We had the good fortune of connecting with Ty Andino-McBride and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ty, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
As cliche as it may sound, I didn’t choose to pursue a creative career, it honestly chose me. I avoided studying the arts or doing much art related for most of my life because I fell into the trap of believing that it wasn’t profitable. I didn’t decide to take it seriously until my second year of law school. During that time, I was living in a new city all alone and studying something that made me miserable. I needed a release. Art saved me. That re-assured me that art was apart of who I am and I’ve been creating ever since.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
My art has changed a lot over the years but it has always been motivated by showing positive/thought provoking images of black people. I always remember hearing my little sister get that back-handed complement “you’re so pretty for a dark skin girl” and that motivated me to make sure that she as well as other kids/people like her saw themselves as beautiful, no matter what others say. What sets me apart from others is my love of black/gray aesthetics but also being able to combine that with the use of color so that the portrait really pops and stands out. I’m honestly still not where I want to be professionally. It is not only a battle to get the right attention and keep growing, it’s a battle to stay motivated to create. The biggest lesson that I have learned came from a friend when I told him about my lack of motivation/painter’s block. He told me to stop, take a break, and re-organize my workspace because clutter around will always clutter your mind and creative process. Every artist needs to learn to take a break and focus on being in the right creative space.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
My favorite thing to do when I visit Atlanta is to find art shows/exhibits to view. The love of black art around that city always inspires me and makes me feel like I am at home with others like me.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I dedicate my shoutout to the two most important women in my life: my wife and my mother. Their continued support keeps me going. Making them proud is my biggest motivation.
Mario A. Turner