, how do you handle that?
Andre: I’m not going to lie, a lot better than I used to. But I think the fact that everyone will always have a different taste or preference is what takes the time to get accustomed to.
Now, I’m okay with it. Weird is great, and I’ll ask for criticism because ultimately the viewers and spectator are not you. Every person has different experiences in life, so the viewer will never be on the exact same level of thinking as you will be. So at the end of the day, all advice are to help the continuance and development of your art practice.
FANIQUE: What do you value the most in life?
Andre: Probably life itself. It sounds cheesy, but the fact that I’m alive and healthy (somewhat haha), still young, learning, and filled with potential, is what I’m most grateful for. Even having the opportunity to be an artist at this time and age is mind-blowing to me, because if had we grown up within an earlier generation, maybe this all would sound too ridiculous and surreal.
FANIQUE: What is the recent art piece you bought and collected, and what’s special about it?
Andre: Well, my little art collection is still growing! But I purchased a painting by Toronto artist, Stella Cade, a couple months ago. She’s a figurative painter and an awesome one! We’ve known each other for a while now, and her work has always been so inspiring ever since I first saw it. So I thought it’d be nice to buy a piece for my girlfriend since she equally loves her work as well.
FANIQUE: How do you define FANIQUE?
Andre: FANIQUE is a place for individuals to seek inspiration from young artists and entrepreneurs.