Andre Deherrera, creator and artist for AndreDDesign, gives insight to his life as a fine artist.
Nerdy, humorous, outgoing
Well, I am about to turn the big three-oh, although my friends and family assure me that turning 30 is not as bad as it sounds. I am a college graduate and my schooling has nothing to do with art *chuckles* I went to a community college for Liberal Arts and then, from there, to a university for Astrophysics & Mathematics. In essence, I am a nerd, a geek who loves all things astronomy and scientific. I come from a wonderful mix of cultures; my mother's side being French/German hailing from New York, and my father's side being Hispanic from here in New Mexico. I have a fantastic family, an amazing girlfriend, and the two of us live with our two 70-80 pound adopted shelter dogs.
Coming from a background that is heavy in science, there was not much of an artistic influence in my life growing up. My grandfather had been an amazing hobbyist who created superb sculptures and paintings, but he passed away when I was still a young teenager. I took art history and drawing classes in college to complete my fine arts credit requirements, and discovered that drawing came naturally. I wanted to be an astronomer, however, and soon my drawings were stored in a dusty corner of a spare bedroom.
When I finished college, I went to work for the government, working in a laboratory doing hush hush work for energy and defense applications. I worked 10-hour shifts at night, and my social life soon degraded itself to occasional get-togethers on random Saturdays and sitting at home, alone, during the wee hours of the morning after leaving work, watching show after show on Netflix until bedtime around 7am. I quickly became restless and started looking for projects to occupy my mind. One of these projects was creating little drawings and such. I soon realized my potential as an artist after that. I continued to dabble with drawing until I met my wonderful girlfriend, who worked evenings as well, and soon forgot about the drawings. Then, through a series of unfortunate events, I was laid off along with several others and went on unemployment. I occupied my mornings with job hunting and my evenings with art. I began posting some doodles on Facebook and the response I got back from my friends and family was: This is really good...why in God's name aren't you selling your work?? That is what started my trek into the world of fine artists.
I do a little bit of abstract work, but mainly focus on hyper-realism and surreal work.
Brace yourselves...I work in the digital medium. I use software similar to what movie companies such as Pixar use. It has nothing to do with photo-manipulation or digital painting. I guess the closest term for it would be digital 3d modeling and rendering.
Regardless of what some traditionalists may believe, digital art is not an easy way out or paint-by-numbers. It is a highly complex process that utilizes many aspects of traditional art and melds them all into one process. You have to sculpt your subjects, just as you would with clay sculpting, you have to texture and paint them, like traditional painting, then you must set up proper lighting and camera placement, as in photography, and then end the whole process with compositing, which adds special effects like vignettes and glare to your finished image. You are like a little digital deity, creating an entire scene/environment out of nothing.
I guess that my scientific background comes through in my art. I like cold hard facts, and that sometimes shows up in my hyper-realism and minimalistic scenes. I love basic shapes - I think that spheres are the most perfect shapes in existence. At the same time, I love the idea of altering nature and the physical laws that bound us, and so that plays into the surrealism... the hyper-realism really creates some interesting feelings when you see an image that looks like a photograph but the objects are behaving in ways that aren't possible in real life.
How do you come up with your ideas?
I honestly just have ideas that pop up into my head, and then start working on ways to reproduce them in my artwork.
Why create art?
I love the feeling of creating something that comes solely from my mind. Scientific studies do not really promote expression of oneself. With art I can create something from nothing that I find beautiful and captivating, and I love the reactions I get from people when they see my work.
How often do you create?
Every day. I spend hours every day working on pieces. Most end up never to see the light of day by others, but the ones I really like end up at my website.
What is the best artwork you ever created?
Personally, my favorite is Stream of Consciousness. I feel that this artwork embodies the process of how I create my art. It starts off as many little pieces and ideas, and then begins to condense into a single with all those little ideas and pieces coming together.
What is the role of the artist in society?
The artist provides society with emotions, color, and texture. Scientists think up of ways to make life easier, builders and technicians turn those scientific ideas into tangible objects. These things help us - they blend our foods, put roofs over our heads, make mowing the lawn easier - but they never add real emotion. Artists come in to play on our emotions and subconscious thoughts. Amazingly, artists know how to elicit these strong feelings by creating images on canvas and clay.
Do you make money from your artwork?
Not yet. I have only begun to storm the world with the art of Andre Deherrera *smile* I'm at the beginner's stage of trying to figure out marketing and develop a large enough fan base to sell my work on a steady basis.
Growing up I loved Dali. I loved how he played on the mind by creating art that caused you to do a double-take and scratch your head, wondering how the heck he did it.
Contemporary Artist Recommendation
I really haven't spent any time with contemporary artists. I was always the slightly more traditional Magritte/Dali kind of guy.
Two years ago I had been teaching a younger cousin how to snowboard. I fell and gave myself whiplash which led to a blood clot in my neck and a stroke. I was an oddity at the hospital, being the first 27-year-old stroke victim they had ever seen. I was hit hard, I lost my sight, my speech, my ability to walk and swallow food and water. Through a lot of physical therapy and determination I regained a lot of what I had lost. It's been a little over two years since my stroke, but I'm walking, talking, and creating art and only have residual problems with motor functions and numbness on my left side.
Did you ever feel like giving up art?
Never. Sometimes I feel that, with the enormous amount of other fine artists out there, that I will never get well-known and sell a lot of art. But, regardless of whether I sell enough to make a living, I love the process of creating and the proud feelings I get when looking at a finished piece...I could never give that up.
Where do you see yourself as an artist in 10 years?
I hope to find myself as an artist still, but I try to keep my feet on the ground and realize that I might never make enough from selling art to support myself or my family. I'm happy with just creating the art and the extra bonus of knowing a couple of people like my work enough to purchase it.
Advice for Emerging Artists
Not really...I mean, I'm an aspiring and emerging artist myself. All I can say is that this, so far, has been an amazing adventure for me and I've met many fantastic people along the way. I would just say to keep at it and remember that one of the most important things is to stay strong and always work on marketing yourself otherwise no one will know you're out there!
Creator and artist for AndreDDesign, gives insight to his life as a fine artist.
Art Website: Andre Deherrera