We had the good fortune of connecting with Andrea Jade and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Andrea, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
It’s a long long story and could start back when I was 8 and won a greeting card contest but I’ll skip forward to going to college and getting a chemistry degree. Why chemistry? Because I liked chem class in high school and being a pharmacist seemed like a “good job” path. Well after a few semesters of organic chemistry I was like nope and started taking art classes. After a few semesters of art classes, the societal rumblings about starving artists started to get to me so I began thinking really hard about getting a real job to earn money. I settled on a Psychology degree and worked as a social worker for about a decade. During that time I also got my MBA thinking I would go into the administration side of things and retire and have my cute Etsy shop where I hand make all of my friend’s birthday, baby shower, & housewarming gifts for the rest of my life. The End.
Skipping forward to 2019 I’m working as a program manager and out of the blue my position is unexpectedly cut. I was in complete shock, pretty devastated and that’s what started this whole new adventure. I told you it was a long story but stay with me. This one event ultimately forced me to rethink my path and I started searching for answers everywhere- in therapy, meditation programs, yoga practices, spiritual guidance, chakra alignment classes, all the things and the big message that came back to me was no regrets. After that I asked for guidance on where to go/what to do and a move to Phoenix kept coming back to me time and time again. So I sold my house, downsized to whatever could fit into one of those pod things & packed up my car with my dog + my plants and drove to the desert 2 months before the pandemic.
Alright so here is where I finally get to the WHY of this question and honestly I don’t know ha! But I do know that art is the one thing I’ve consistently been called to. Organic pharmacy yuck= go take art classes. Bad break up= art. Lost your job= art. Moved to a huge new city by yourself during a pandemic= art. So for the first time in my life at the age of 35 I decided to stop ignoring what my intuition has been telling me to do for decades and just be a dang artist. Where I hand make birthday, baby shower, & housewarming gifts for anybody and everybody 🙂
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I am a big fan of learning new techniques/trying new mediums and my shop really reflects that diversity. My work primarily focuses on southwestern nature and sky scapes & my experiences living in the desert. Currently, I’m on a clock kick and working on both paintings and fiber art pieces with working clock components. I also love, love, love doing commission work and collaborating with others to make a one of a kind piece of art!
What sets me apart is my willingness to experiment with different mediums and then combining them to see what happens. This is pretty risky and most of the time doesn’t work out but when it does it’s worth it because I know I’m bringing something truly unique into existence.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I’m definitely still a newbie but I love the Desert Botanical Garden, Heard Museum & Musical Instrument Museum. Also would for sure want to show them some of my favorite hiking trails and head up to Sedona for a few days.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I would like to dedicate a shoutout to my family & long time collectors who have filled their homes with my art 💕 Also, I would like to take the opportunity to shoutout all of my working artist pals I’ve made along the way. Only they truly know how wild this path is- I see you, respect your drive and keep going!