We had the good fortune of connecting with Andy Arens and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Andy, is there something that you feel is most responsible for your success?
I think that the biggest factor to the success I have had with my art is the fact that I’ve stayed true to what I believe my message is with my art. Over the course of my career as an artist, my art has changed and evolved but it has always been true to who I am and I’d say it’s a pretty pure reflection of myself and what I feel is inside me. Art and being an artist I feel is sometimes a difficult thing to do because you have so many opinions and beliefs about what art “should” or “shouldn’t” be and you can get lost in what others are saying or thinking. But if you can find a way to be honest with yourself and a message that resonates with people, AND be comfortable with honest analysis of your work I believe you have a great recipe for success.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Throughout my artist career, I’ve had my fair share of ups and downs. The road to where i am today has been a lot of trial and error and just putting myself out there. I think the biggest thing along the way has just been the fact that I have kept pushing myself and getting myself back up after getting discouraged and down on myself. As I’ve become a more established artist, reflecting back on my career I think the best way I’ve overcome my challenges is just being honest with myself about my art. Whether I have a great art show or one that I don’t sell anything at, I can look back and say I have been honest and true to my vision and my goals. In a competitive art world that can be so saturated sometimes, I’m very happy that my art has been a true reflection of myself. The thing I’m most excited for, I think at this point in my career is the fact that my art is an honest reflection and expression of myself and what I want the world to see. Its a very exciting thing to think that the art I create is coming from a true deep connection to whatever greater thing we are l a part of and it’s also resonating with others. I think I’m most proud of that fact, that what is meaningful and important to my expression is being received by others. I think, as an artist, what sets me apart is the fact that I kind of do my own thing. Throughout my journey I have always strived to make things a little bolder and a bit different. That’s been a tough path to follow. There have been many times I could have fallen to popular art that sells easy, but I believe the whole point of art is to express yourself truly and mass producing paintings of Marilyn Monroe in different colors wasn’t my truest expression. Honesty and the patience to be okay with my art along the way has been an important part of my career. The world has so many artists, great ones are everywhere. I guess with my art I am just trying to express that we are all a part of something greater than ourselves and if we take a step back, maybe we can catch a glimpse of the bigger picture. If we pause for a second, breathe and look up, we will see that this universe is beautiful and its a great thing to be a part of it.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Coming into Denver via DIA, I’d take the train into Denver to Union Station. From there you have a multitude of choices for restaurants and bars. The Birdcage and Denver Beer Co. are in the area, both great places for food and to check out our local beers. Depending on the season, Coors Field is a great place to see some baseball and maybe catch one of those amazing Colorado sunsets. Right over by the field is Whiskey Bar, which is a great postgame place for drink into the night. North a bit more is RiNo, which as an artist is a great place to check out a lot of local artists and murals. Restaurants I’d check out over there would include Work & Class, Osaka Ramen, Fish N Beer, and The Preservery. Ratio and Epic breweries are also great places to check out the local beer scene. If you’re into music you can check out the Marquis Theater, the Larimer Lounge, Summit Music Hall or Cervantes’ Masterpiece Ballroom, all great places for big name or intimate shows. A trip further down south you can check out South Broadway, Player’s Pub is a great place to start and from there you have all your choices for bars and restaurants. Getting out of the city a little bit, you can take a venture over to Sloan’s Lake to bike or roller blade the path or do some paddle boarding with great views of the city. Don’t forget to check out Skyline Pub afterward for some food. You can’t visit Denver and not check out one of our most famous places, Red Rocks, during the day there’s tons of hiking to do in the area and at night it’s one of the best places in the world to see one of your favorite bands live. Also there are plenty of bodies of water if you want to get a little wet on your visit. Cherry Creek and Chatfield State Parks are both within a short drive from the city and are great for all of your outdoor activities. The museums are all great to check out as well. From The Nature and Science museum to the Center of Colorado Women’s History, there are plenty of ways to learn about the art, culture and people that have made Colorado the great state it is today.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Over the course of my career as an artist there have been many different people and events that have shaped my story. Starting in high school was my art teacher, Mr. Tim Newton. I had him through all four years of school and he always would push me to do my absolute best. He would have us critique each other’s work and build on constructive criticism. Even when I thought I was doing my best he would challenge me and ask “Are you sure that’s the best you can do?” It helped me look at my art critically and always push myself and my boundaries with where I want to go with my art. My parents and my family have also been great support, I’ve always been told growing up that if I work hard at what I want, it will eventually pay off. They taught me patience and to hold myself up to a high standard but to never be too hard on myself, no one is perfect and we all make mistakes. The friends that have stayed throughout the years have also been great and supportive. My two great friends, Sam Berry and Callan Hetterichhave been there to bounce ideas off of and to push each other in our respective styles. From learning to build canvases from scratch to collaborations on paintings, I don’t think my art would be where it is with out them. A couple books that have really helped guide me are “The Way of the Peaceful Warrior” by Dan Millman and “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F***” by Mark Manson. Both of these books basically just kind of tell you to keep things light, don’t take things too seriously and really put your heart into what you u believe really matters and everything else will eventually fall into place. There are numerous other events, and people good and bad that have also shaped my art and who I am, and I can’t acknowledge my progress and successes with out also acknowledging my failures, trials and tribulations. Without all the experiences, I don’t think my art would have taken on the life that it has.

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