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Meet Andrea Shapiro

Today we’d like to introduce you to Andrea Shapiro.

Every artist has a unique story. Can you briefly walk us through yours?
I was born in NYC and have been called an “artist” since kindergarten. I was always creating, drawing, and making things. I went to The University of Michigan’s art school and got my BFA in graphic design, but became disenchanted with it as a career and decided to try advertising instead. So I worked my first two years out of college in NYC at an ad firm in the “pit” thinking I wanted to be an art director. I realized this too wasn’t my calling and left to start a job at the NBA (National Basketball Association) working in the entertainment department doing marketing and promotions for their home videos. I lasted two years and decided corporate could never be my thing. I pursued a myriad of other opportunities to see what clicked. I promoted a live hip hop show underneath ACME bar and grill in NYC, I read treatments for screenplays, worked as an art director on movie sets… and I traveled. I started bartending and took tons of classes- photography, metal welding, ceramics, and then finally an incredible collage course that sparked the fire.

Making collages put me in a flow state and felt good. I started getting offers for commissions, and I got my first art studio on Lafayette Street downtown. I was extremely prolific trying out all different styles and techniques to find my groove and my voice. I started exhibiting and found a few art collectors who began selling my work.

Just after 9/11, I began DJing in NYC which was the inevitable fate for someone obsessed with music from a young age. This too put me in a flow state, got my creative juices flowing, and just made me happy. The pursuit of happiness has always been important to me 🙂

Art and music propelled me through my next two art studios in the East Village and DUMBO – until finally landing in Amagansett when I became obsessed with surfing and had to live near the ocean. In 2012 I moved to Los Angeles and continued painting, DJing, and surfing.

Starting in 1989 I began doing interior design and acting as a contractor for myself and my family. Before moving to LA, I had worked on two apartments, three commercial spaces, and three houses. After gut renovating my house in Los Angeles, I accepted an offer to design a friend’s home. My first professional gig as a designer! This was the start of what became my new career, and I absolutely love it. It combines all of my training as a graphic designer and experience as an artist but allows me to be around people which I was missing as a solo artist.

Today I have found balance between all three – Interiors, Painting, and DJing. I feel incredibly blessed to be pursuing these careers which I am so passionate about and look forward to the journey that lies ahead.

Please tell us about your art.
I consider all three of my careers: DJing, interior design and my painting/collage work ART. I approach my interiors projects the same way I begin work on a painting. I am driven by a sense of composition, texture, color, etc… and let the finished product reveal itself along the way. It is the act of layering, scraping away and manipulating the surface that unveils a welcome surprise. I influence the painting as much as the process influences me. It’s the same with design. As each piece of furniture and layer gets installed (floors, tiles, window treatments, fabrics…) my vision for the house adapts and changes.

My fine art consists of both minimal, abstract, mixed media oil paintings and collage.
Originally trained as a graphic designer, I am drawn to simple, geometric compositions. My paintings often consist of elements such as squares, circles, ovals, and hand or ruler-drawn lines and rollercoasters! My intention is to draw viewers in with a bold first impression and then hold their attention with the subtle intricacies found in texture and multiple layers.

I love to experiment with different tools, applications, paints, and mediums. I spend a great deal of time thinking about color and draw references from nature and my surroundings. Although mostly the work is purely abstract and the composition develops organically with no conscious outside influence.

Being of an abstract nature, I invite the viewer to interpret each work from their own perspective. I primarily strive to create something beautiful that evokes an emotion and resonates on a deeper level from person to person based on their own experience.

Given everything that is going on in the world today, do you think the role of artists has changed? How do local, national or international events and issues affect your art?
The world and everything that’s going on today is crazy and getting crazier every day. I think everything and everybody is affected by it one way or another. With that said, I still find the role of the artist pretty consistent. The artist paves the way. The artist follows his or her heart and creates something for the world to hopefully enjoy – or at least respond to in a way that evokes conversation and possibly even change. I hope that my art can at the very least bring joy and beauty into someone’s life during these conflicting times.

I love this quote from the book, The War of Art by Steven Pressfield.

“The instinct that pulls us toward art is the impulse to evolve, to learn, to heighten and elevate our consciousness. The Ego hates this. Because the more awake we become, the less we need the Ego.

The Ego hates it when the aspiring painter steps up before the easel. The Ego hates it because it knows that these souls are awakening to a call, and that call comes from a plane nobler than the material one and from a source deeper and more powerful than the physical. Ego hates the prophet and the visionary because they propel the race upward.

The Ego hates artists because they are the pathfinders and bearers of the future, because each one dares, in James Joyce’s phrase, to ‘forge in the smithy of my soul the uncreated conscience of my race…”

How or where can people see your work? How can people support your work?
Aside from my website at the moment, you can see my art by appointment at my studio on the west side in Los Angeles. Feel free to contact me for a visit. 🙂

However, I’m starting an exciting new body of work so hope to have at least one gallery show in the near future. If you follow my Instagram, I post new work there and will announce upcoming shows and events: @dre_design_.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:

These weren’t taken by professional photographers and nobody needs to be credited. I promise 🙂

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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