We had the good fortune of connecting with Andi Lynne Darko and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Andi Lynne, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
I’ve never really seen any other way of moving forward than to create; I often get the feeling of a wolf trapped in cage, and creation has been a way to escape. There’s something prophetic or spiritual in the act of performing and constructing new landscapes. For me, creating moving image and mixed media works has offered a space where I’ve been able to process and reclaim my experiences of being bipolar, and to understand both trauma and healing. I make work that is very personal, but I hope that there’s something in the energy it manifests that can help to heal others who feel a similar sense of being too wild for the world around them–I hope they can access a bigger space through the worlds I create. I also feel very very blessed to have the privilege of pursuing creation professionally, and have a lot of people to thank for that.
Please tell us more about your work. We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others, what you are most proud of or excited about. How did you get to where you are today professionally. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges? What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way. What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story?
I grew up in a space where women-presenting individuals weren’t valued or treated well, and my artistic side was looked down upon. My Mom and sister have always been really supportive, and believe in me sincerely as a working artist, but it wasn’t until I went to college that I was immersed in a situation that told me to love myself and my work. This had a lot to do with feeling respected, which is something I’ve had to fight for. The lesson for me came in community, and in the importance of surrounding myself with strong women and queer individuals who reminded me of my value. Learning how to demand respect isn’t something I could have done without that network of strong, badass ladies. I try to show that respect for myself in the way I navigate my work, and I don’t shy away from subjects or depictions of myself that might feel bold or risky. Because of this, I see my work as brave and honest, and I’m really proud of that.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
My favorite place in Denver area is the SIE Film Center, which I always try to bring friends to and spend time at. If I could, I would probably see a movie here every day. They have a really calming atmosphere and the staff is very generous and lovely. They also bring in a lot of films that I am excited about. I’m a fan of speakeasies, and last time my best friend was visiting we checked out Frozen Matter and the secret in the freezer. All of the drinks are named after horror movies, which is really exciting for me. There are lots of lovely parks, and I enjoy spending time around Sloan’s Lake. The lake is small enough to easily circle, with a pretty view of the mountains. Also–Little Man Ice Cream. Fun presentation and the ice cream is awesome.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
There’s a massive amount of people who support me and influence me, it’s really overwhelming. But if there’s a single person I feel compelled to mention it’s Kalyn Leininger, who’s been my partner in creativity and worldbuilding since I was a toddler. Without her, I wouldn’t be the person that I am. Besides being a major support for me, she’s always been a huge presence in my work and my spiritual life. In addition to being an influence on my work through her own amazing artwork, she’s also an inspiration in the way she navigates the world (which is always with unbelievable kindness and bravery). I know that wherever I go in these dimensions and places and times, she’ll be with me.
Other: Vimeo https://vimeo.com/emberwolf
Special effects guts work – Madi Lyn
Stills – Andi Lynne Darko, Brandon Blanc, and Raine Roberts