Thursday, September 15, 2011

Story Behind the Craft: Whimsical Paintings from Andrea Doss

I'm so excited and thrilled by both the artwork and the story behind today's post that I'm just going to let the post speak (mostly for itself). Andrea's energy is infectious, so I hope that by hearing a bit about her life and what drives her creativity, you'll find a little more inspiration in your own day. If you have a story and a craft that you'd like to share, email me at thingswemake at gmail dot com!

Name: Andrea Doss

Where do you live? 
Home of cattle drives, stockyards and bumper-to-bumper traffic, we call Fort Worth, Texas home. We love the unusual combination of country and city life that we get here. Where else can you walk out your door and see cow pastures on one side and the sky scraper city line on the other? 

Is this your full time work? 
Yes, painting is one of my full time jobs. Along with chasing my two-year-old around the house, home schooling my nine-year-old and folding the heaps of never ending laundry that somehow multiply when I'm not looking.


How did you learn to make this style of art
I've been painting for years and I've tried all kinds of styles, from traditional realism to abstract modern. While I enjoy those styles and can appreciate their beauty, it was something I had to force. Then one day, my daughter wanted me to paint something for her. She helped me with the concept, gave me input on the colors and characters, and before I knew it, I had painted a mermaid. My daughter was more than thrilled and I realized that I really REALLY liked painting in that style. I haven't stopped since.

What sets your work apart? 
Storytelling. Every painting has a little story to go with it (usually invented my daughters). The characters in my paintings are all in the middle of some kind of adventure or mischief.

Where do you find your inspiration? 
I've been telling stories to my nieces and nephews, and now my daughters, for years. Painting is just an extension of that storytelling. I also get lots of inspiration from my nine-year-old. She has a very active imagination. 

How do you make time for your creativity?
I get lots of help. When I'm painting, my girls are doing something crafty, too. My kitchen is filled with crayons, paper, glue and boxes of glitter and paint. I've pretty much given up on having a clean table.

Tell me about the review process that you go through with your work and your kids.
After I finish a painting, they gather around to give it their personal, professional critique. This is the point where they inject story elements that I may not have thought of before. One time, after I finished a painting filled with barnyard animals, my two-year-old gave me the sternest look and demanded to know why there wasn't a hippo in the painting. A hippo? I knew I had forgotten something! 

Did you start these after you had kids or before, and why? 
Having kids changed my perspective on everything, including the way I view art. Kids look at art and they immediately love it. Or not. There's no analyzing, no trying to interpret deeper meaning, no intellectual debate about its symmetry. I would never have realized before my daughters entered my life how amazing it is to get a child's approval on something I created.  

Click here to visit Andrea's shop which comes in a range of prices. Thanks so much for sharing!!

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