Q&A with visual artist Andrea McKenzie

XX: WHO IS ANDREA MCKENZIE? TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF!

ANDREA MCKENZIE: I’m a visual artist using my art to break through barriers and accomplish my goals. Moreso,

I was born in 1984 with an active involvement in the world-famous Carnival from an early age. I grew up in Woodbrook, went to Diego Martin Secondary and earned a Degree in Marketing from the University of New Brunswick.

My creative expressions exploded with elements of a natural gift passed on from generations. My grandmother was a visual artist and pianist. I have innovated the artistic technique of fusing acrylic and melted wax on canvas to reflect my Caribbean origins, artistic energies and past, with a unique eye for vibrant colors.

I regularly create privately commissioned, color inspired eclectic upbeat paintings. Over the years my work has been exhibited prominently throughout Trinidad and Tobago and the rest of the Caribbean. I recently migrated to the United States, but I miss our beautiful beaches!

XX: HOW DO YOUR CARIBBEAN ROOTS HELP YOUR ART?

AM: The Caribbean is experiencing a rebirth internationally, with our music, food and fashion being often replicated, and art is no different.

The eyes of the world are on us, and I am capitalizing on the uniqueness of our people!

XX: LET’S TALK ABOUT YOUR WORK.. TELL US MORE!

AM: I am a visual artist and my most frequented medium is acrylic on canvas.

I don’t limit myself to one particular medium however, as I’ve mastered many other mediums – for example wax, glass or charcoal.

XX: HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN DOING ART? WHEN DID IT BECOME A CAREER FOR YOU?

AM: I’ve been doing art for as long as I can remember – probably for most of my life. It has always been my therapy, always there through my trials and tribulations.

I would say art saved me – it allowed me to express myself many times when I couldn’t on my own. It became a full-time career for me in 2013.

XX: WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE KIND OF WORK TO CREATE?

AM: I can’t choose a favourite! I have no favourite type of art to produce. I love doing abstracts, conceptual art, representational art, and the list goes on…

XX: WHAT INSPIRES YOU TO CREATE?

AM: For an artist, anything can be inspiration – from music to good conversation.

For me as an artist, I mostly find myself inspired by my own experiences or that of the people around me. Art, for me, is an innate response to the inner and outer worlds, a balancing act between the intuitive and the measured.

XX: YOU DO A LOT A LOT OF COMMISSIONED PIECES, WHAT’S BEEN THE COOLEST PIECE OF WORK YOU’VE DONE FOR A CLIENT?

AM: I really hate to single out any one piece of my artwork. If I had to choose, I would say the 3-part portrait painting of Kalief Browder. The piece was extremely pertinent to the Black Lives Matter movement.

XX: HAVE YOU SHOWCASED YOUR WORK?

AM: I have shown my collections at home in Trinidad and Tobago, as well as at both  Femme Fatale and Curly Girl Festival in New York, and the Artwalk in Atlanta.

I’m also embarking on an international tour in 2019, so be on the lookout!

XX: HOW CAN WE GET OUR HANDS ON OUR OF YOUR PIECES?

AM: I have pieces available to purchase on my website www.andreauniqueart.com.

Most of my opportunities arrive through social media. I can be reached directly through my social media accounts, @andreas.heart on Instagram and Andrea’s Unique Art on Facebook.

XX: WHAT’S YOUR END GOAL?

AM: There’s no end game goal!

My purpose in life is to leave this earth empty, having fulfilled all my goals. That’s what I’m going to do!

XX: WHAT’S NEXT FOR YOU?

AM: You’re just going to have to stay tuned!

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