So, I know you’re an honors student who’s created a moving piece of art, but beyond that, who’s Andrea?

That’s hard to answer because I’m still “finding” myself and growing as an individual. For many years, I denied the fact that I was an artist and only recently, started paying attention to and working with my talents. Beyond that, I’m also an activist with movements such as BLM, intersectional feminism, environmentalism, and the LGBTQ community and double majoring in fine arts and nursing.

How do you feel about being published—and winning a WRHC award—in Scribendi?

I’m extremely honored and shocked. I’ve never been the most competitive person and I’m sort of passive when it comes to my art so I don’t really enter anything in or show my work frequently. I submitted on a whim, and it’s definitely given me a confidence boost.

The staff was impressed by “Recognition 1,” the figure’s posturing, and your selective use of cool and warm tones. What was it like to create this work? What themes were you pursuing?

I like to keep my themes ambiguous—the subjectivity and interpretation of art is simultaneously the most magical and frustrating part of it all. In general, I like painting things I want to relate to or things that I find important such as sexuality, gender, nature, mental illness, and the philosophies and more specific themes that involve them.

What role does art play in your life?

Art plays an import role in my everyday life. I try to think in terms of how I can apply my everyday interactions and interpretation of the world into my work. Though I don’t always have time to physically manifest it, I have notebooks saved with concepts for the future.

What work do you most enjoy doing?

Oil painting—I’m a messy artist so anything that allows me to break away from the monotony of my weekday life. Ideally, I love painting on giant surfaces (I used to volunteer to paint giant 30×30’ tall poster for my high school), but I don’t have a studio just yet.

How do you work: what kind of creative patterns, routines, or rituals do you have?

I can only work when I feel I don’t have any obligations to my academic classes. I’m still doing all my general ed so it’s difficult to feel like I have time to immerse myself completely in art, and that in itself also stresses me out a bit. I always have an abundance of creative energy and ideas I want to work with, but again, I put restrictions on myself (for the time being). The oil painting process is a lot more strenuous than other media because of the drying time and solvents used, but I love it so much. When I start to paint, I lose track of time and become completely involved in my work till it’s done. I’m generally a fast painter, so I can complete a painting in an hour or two—my issue is I think it’s done, so I walk away and come back the next day and see so many flaws or things I’m not satisfied with so I’ll spend another 30 minutes on it, and that process repeats itself. I joke about all my works being works in progress—even “Recognition 1.”

Where do you like to work on your art?

Indoors, anywhere there is space.

How has your art changed over time?

I’d say it’s only changed in terms of execution and time investment. When I was younger, I would do weird things like staple walls and doors excessively or pour glue on the floor so I could peel it off and color on it. Stuff like that still fascinates me—someday I might do an installment based on that. I guess I was never consciously aware that the things I did could be considered art. I would draw as well—whenever I could—but not frequently, and only recently in the past two years, I’ve started painting. Though, I still don’t invest nearly as much time as I should; I feel like I become better with every painting I create and see progress even within the same painting anytime I go to make corrections.

Why did you submit to Scribendi?

I was taking my first painting class ever and saw a flyer up in the honors space at my school. Something made me feel like it was a good idea, though I’ve never submitted any original work anywhere.

Why should people submit to Scribendi, as opposed to another publication?

I think that people should take any opportunities they can to better themselves. Scribendi is definitely a genuinely great platform for artists to showcase their work. I’m grateful for the experience and for the confidence I’ve gained through it all. The staff has also been very patient and understanding. I don’t think anyone has an excuse to not submit to their publication.