We had the good fortune of connecting with Sandra Oei and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Sandra, what role has risk played in your life or career?
When pondering risk and the role that it has played in my life, I first consulted the dictionary for a common ground definition and concisely found: Risk – A possibility of incurring loss or misfortune; a situation involving possible exposure to danger. As I look back over my life, I confess that “risk taking” has been a large part of my personal and professional journey. I believe when avoiding risk, it’s usually out of the fear of, and not the certainty of loss or misfortune that deters us from moving forward into the unknown. I also believe that the unknown is not the same as the unknowable. I do believe in research. Therefore for me, risk is taking that leap of faith with the confidence of knowing that somewhere in my landing, there will be solid ground. And, I believe that solid footing and foundation must first come from within, by having that unwavering confidence in one’s self. That ability to rely on yourself with the confidence of knowing that you can follow through, that you can do what is required to take the next (albeit unknown) steps.
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.
Regarding my art, I will be brief. Although I have been developing and designing websites for many years, over the past few years I’ve started taking my graphic designs and illustrations into more personal territory, away from the more commercially focused genres. So far I have been successfully selling my personal artwork at local Art Fairs, and as I continue to create, I will take the next steps and begin selling my work online. My artwork pays homage to my love of Nature and indigenous, cross-cultural global artifacts. My mission for my work is to produce thoughtful, engaging, beautifully crafted pieces that perhaps informs and inspires others to take a closer look, and have much more appreciation of the world around them. My vision is to interpret and express Nature’s brilliance and beauty, hopefully encouraging others to see the beauty in it themselves.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I love good food! So I will say that for me, great restaurants are my first choice for sharing Atlanta with visiting friends and family, and Atlanta and Decatur have more than their share. I would say I am partial to those places where there are many choices in close proximity. Especially informal eating places like the Krog Street marketplace, Ponce City Market, and downtown Decatur Square. Since my art studio is in Avondale Estates, three of my favorite close by restaurants are the Vietnamese restaurant Vietvanna Pho Noodle House and the Venezuelan restaurant Arepa Mia in Avondale, and the Indian street food eatery, Chai Pani in downtown Decatur. And, for those who love really delicious, creamy ice cream, for me nothing comes close to Atlanta’s own Morelli’s Gourmet Ice Cream. Also, just prior to our need for social distancing, my intention was to begin exploring eating spots within Atlanta’s west end. I hear of a lot of new activity buzzing around on that side of town and would love the opportunity to check it out. I have yet to try the Slutty Vegan, and I’m told I don’t know what I’m missing.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Shout out and much love and appreciation to my Mother, who was definitely not a risk taker and was often concerned about my unplanned and quick decisions to take risks with a frequency that caused her lots of angst and concern, but who fully supported me once she realized that my taking risks also gained me my most successes.
Other: As a multi-disciplinary artist, I’ve compiled samples of my personal artwork under the name of “Shook Arts”. You can see some of my work here: shookarts.com
Nominate someone: ShoutoutAtlanta is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.