“Making art is like having to use the bathroom. The more you hold it in, the more uncomfortable it becomes. Just let it out.”

-Andy Andersen

I know him well.

In elementary school. In junior high. In college eating a Super Cucas burrito wrapped in tinfoil that had spent half a day on the balcony, forgotten, cooking under summer and her Isle Vista sun.

Through it all his art has been incredible. The doodles of a kid became the paintings of a teenager became the visions of a college crazy became the makings of a career artist.

I interviewed the man who in college shaved a cul-de-sac into his hair for Halloween to represent the bald, middle-aged version of himself, in a question and answering session that captures the artist behind the pandemonium.

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You once wore jeans with holes in the crotch and shirts with paint marks all over them in college…would you still wear those grungy art major clothes now?


I think those clothes were a metaphor for how my life was back then.  It was barely held together by a thread and covered in substances to hide my insecurities.  I skated to a friend’s house in my jeans that were steadily ripping apart my sword sheath. Wearing no underwear, because I had no money to do laundry, a lengthy push on my board ripped a giant hole in the crotch without me realizing.  When I made it to my buddy’s house, he gave me a 40 oz. King Cobra and I sat down in the kitchen.  His roommate walked out and the first thing he said to me was, “nice balls”.   My baby factory was plopped and exposed behind a gaping denim window.  I should have been embarrassed but all I could think about was “Damn, I’m glad someone finally gave me recognition for a owning a nice set of plums.”  The clothes will forever stay in my college days.  I don’t think I need to dress a certain way to be considered an accomplished artist…I would rather prove it with the pen.


We all have epiphanies, either drink induced or drug induced or spiritually induced…what has been an artistic epiphany for you and how did it come along?


I think all of them have played a part in my artistic and personal epiphanies.  I have partaken in all three at different points in my life and they all have contributed to spontaneous outbursts of creativity.  The problem was, even though they were allowing me to think differently, everything was very fuzzy and inconsistent.  It wasn’t until I leaned more on spirituality that my work began to take form.  They all were essential to opening my mind and now that there is a gaping portal in my consciousness, I can continue to make work with a clear head.   Open mind, clear head.


Having experimented with various mediums, what style grabs you the most?


My ink drawings have been a focus of mine for the last 3 years.  I have loved exploring the different line weights and their relationships to patterns and limited graphite appliqués.  I always start with a sketch of a base idea and draw it in pencil.  Then I spend an indefinable amount of hours filling in the rough bone scaffolding with black liquid.  I stop when it makes sense to stop.  I always have about 8 pieces going at any given moment and many times my breaks are spent working on another piece.


How often are you hit up by friends to do personal projects for them?


Lets just say there is a very long list of art pieces I have promised to people.  Many of these are for free…but paying me will get them done a hell of a lot faster.


How do you conceptualize the uncensored, laugh-out-loud images you construct in your artwork and what can possibly be your muse?


I find inspiration from every image I come across.   Weather it is film, newspaper clippings or Google images, I am an avid collector of intriguing visuals.  These snapshots become the subjects.  If it makes me giggle I know I am on the right track.  My desire to keep making art is my muse. Even if I don’t really feel like drawing, which is rare, I will force my self to practice in a sketchbook.  It is a lot like music or sports or video games.  The more time you put in the quicker and easier it is to complete tasks.  It’s all about leveling up.


What is the most common stereotype about an artist and do you fit the description?


I think a common stereotype about artists is that they are all depressed, crazy, and unstable.  Unfortunately I am none of those things.  As much as it would benefit my persona to say I was born in the ghetto to a crack smoking prostitute and a Columbian king pin…I wasn’t.  I am a product of a normal middle class suburban family.  I think everyone needs a channel to meditate and try to make sense out of this crazy world we live in.  I have been lucky enough to find mine.


If you could draw on any object in the world what would it be and why?


I would like to paint on the inside of an eyelid or in a person’s subconscious. It would save a lot of ink and paint.


If you could not find an eyelid where else would you want your art exhibited?


I would like to have my drawings featured in the stalls of public and private bathrooms.  Everyone is searching for something to occupy and relax the mind while backing out the brown Cadillac into the porcelain garage.  I would love to say that my work can physically make you feel better.

More on the Artist

Website: AndyAndersenArt.net


Email: Andy@AndyAndersenArt.net


6 thoughts on “Andy Andersen: Art and the Mind that Moves It

  1. How hard was it to get an interview with that artist while he was in jail. I’m sure his insanity defense is going to work! Just joking. I saw him in the bathroom drawing on the stall. He asked me if he could draw in the inside of my eyelid….. It did help me poop so I could get the hell out of there. Weird dude!

  2. Wow…on so many levels! I am blessed to know the artist well and couldn’t be more proud of his accomplishments…both past, present and future! Good questions, Jordan, and the answers are so…well, Andy! Great writer/artist friendship! Can’t wait to see what’s in store for you both!

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