Portrait of an Artist: Justine Andrew

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Through Justine Andrew's attraction to clean lines and dynamic architecture emerges a unique style that's constantly evolving, and always eye-pleasing. Recently, 29-year-old took some time out from her work a new series inspired by her travels to answer our questions about her art and the woman behind it.

Photos

To start things off, how would you describe your artistic style?

Less is more. Space you put nothing in means as much as space that's filled. Art, to me, is all about pleasing shapes and compositions. I’m driven to create what makes my mind’s eye feel good.

What inspires you?

Life, and the captured moments within it. It's an internal process for me; when I'm really happy, I find many things to be inspiring. This happens a lot when I travel to new places, such as my last trip to Ecuador. There's a lot of little things to appreciate... people, architecture, shadows, colour.

What’s your favourite colour?

I don’t have a favourite colour—I like them all, so I’ve never been able to choose one. I can tell you my least favourite colour, though. It's navy blue. I’ve felt that way since I was a kid. It reminds me of elementary school sweatshirts.

Who inspires you?

Currently, there's no person influencing my work. My previous inspirations were Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, and Ted Harrison—his art is in my family’s house. Now, I can’t say there’s anybody. It’s more things that inspire me. 

What’s the most important thing you learned in art school? 

I benefited from the entire program at Langara College—it taught me the basic skills I needed to develop my own techniques. Most important were the design classes, where we learned about composition, playing with light and shadow, and how to create an image with very little. 

What’s your favourite piece you’ve ever done, and why? 

Della. The different shades of mustard hit the mark in my brain. Often that colour gets a bad rep, and I feel the piece really beautified this colour that’s often seen as puke yellow. I also find the female figure to be pleasing. 

Justine Andrew's Della.

Can you share a highlight of your art career? 

In 2009, I had my first ever solo show at Trunk Gallery, which was on 3rd and Burrard at the time. It was a huge moment for me, not having a lot of input from a lot of people prior to that. I sold quite a few of my works. 

It was my first taste of the art world, and I was blown away. It made everything I was doing real. Just seeing my paintings on the big white wall space was a major “ah moment.” Even now I can go back to this feeling. It lit a fire in me. 

Outside of art, what else lights a fire in you? 

My passion is definitely diabetes research, being a Type 1 diabetic myself. Also, social causes like housing, homelessness, and child poverty.

What’s next for your art career?

I’m currently working on a series based on photos from Equator. I'm excited about it, using more pastel colours and a bit more detail. I’ve stepped away from what I was doing before and am really excited about this new look. 

See more of Andrew's work at justineandrew.com/.

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