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Meet Andrew Rola

Today we’d like to introduce you to Andrew Rola.

Hi Andrew, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
I am an artist. Though, I tried everything in my power not to be. I fought so hard to find an acceptable career path, one which would bring financial stability while also satisfying the creative urges I could never shake. For 20 years, I studied every discipline and career path I had an interest in: Music, Zoology, Physics, Engineering, Psychology, Chemistry, Biology, Cooking, History, Education, Mathematics, Animation, Writing. However, no matter the direction I chose, I always ended up crashing and the artist in me would force its way out. I’d let it loose for a time, until I began to feel satisfied enough to lock it back up in its box and return to my quest for a real job.

Eventually, I landed on my last option, becoming a teacher. I come from a family of teachers. I see the happiness and satisfaction it brings into their lives, and I thought it just might work for me as well. I kept the art locked away long enough to earn a degree and test what life was like in the classroom. It was a challenging and rewarding experience, and I could almost see myself doing it forever, but when it became time to fully dive in, I couldn’t. I knew once again I was walking away from something I worked so hard to achieve. Having completely run out of options, I reached a new low and sank deep into depression. I was ready to give up, unable to take another step forward.

And that’s when the artist finally broke free. With nothing left to lose, I knew it was time to see what I could do once I put my imagination in control. Beautiful things began to happen. Art I never knew I was capable of creating started to flow out of me and I finally found true purpose in this life. Everything I had been through was leading to this moment and I was ready to be an artist.

Though I still struggle with the highs and lows of life, and this career is more challenging than I could have imagined, my drive to create always keeps me going. I am determined to see just how far I can push myself artistically, and achieve the goals I only dreamed of as a child.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey has been a fairly smooth road?
Choosing the path of an artist is more challenging than I ever expected. I quickly learned that it’s so much more than just creating and selling art. Being an artist is easy, but being in an art business is a whole other story. You have to take on every aspect of a successful business model, while somehow finding time to be creative. It can be overwhelming at times and I still have so much to learn, but it has gotten easier with time. I continue to move for I figure it out as I go along.

As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
I like to let my imagination lead me where ever it chooses to go. It can take on the form of drawings, sculptures, printmaking, animations, writings and music, all joining to together to build my ever expanding world of surreal landscapes, imaginative creatures, and impossible machines. My true artistic passion, however, is for painting. I was afraid to try painting for most of my life. It was the artform I respected the most and was the most afraid to fail. But, once I picked up the paintbrush for the first time, about 5 years ago, I knew It was what I had been looking for. I have strived to improve my skills, learn from artists of the past and present, and continue to push the boundaries of what I can accomplish.

So maybe we end on discussing what matters most to you and why?
What matters most to me is finally giving art everything I have. I want to honor the imagination of my childhood and become the artist I always dreamed of becoming. I’m not driven by money, or success, or trying to be better than anyone else. I simply want to add as much beauty to this world with the time I have, continue to improve my craft, and possibly inspire a few others along the way.

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