Interview conducted by Gabrielle Swartzentruber in The Crossings’ series on creativity and diversity within Bethel University’s student body. The heart behind this series is to explore creativity in a broader sense and to be encouraged and inspired by the creatives on our campus and the things that they are doing.
Andrea is a sophomore Graphic Design major at Bethel University. She can be found in the computer lab in the fine arts building, creating her latest designs, or practicing her routine in the dance studio. As she comes back for her junior year in the fall, keep an eye out for her creative mark on Bethel’s campus.
What is creativity? How would you define creativity?
I would define creativity as a way to express emotions or the world in an artistic fashion.
What is your specific outlet for creativity?
I have two main creative outlets that I use outside of my major, Graphic Design, which are dancing and drawing.
How do you balance your work life with your creative life? How do you find time for your creative work?
There are times I schedule it in and other times where I simply need to step away from whatever I am working on and set a timer when doing a creative outlet. I can lose track of time when I go to my creative outlets, so I need to take the time that is needed while not falling behind in what needs to be done.
Where do you find inspiration for your creative pieces?
There are many places I find inspiration. For dance, I choreograph dances based on the songs I pick. If I find a story in them, I base the movements on the story I hear. When I draw, I either draw a representation of the emotion I currently have, friends, family, or flowers.
What drew you to your specific creative outlet?
Dance drew me in at age three. My cousin joined dance, so I wanted to join. Even when she quit dance, I continued, and it is still an important part of my life. I have been drawing for as long as I can remember, but I never really took it seriously until I was fifteen. After that, I wanted to do it more and grow in my abilities. I have a long way to go for improvement and am excited to learn more!
What goals do you have for yourself as an artist?
For one thing, I want improvement. If no improvement is being made, it can be difficult to stay engaged. Another goal I have is to keep the joy and fun in it. If there is no enjoyment or satisfaction in a piece that is made, it loses the passion that would make it amazing. Also, is it really worth creating something that the artist has no connection with or finds no joy in it? I also hope to continually bring glory to God, so if I continue to do that, it makes the arts all that much more important.
What do you do when you hit a block in creativity?
No matter which creative element I hit a block in, I step away and do something else. That could mean either looking up different means of inspiration, working on a creative outlet, listening to music, etc. Typically, when I return to whatever I was working on, my brain comes up with more creative ideas and is no longer blocked.
How do you deal with criticism of your pieces?
I try to take criticism with an open mind and a willingness to learn. I will say that I am not perfect at that, but I am getting better at taking criticism and applying it to my pieces.
What is your favorite piece of art that you’ve created?
Currently, my favorite piece I created was a drawing I made for my parents over Christmas. The piece I made for them was a drawing in Procreate of them kissing under a mistletoe under a starry night. It was a piece I had a lot of fun drawing and seeing their expression made it all that much more amazing.