We had the good fortune of connecting with Andrea Dent and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Andrea, why did you pursue a creative career?
Years ago I read a quote by Elizabeth Braun that stayed with me. “ Art is not always about pretty things. It’s about who we are, what happened to us and how our lives are affected.”
Life happened to me and while I was down I was never out! From somewhere deep down inside, the quote returned quietly to my mind along with a burning desire to do good things for others who may be struggling.
I picked up a paint brush and painted from sunup to sundown. I challenged myself to learn a new technique every month. I had many to choose from as I was new to painting.
Determined to sell my work and use the funds to send youngsters from under resourced neighborhoods on the adventures of their lives, we held art events, 5K races and so on to raise funds and sell art.
I am very grateful to have sent 15 young youngsters thus far with more to come and that is why I started making art.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I began my art business by making sculptures from found objects. I would walk the beaches and forests gathering interesting bark and driftwood.
My ancestry includes Native American, African and Great Britain. As children we were taken into the forest and out to the country to learn everything about the trees, medicinal and edible plants and more.
On one occasion, I traveled to Detroit, MI to do a photo shoot of vacant homes that were being reclaimed by the land. I gathered old ceiling tiles and other interesting pieces to use in my work.
As an artist, it is important to create everyday.. If you think a piece is not to your liking, put it aside and come back to it later.
Lessons I have learned:
1. Create what YOU love
2. Create art based on YOUR story
3. I founded a 501(c)(3), nonprofit, Will’s Wings Foundation, to be able to help the youngsters. You can always donate funds to a cause or create your own nonprofit and have greater control over who and how you help.
Professionally, I created a website, used Facebook ads, called family and friends to let them know about my projects. My best sales have come from client referrals. It is hard to get started so my recommendation is to focus on making the most incredible art you can make and the clients will come to you.
What I would like the world to know about my brand is that the brand was created to bring joy and hope to others. Whether it is the joy one experiences when looking at the art or the hope a youngster feels when they get on an airplane to go on an adventure of a lifetime.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I would take them to the LaJolla Shore. There are amazing cliffs, trails and tide pools not to mention the restaurants!
There are the most incredible hiking trails in San Diego.
The beach towns are awesome. Solano Beach, Encinitas and Point Loma.
A little further down the coast is Sunset Cliffs.
They must visit Coronado Island and the Hotel Del.
Little Italy in downtown San Diego has great restaurants and shops.
Balboa Park is right in the center of downtown but feels as though you are in another world. Restaurants such as the Prada, museums, the Asian Gardens and concerts.
The San Diego Zoo is like no other and ranked in the top 3 in the world.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Tinicia Smith/ Black San Diego email@example.com
Mia Jones/ The Right Greens Organic Juice Delivery LLC
Facebook: Andrea Dent Artist