Native Nashvillian, Andrew Smith is a proud husband of his supportive wife Mary and a loving father to his two wonderful children; his dog Bell and cat Milo. Since he was a child he has always been fascinated with space. This fascination can be felt at a glance at his cosmically themed abstract work. The other major portion of his art is focused on illustrated geometric abstracts.
WCG: How did you get to be where you are now as an artist?
Smith: My path is not your typical artist path. It has taken several different turns before finally straightening out towards a career in art. I love creating as a child, whether it was using metal sheers and scraps of old copper leftover from our home construction to make nail print geometric designs, to painting, drawing and crafting. As I got older and went off to college my creativity waned while trying to pursue a degree. Eventually, I was forced to drop out and take an entry level sales job with a major computer manufacturer here in town and grind 10-11 hour shifts to make ends meet. After several horrific years there, I quit and started an online sports collectable business. During this time in 2007, I started painting watercolor landscapes again as a hobby. This grew into experimenting with acrylics and abstracts a couple years later. It turned into a full blown creative obsession around 2011 with my first pop up events and festivals and I haven’t looked back since.
WCG: What does being an artist mean to you?
Smith: Being an artist to me means creative freedom to express yourself and your ideals. The beauty of art is that you can visually express your thoughts and what interests you, but what you create might also be interpreted differently by the viewer. Some may look at what you have created and be blown away with it, while others might not get it at all. Either way is totally fine with me as I am open to feedback, both positive and negative. We all can learn from both perspectives.
WCG: What is your ultimate goal when it comes to your work?
Smith: This question has dual answers. First, my ultimate goals with my work are that hopefully the viewer will see or interpret where I am coming from with each piece, although I do tend to throw subliminal messages in from time to time just to see if anyone gets it without distracting from the overall idea. Second, and this is the greater goal of the two, is to start an art outreach for children of domestic violence. My father was very abusive while I was growing up. Art helped me heal and gave me a much-needed place to escape. Hopefully, one day I will be able to help provide a safe environment for teens and adolescence to create and help in any way that I can.
WCG: What two art-related achievements are you the proudest of?
Smith: The two art related achievements that I am most proud of would be my first solo show at Refinery back in July 2015 and a RAW International Artist showcase that I was a part of in Hollywood on January 14, 2016. This day was also our 4th wedding anniversary, so it was a very special day. Great memories showing my work on the other side of the country while also celebrating the greatest event in my life.
WCG: What advice would you give to an artist just starting out?
Smith: Create what you love, regardless if you are commercially successful or not. Keep putting in work and practice as much as possible. Keep journals for ideas when they pop up or scratch them down on paper, napkin, anything if a journal is not available. I have gone back numerous times and used ideas that I came up with that were 2 or 3 years old. Collaborate as much as possible and support other local artist. If you can’t afford to buy a painting or print, show up and support them at their shows and events.
Andrew's Closing Remarks:
I’m excited to be a part of my first Tomato Fest this year. I’ve set up at several festivals and pop up markets but this will be my largest outdoor event to date. Stop by and say hi!
SGB Featured Work (July - August 2017)
Emulsion #40: 72”x2”48” Mixed media on canvas
Emulsion #30: 42”x3”17” Mixed media on wood panel
Iridescent (Emulsion #41): 48”x2”36” Mixed media on canvas
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