NAME: Andrew Diaz
LOCATION: San Diego, CA
1. Sum up your creative process in one word/phrase, and explain why.
My creative process can easily be represented by the word “Healing” or “To heal”. As artists, we are always expressing what we feel. For me, my work needs to be more than expression. Every piece or collection I do has to have a purpose. Whether it is moving on from my divorce, being abused as a child or reconnecting to my art….it always has to serve a purpose first. All my work is to either heal or hopefully move on.
2. Were you always an artist, even as a child? What was your path to becoming an artist?
When I was a young boy, I always was so inspired by my older brother Christopher. His natural talent in which he showed through these drawings had me wanting to mimic his skill. So I started to draw coming books and from there it kind of evolved to more serious forms of expression. In 2005 I sat down in my very first apartment at my single chair and table and set out to draw my first serious piece of art. It would be a piece dealing with my extreme depression at that moment but it helped me move on and was the start of a great career.
3. What is your medium of choice and what drew you to this particular medium?
The medium that would aptly describe my work would be mixed media. When I was in an art class at San Diego State University an instructor had commented on how the use of Photoshop in art was not real art. This puzzled me because the end goal of my work was expression, so how can a tool that helped me do that not be a real medium. From then on I decided to try every medium I could and mix them together. I would start a drawing, scan it and bring it into Photoshop then throw photos, text or anything else just to see if I can express myself by having all these mediums together. I find my work is much richer in expression by using multiple mediums.
4. Is there any particular experience, person, place or thing that inspires you to create? Tell us about that.
The main themes in my work deal with dealing with my bipolar disorder, being divorced and the love for my children.
I take medication for my bipolar disorder, but what really helps and gets me through it is my artwork. To be able to take all those sad and manic feelings and spill them out through my artwork is the best way to heal. Since there is no cure for bipolar disorder and medication only does so much… it will continue to inspire me to create.
Secondly having been divorced from the woman of my dreams took a heavy toll from which I still struggle with. My ex wife brought me out of the darkness by blessing me with my two wonderful children. Without them and the life she gave me I wouldn’t be the artist I am today. So I honor that love and memories through my work.
5. What is it like showing your work to people and what do you hope people take away from it?
I love showing my work to people. Although I am pretty shy and clueless on how to promote myself or my message.. it still feels good to explain my process and the reason I create in the first place. The one thing I hope people get from my work is that you can get to wherever you want to go and to please not give up. That if you are struggling with anything in life…I am here for you.
6. What did winning the Award for Excellence mean to you?
I first just started out to make new pieces of work when I won the award of excellence. I wanted to show my kids that daddy accomplished something he set out to do and through hard work….they could too. The award was an eye opener that other people find value in my work and it felt good to share my story. Winning gave me the confidence and validation to keep going.
7. What advice do you have for other artists who may be looking to get their work exhibited?
You have nothing to lose except an opportunity to take your artwork to the next level. I didn’t win money or loads of exposure, but what I did win was the drive and motivation to keep going in hope that I can inspire others not to give up.