Thursday, August 9, 2007

Men of Etsy's newest Featured Artist

Our newest featured artist is none other than Dr.Andy Mathis.He is an artist as well as a veterinarian. Andy creates stunning works in watercolor and has been known to save the day of a distraught pet owner sending out cries of help in the Etsy fora.

Andy is also incredibly knowledgeable on many levels and has been an awesome help to this author on creative issues.I feel very honored to get this interview with Dr.Andy,though we see him frequently in the Etsy forums,he remains a bit mysterious,not disclosing many private details...must be the reason he is on the "Etsy's Most Crushed On"list!So, ladies,this ones for you!!

Tell us a bit about your background,where you live,schools,anything else you'd like us to know.

Born and raised in Georgia. South Georgia actually, a small town called Enigma.
Like most families back then, we farmed. Some crop farming, then mostly growing corn and sorghrum to feed livestock. I was always around cows, horses, dogs, cats. I remember being asked in 5th grade what I wanted to be when I grew up, and the answer was a veterinarian. Human medicine never really appealed to me. I think the appeal of one over the other, was helping those who can't help themselves.

I attended ABAC (Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College) and the University of Georgia.

Now, I live in North Georgia, a little out from Athens. (GO DAWGS!)

How did you get interested in art?
I was always crafty as a child. I loved the number 9 book of the Childcraft edition we had. Then there was making posters in school for 4-H projects and such.
I did win a poster contest in the 5th grade for the Atlanta Ballet. The prize- $10.

I took a watercolor class a year or two after completing Vet school. That's when I really got the bug. From there, I did a few outdoor art shows to show and sell my work. I had a painting that was selected for the poster of the 1999 Atlanta Dogwood Festival Poster. Then I started reproducing my work and exhibiting at wholesale trade shows, such as Decor and ArtExpo. In 2005, I added art licensing into the mix, and began exhibiting at Surtex.

What are your favorite mediums?subject matters?
I love watercolor and how it's transparent, luminous, and the way the colors bleed together. Other mediums can do this too- egg tempera, fluid acrylics. They all have their advantages and disadvantages. I think I also like watercolor as it is the most technically challenging in that you can't correct any mistakes as you can with opaque mediums.

Subjects vary- I really like "sunlight and shadows" and it doesn't matter if it is florals, still lifes, faces, or pets. As I work slowly and through multiple sessions, I have to use reference photos, and it's easier to get those photos of florals and still lifes.

Do you use special processes or tools?
Nothing unusual- paint,a brush, various watercolor paper, yupo, or textured clayboard.
sometimes an airbrush.

What are your inspirations?
Sunlight and how it makes objects glow- faces, objects, florals.

How long have you been selling on Etsy?
I think I started listing things on Etsy in March 2006.

How has Etsy impacted your success as an artist?
I've sold a few things that probably wouldn't have sold otherwise.
Etsy really isn't designed to sell artwork- the categories run together or aren't available, you can't search by medium, subject matter, or price.

what are your favorite things about Etsy?
Cool Etsians, of course.

If you had to choose between being a Vet or an artist which would you choose?(you can't have both)
A Vet, I'm sure. I would find some other creative outlet if not for painting. My grandmother did teach me how to crochet a square in the 2nd grade. and then Macrame in the 6th grade.

What advice would you give to young artists or those just starting out as artists?
Listen to the little voices in your head. No, not those Voices! The ones that have to do with artistic decisions. When you first start painting or creating, your work will emulate others or the teacher. Over time, your look develops based on the decisions you make. Painting is a bit like handwriting, everyone has a individual look and voice about their work.

Each painting must exist to grow as an artists. When you look at artists work that you admire today, if you get a chance, or source, look at their earlier work. You can see improvement and growth.

What are your goals for future artistic endeavors?
To find more time to paint, rather than read the forums every 10 minutes.

What would you like to see Men of Etsy team do in the future?ideas for the team?
I think you are doing just fine keeping the "Man Harem" in order.

Where we can find you~blogs,websites,Etsy address,myspace,facebook,livejournal,flickr and anywhere else we can find you or your work!
I try to condense and link sites so that I don't have so many to try and maintain.
My website-
Ruby Lane


Michele said...

Very Cool! Veterinarians are not just about animals and of my vet friends sings opera on the side........lovely art, Andy

LoveofArtinTn said...

Nice work Andy. Love your style of painting. The colors are beautiful along with your subjects.

Sadie Lou said...

Andy for Prez!!
Cool interview--I love sunlight too--very inspiring.

kobedog said...

awesome interview Andy! :)