Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Randi Anderson: Sweet Art

Artist Randi Anderson of The Art of Happiness has had paintings commissioned by ABC network for the set of Samantha Who.

Randi Anderson was one of 10 finalists in Kirkland's Home Stores' first Next Great American Artist contest, which gained her a feature in the Louisiana Tech University Young Alumni magazine. Then, solidifying her position as a rising star, American Broadcasting Company--better known as ABC-- commissioned two large cupcake paintings for use on the set of the television show Samantha Who. The episode featuring her artwork aired near the end of last season. Though no longer a Ruston resident, Anderson was hosted by Kim Birch at the Townsend House during the Artist Studio Tour last fall.

Anderson's artwork summons a sweet tooth as it generally focuses on brightly pigmented confectionery foods.

Where are you from?
I grew up in Ruston but now reside in Longview, Texas.

Are you a self-taught artist?
For the most part, yes. *Editor's note: Anderson earned a speech communication degree at La. Tech.

What were you doing for work before you started focusing on your full time art business?
After college I spent months job hunting and finally took a marketing job as the outreach coordinator for a home health agency. About three days into it, I realized that wasn't what I wanted to do after all. What I did want to do was my art, so I quit and have been making a go of the art thing ever since!

Anderson blogs about her life and artwork at Sweetly, Happily, Artfuly.

What inspires your work?
Anything and everything. All things bright and cheerful, for sure. I'm often inspired by retro color schemes and patterns-- things that are inherently nostalgic. Much of my art revolves around food. That's probably due in no small part to the fact that I'm a southern girl and food is of great importance around here-- am I right?
The food I portray are treats and those, like most of my subjects, are things that make people smile. I'm drawn to simplicity, bold colors and whimsy, and I gravitate toward subjects that lend themselves easily to being portrayed using those three characteristics.

My grandmother and I used to paint pictures at her dining table and we jokingly called it our "first-grade art" because it was oftentimes primitive and experimental at best. I think what I do now is just an extension of that "first-grade art." It is very reminiscent of those pictures you drew with crayons back when all you wanted was to brighten up the 'fridge. It isn't about causing people to contemplate anything or making some great statement for me...that I leave to the real artists. What I do is about making people happy...not just others but me too. It's distinctly uncomplicated and fun so that being surrounded by my art is somewhere pleasant to be.

What art supplies can be found in your workspace?
In addition to lots of acrylic paints and brushes, I have boxes, jars, baskets and Tupperware containers filled with all sorts of random things such as: buttons, beads, clay, glitter, paper mache', sequins, tiles, glass pieces, wire, vintage magazines, fabric, markers, oil pastels, clothes pins, ribbon, rick rack...
You just never know what you might need! Now finding it when you need it is another story.

I discovered Anderson's work when I met her at her booth (pictured above) at the Louisiana Peach Festival, which was kicked off June 27-29.

Other than your Web site, do you sell your work at any stores?
Currently, no, though I'm always looking for new avenues. I'm hoping to have an Etsy store up and filled sometime this month (grand opening announcement will be posted on my blog). I participated in the Peach Festival this year at the end of June and I am hoping to have a booth at Cedartown Marketplace this November. Occasionally I put limited seasonal artwork and craft pieces on eBay for individual sale around the holidays.

Any advice for those who are looking to start a creative business?
Go for it. You'll never know if you don't and you'll be none the worse for trying.