“Making a piece of art is such a journey and the emotions can range from exhilaration to complete despair”
Andrew’s work focuses mainly on animals, both wild and domestic, infused with a sense of fun and magic.
Andrew cannot remember when his love of illustrating began, he believes it was even before he was six, at which age he remembers his brother teaching him how to draw a crocodile. When asked what his favourite piece of art he replied “I think it was a picture I did as a child. Those ones where you draw in wax crayon and then paint over… It was an owl and someone (probably me) gave it to a man named Wolfie (who we all loved) but I remember being devastated and over the years I’ve thought about it quite a lot” . Andrew was always in trouble at school for drawing in his books and even more recently when he was completing his Master’s Degree he would find himself doodling on his notes.
Surrounded by an artistic family, it is little surprise that Andrew became the gifted artist he is. He says he feels really blessed to have been surrounded by so much creativity: “My mum is a natural and creates with everything she does” and his dad also paints. He was hugely inspired by all of his siblings, “My brother was amazing but went on a different path, and my sister just oozes creativity like no one I have met before. My other sister was also brilliant at art and used to make the most amazing mosaics”
Since doing a group show in 2013, where he had thought he might quit if he did not make a sale, and subsequently making the biggest sale of his life, Andrew has had more confidence in his talent “I decided to back myself – and get out there”. However, despite his growing success and reputation, Andrew still finds himself surprised when somebody chooses to buy his work. “It’s a great affirmation and always very humbling”
Andrew is inspired by and passionate about many things “animals and colours, flowers, trees…. music! Lots of music, even silence… walking in the mountains, solitude, company… stories and especially stories with pictures… too much”. He is passionate about humanity and the environment, but top of the list is the natural world. He loves animals and nature in general and jumps at the chance to be outdoors. He finds that unusual animal facts invariably bring him great joy “and for me, joy is a wonderful source for creation”
Whenever he is painting or creating he holds in his head the idea that the outcome of his work is going to make someone really happy ‘as an artist, I am creating for an audience’– and that holds true whether it is a commissioned piece or for himself. Commissions, especially his fox city-scapes are hugely enjoyable for Andrew – “people are really good – when they ask me to paint for them, they generally love the work and just want me to do my thing” He is quite harsh with himself on finicky details but if he look at a piece and it makes him smile then he thinks he’s done a good job. The truth is that if he’s not happy with his product then he won’t sell it.
But even if no one ever commissioned a piece from him, Andrew would continue to create. “There is something inside that needs to get out. It is my job to act as a medium. I feel like it moves through me and that I am lucky enough to be a part of it. If I didn’t do it I think I would quite literally go mad.”
“I love the fox. He is so much a part of us at this moment. Part wild part domestic. re-cycler, trickster, friend. For me the fox is the connection that we have with nature and a way to find our way back to equilibrium and balance. I love the fox paintings because they make people smile and I think that that is a real gift to be able to give to the world.”