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Meet Downtown Los Angeles Photographer: Andrew Quesada

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

Andrew, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I started at a very young age. My pops was a photographer and always had equipment with him. I have baby pictures with cameras and photos of me around 5 and 6 already taking photographs. I was the kid with the camera all through my school days. It wasn’t till I was 17 that I really pushed and focused my attention on really doing this. Like a lot of photographers, it’s a journey, and one I would never change. You actually learn a lot about yourself and your taste in things. You start to value the surroundings and characters around. I really have to thank Matthew. He goes by The Kone and runs ( New Los Angeles ) He gave me the extra push and start in the beginning of my career and introduced me to this rad dude Kendal. He gave me my first photo show with a group of amazing people. Sadly, Kendal passed recently and I wish I had one more chance to thank him for everything. I’ve met countless people that came into my life and have had an impact on me. It’s still a struggle, but I’m learning to deal with and work through it. Picking this as a career isn’t easy and you have to go through many obstacles. If you have the drive and talent, keep pushing. I’ve learned through many mistakes and I’m still making them. I’m happy and I’m content. I recently talked to someone who said something to me that warmed me inside. They said, “Don’t beat yourself up over not being society’s ideal of success. Nobody has things figured out over night. You’re exactly where you need to be.” I’m 29 years old and I don’t have everything, yet. But I do have love and passion for photography and I’m ready to show everyone what else I can do. That’s where I’m at today and how I got here. I hope LA is ready for my next show in December, this one is for all of you!

Has it been a smooth road?
The love and will to create aren’t easy. You work with people for free and in a way, you’re giving a part of your soul to this person free of charge. You have endless sleepless nights because of every thought running through your mind 24 hrs. a day, 7 days a week. You question each idea and concept. You hate what you’re doing and you want to give up. You’re not making any money and you know with some cash you could accomplish so much. You don’t want a 9-5 because you don’t want any part of your brain to go anywhere else besides your work. You know you’re talented and you have the smarts to make money off other things you’re good at but since you haven’t gotten anywhere yet, you struggle with your worth. YES, this is what I have thought about for 10 years and so much more. Having people you want to work with set things up with you and they never go through. Art shows not going according to plan or living up to the expectations you have. Countless cancellations and failed opportunities. The list goes on and on. It’s getting passed them and knowing your worth that will get you through it.

I’m going to be very open right now. I was depressed for a very long time. I struggled with it and it caused me to get me into situations that I’m not proud of. It’s something I think everyone needs to be able to talk about. Right now, I do have a voice and for those younger, than me, that might be going through it. I wasn’t happy with myself and where I was at in life, mind you, it’s only been a few months of actual recovery and self-love that I’m in a better place now. I would cry at night wondering if I’ll ever make something of myself. I would lie to people to make them think I was happier than I was. With depression, You don’t love yourself and you don’t want to live. You can’t find any happiness, even if its right in front of you. I wish certain things could’ve been different and that I was able to find love with myself a few years ago before certain things came into my life. Looking back, though, I had some great moments and I’m happy with the people I’ve met and who are still in my life now. I’m thankful for everyone who supported me and still does. Most importantly, I’m happy. I’ve always been me and I never let anything change me. I’ll never be cocky because of accomplishments and ill never distant myself from those who got me to this point. Finding that is hard and being able to have a small circle of love with old and new friends, these obstacles and challenges are just little pebbles along that golden road.

How would you describe the type of kid you were growing up?
I was a super fun kid. When I run into older family members or family friends, they always have these great stories of my as a baby haha. I was always surrounded by good music, especially jazz. This one summer, myself, grandma ( I miss you everyday grandma! You raised me and took care of me. I love you so much ) and mom ( my soul ) went to visit family in Texas. We took a greyhound bus the whole way up. We were with a church quire from down south visiting. I was singing jazz gospels the whole time! they loved me. I love dinosaurs! When I was little, I would go bury my dino toys all around the back yard and wait till the next day to dig them bag up. I would dress up and pretend to be a paleontologist. Till this day, I’m still a huge dinosaur fan.

Growing up, I was also very nerdy and shy. For me, I was always trying to find self and who I was. I was in love with art and photography and always listening to every type of music genre you can think of. I was always hanging around older people and so my interest was way different from the people around me. At times I was to myself but eventually as I got older, I started appreciating who I am. I’m not perfect but I’m a loving caring person. Even though something situations in life make me want to just be this person I’m not, I remind myself ( Kanye verse lol ) “everything I’m not, made me everything I am.”

What is your favorite childhood memory?
Oh man! haha, my favorite memory as a kid…. I have so many! Honestly lol. It was this day in kindergarten. My mom used to dress me fresh. I had on my all white Nike high tops, fresh neon pink shorts, Oshkosh shirt with a blue Dodger hat and my dinosaur lunch pale. I rolled up into our little play area and jumped on one of our all red tricycles with the basket in the front. I put my lunch pale in the basket and right when I was about to bike around in circles hahaha my girlfriend Pearla hahaha gave me a kiss on the cheek. I felt like the coolest kid ever man. hahaha, I just love that memory because it’s just so dope lol. I have plenty more, this one is just great to me.

So, what should we be on the lookout for, what’s next in store for you?
I’ll be honest. I don’t have much right now as I would like at 29. November, I’ll have it all and that is so thrilling to know. I was down about something and without even have to say anything about what I was going through, they simply said this “Don’t beat yourself up over not being society’s ideal of success. Nobody has things figured out over night. You’re exactly where you need to be.” I mentioned it earlier, but it meant a lot to me. My future is bright! My future is already changing and it’s changing fast. I really don’t want to say much other than you’re going to see a lot of me.

I remind myself daily of how thankful I am to have what I have. I’m thankful for never letting the city change me. I lost a lot of friendships along the way and gained no ones, but never did I change who I am for the wrong reason or just to fit it with them. They came to me through this crazy wonderful universe we live. I’m so happy with the group of friends I have right now. I was always to myself, now I have this small solid group and I don’t know where I would be without them. That’s my future. Whatever happens, happens. I mentioned earlier, being depressed, well…

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