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Meet Teri Hendrich C.

Today we’d like to introduce you to Teri Hendrich C.

Teri Hendrich C.

Teri, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
I was born into a mixed-race family, to an American-born father of German descent and a Mexican-born mother. I grew up in Glendora, a suburb located on the eastern edge of Los Angeles County. I knew at an early age that I wanted to become an artist because the one activity I was most excited to pursue whenever I came home from school was drawing. My family was working class, and neither of my parents made a living in the arts, although they both had creative hobbies. My mom was always crocheting or cross-stitching and my dad built model trains with real working engines. They were both conservative in their beliefs and politics which made it difficult for me to express myself freely at home and led me to be a very quiet child. Therefore, drawing and painting served as a release valve for me – a way of expressing myself without words that felt liberating. After graduating high school, I attended Mt. San Antonio Community College, where I allowed myself to explore any subject that interested me that I may not have yet been exposed to, like astronomy and art history. I ended my education there, solidifying my ambition to be an artist, which led me to further my art education at ArtCenter College of Design in Pasadena.

My focus there was illustration and fine art, with my ambition at the time to become an editorial illustrator with the idea that that job would then help support my ultimate goal of being a gallery artist. I quickly discovered how difficult it was to make a living as an editorial illustrator, which led me to search out a plan B. That consisted of first working at an architectural illustration firm, then a novelty product design company, and finally, animation. I have been working in animation for 16 years now and currently hold a position as Color Supervisor on the FOX animated show, Krapopolis. It’s only been in the last few years that I have made a point of rededicating myself to my personal art practice and recentering my focus toward my original pursuit of establishing myself as a fine art painter.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I have traveled a long and winding road with unexpected challenges and obstacles to get to where I am now. I had no idea when I first started working in animation how dramatically my personal life would change, and how invested I would become in helping to improve that industry. I worked primarily as a Background Painter when I first started out in animation. After a few years, I landed on a production at Titmouse, where I met my now husband. We got married and had kids, which forced me to put my personal pursuits as a fine art painter on the back burner. While adjusting to my new life as a mom around 2017, I stumbled upon the fact that gender pay discrimination was very much alive and well in the animation industry and sanctioned by our union contract with the studios. This led me to become heavily involved with IATSE Local 839, The Animation Guild based here in Burbank that represents animation workers across The United States. I was determined to achieve pay equity in contract negotiations for the female-dominated craft of Color Design which suffers from subpar terms and benefits when compared to other, male-dominated positions that are substantially similar in skill, effort, and responsibility. Although we have yet to achieve full equity, I have helped win significant gains for Color Designers in our union agreement in recent years as Chair of that craft committee. My passion to see this injustice corrected led me to earn a certificate in Labor Studies from Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations in 2022, which then gave me the confidence to step into the role of Vice President for The Animation Guild, a position I currently hold within our Local.

While in the midst of trying to find a balance between family, work and course commitments, I realized that I needed to carve out time to dedicate to my personal art practice on a regular basis if I ever wanted to realize my dream of becoming a fine art painter. After several months of experimenting with acrylic paint in my converted garage studio, I slowly began to find my voice again as an artist which led me to create a new collection of artworks, which I am still building upon. This has brought me full circle to my original goal I first set out to reach, and it is with immense pleasure that I share the announcement that I will be exhibiting a new collection of paintings in my first solo show in 16 years, entitled “Venus in the 12th,” that will take place at Gallery 839 (located within The Animation Guild) and open on February 1, 2024.

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 cast spells with vibrant pastels. Using calculated spontaneity and a mix of representational and abstract imagery, I conjure mesmerizing colorscapes which convey a quiet tenderness that speaks directly to the soul. My process starts by selecting a harmonious symphony of hues with the help of custom-mixed paint colors. Between my day job and my personal art practice, it’s no surprise that I’m most known for my eye-catching color palettes. My mediums of choice for my artwork can alternate from acrylic paint on wood or canvas to gouache and pencil on paper. Whimsical yet touching narratives emerge through the figures depicted in my paintings while gestural, multi-colored swooshes, convey the emotions of the scene.

With my latest collection of paintings, I have added another layer of meaning and real magic into them after studying under astrologer Austin Coppock in his Fundamentals of Astrology, Year 1 course, which I completed this past year. Using the principles of electional astrology, I identify an auspicious day and time to initiate my paintings, imbuing them with the planetary energy that is strongest at that moment. The process is very similar to the ancient art of magical talisman-making. I am incredibly proud of these latest works which will debut in my upcoming solo show. I pushed myself out of my comfort zone while creating this collection – working in a larger scale than I am accustomed to while weaving a cohesive narrative throughout each one. I even wrote an ekphrastic poem that supports the story on display, which is something I have never done before, but am quite pleased with and am excited to share. I plan to read the poem live at the opening reception of my show.

Are there any important lessons you’ve learned that you can share with us?
Expect the unexpected. Everyone’s journey is different. Some people get where they are wanting to go in life very quickly, while others might take twice or three times as long to get there, and that’s okay. You might even end up at an entirely different destination than you had first set out to go towards, yet find yourself completely satisfied with where you are at, and that’s okay too. Even if the road you find yourself traveling on ends up being long and winding, you will ultimately grow and benefit from all the experiences and people you came across and met along the way. I know I have.

Pricing:

  • · Gift Pack · Giftable pouch with 2 bookmarks, 2 vinyl stickers and access to 2 phone wallpapers. · $12
  • · Framed Mini Ember Ornament · Original, Acrylic Painting on paper · Frame Size: 3″ x 3″ · $45
  • · “Unraveled” Limited Edition Fine Art Print · Paper Size: 12″ x 12″ · Signed and numbered · $45
  • · “The Feeling is Mutual” Limited Edition Fine Art Print · Paper Size: 16″ x 16″ · Signed and numbered · $75
  • · Whispered Lullaby · Original, Acrylic gouache painting and pencil drawing on deckled edge paper. · Size: 8″ x 8″ · $195

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Leona Darnell Jack Cusumano Teri Hendrich C.

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