DROOL: When do you feel you first found success in the world of art, and how have you grown since then?
Andrea: This is an interesting story. I wasn’t supposed to be doing paper art right now, I’ve always seen this as a hobby. I am from Mexico, and at beginning of 2020, I came to Kansas City for a couple of months to visit family that lives here, before moving to Vancouver to start a UX design program. Then the pandemic hit, my plans got canceled just like everyone else’s, and during that time I met a wonderful man named Austin! We dated for a couple of months while I was here and because life was so uncertain and we didn’t know if we were going to be able to see each other again soon (cause I had to go back to Mexico) we ended up getting married and I’ve been in Kansas City ever since!
So then I started an immigration process and that has given me an insane amount of free time because I wasn’t allowed to work. So with all of my extra time, I began working on paper art as a hobby and started doing some interesting stuff with it. First, I started doing a portrait of my dad’s dog “Luba”, and also made fun stuff like tiny dogs and I put them around the apartment doing funny stuff. I would take photos of everything and post them on social media, and I started to see that people really liked what I was doing. Then I started making instagram Reels, and then got a bunch of views and some more followers, and suddenly Starbucks Mexico wanted me to do art for them! So I would say that was the first big moment I found “success” with my craft! Other than that I have found that a lot of people have loved my doggie portraits, so I get to spend a lot of time making portraits of great puppers, which I love.
DROOL: How did you discover your voice in art?
Andrea: I feel like I’m still figuring that out. I often see myself between doing dog-related things and other times Mexican-related things, and lately, I’ve been just mixing them and I like what I’ve created so far, and people like it too, so maybe I’ll keep going that way, who knows.
DROOL: What compels you to keep driving forward as an artist? How do you aspire to grow as an artist this year?
Andrea: Well, I really just love making and creating art. I get to wake up and create, and it’s great that I’ve had such a positive response from people to my artwork. When I was really little I loved drawing and making art, and quickly realized that I was pretty good at this. Growing up in my teenage years and into my early 20’s I kind of took a step back from making art and paper-cuts because I was busy working and felt that I couldn’t find my own “voice” or “identity” as an artist. So getting back into paper art over this past year has been amazing. I feel like I’ve found myself again, my voice and my medium, and I’m going to keep on doing what I love.
This year my goal is to really establish myself as an artist and open up my online shop, and I’m also hoping to get work shown in a gallery and get more commercial projects!
DROOL: What about dogs attracts you to them as subjects for your artwork?
Andrea: Dogs have always been present in my life and they always bring me joy! They have always been key in my family for long and short periods of time, I just love dogs and their joy.
There’s a sad and really emotional story of when I met my husband for the first time. I was taking care of my dad’s puppy, her name was Mila, and I took care of her as if she was mine. When my dad got Mila, we knew that she had a heart condition and that she would pass soon. With that said, we still wanted to let her run around and live the life of a puppy while she was alive. When I met Austin for the first time at the park I brought Mila so both of us could walk her. We were walking with Mila and having a casual conversation and we noticed that Mila was panting. We sat with her in the shade, and unfortunately, she fainted and passed. You can imagine the scene, I broke into tears and he went running for his car and he helped me with her. That sad and terrible first date is what made us vulnerable since the beginning and we have been together ever since.
Now we are married, but we haven’t got a dog just yet (waiting to buy our first home), but we can’t wait. I feel like we both have dog personalities and I like to portray those things on my personal doggie pieces. We are very playful and loving just like dogs. So the tiny dogs I make reminds me of us so much!
DROOL: If you had to choose one dog breed to characterize who you are, what breed would it be and why?
Andrea: I’m definitely a black german shepherd just like Luba and puppy Mila. I tend to analyze every situation and person carefully before I can be fully myself, I work non-stop in the things I love, I am always ready for new adventures, and I’m very loyal and loving to my people!
DROOL:Which do you prefer: dogs or people, and why?
Andrea: Dogs. Dogs are just genuine, loving, goofy, fun, and they’re simply just themselves. They are willing to love you and be forever faithful to you if you just love them, give them good pets, and give them good treats. They’re just great!
DROOL: Anything else you want to share with the dog-loving humans of Earth?
Andrea: Well, you all already know how amazing dogs are so there isn’t much I can add to that! If you want portraits of your pup or dog art, visit my website acirastudio.com, or Instagram and I’ll be happy to offer something to you!
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