animator by trade artist by blood, andre barnwell is a multi faceted artist director and animator with a style that blends animation, portraits and the use of vibrant colours. Andre’s work is unique as he is able to combine his different skills to create stunning pieces of work. We got the chance to interview andre and speak to him about his inspirations and what makes him unique.
[1) Describe yourself and what type of artist you are?]
My name’s Andre Barnwell and I grew up on Don Mills and Sheppard…Thats Toronto for the outsiders. Growing up I never knew what I wanted to do specifically but I knew it would involve art. Being as stubborn, I ended up working in the aniamtion industry. I graduated from Sheridan’s Animation program in ’08 and I’ve had a fruitful career as an animator and designer thus far. Animator by trade artist by blood I love art and creative problem solving I do a regular basis. Aside from the visual stimulation, I love listening to music, watching movies, eating food and sitting in the sun.
[2) What inspires your specific style of work?]
I always appreciate the face for its complexity but being a portrait artist at the time wasnt a practical way to make a living. Growing up studying other artists’ styles, both character designers and contemporary illustrator, my taste’s developed a graphic style with bold colour combinations.
[3) Take us through your creative process]
My process is simple. Get inspired. Start scribbling. I find the shapes I like. I finesse those shapes. Add tone where it makes sense to me. Then I just go wild with colour combinations until I get it “right”. Some pieces, whether personal productions or commisions, have a tonne of colour variation.
[4) What fuels your passion?]
The “people”. World renowned celebrities are cool but the local celebs and everyday beautiful people are doper because they are within reach. They come from the same neighbourhood, the same block, the same city… That stuff fuels me to go out and build my own. I love seeing the come up. I love hearing that their brand reflects who they truly are. That fuels me to take time out of my day to not only exercise my skills but to pay a bit of homage to those who inspire me. It doesn’t have to be the person with 1 million followers.
[5) How did you find your passion ?]
I find my passion by “going outside”. My advice, step outside your comfort zone with good intention. Keep your eyes and mind open. Fall asleep to the new things you saw and let your creativity do its thing when you wake up.
[6) If you had to choose one place for you work to be displayed where would it be?]
If I could choose one place to display my work it would be along the wall of my elementary school, St. Tims. I’m not sure what it would be but it would implore the need for more creative programs.
[7) Who do you feel are the most influential visual artist of our time?]
That is a hard one to answer because of the internet so I am exposed to a lot of talented artist. From my perspective Lawrence Atoigue aka “Naturel” (Illustrator/Graphic Designer), Lesean Thomas (Creator of Canon Busters/Director/Character Designer), Tyree Dillihay (Creator of Sneads by Ree/Director/Character Designer), Gyimah Gariba (Charater Designer Extrodinaire), Nadir Nelson (Illustrator and Author) ,Shaz Enorico Lym(animator/Character Designer) James Bullough (Master Muralist), Rebeccas Sugar (Creator of Steven Universe), Lina Iris Viktor (Visual Artist), Naoko Takeuchi (Sailor Moon) … my list could go on but I feel the aforementioned have put in the work in a way that influences why I create. I also just realized my list is void of women…. That needs to change.
[8) How do you go developing your craft?]
To develop my craft I analyze and apply , over and over and over again until whatever aspect of design and animation is completed. If that “piece” or “work of art” has anything I would change… I “rinse and repeat” on another project until I get that feeling that I’ve done enough.
[9) Do you have another passion? If so what is it?]
The only other passion I have is eating food, balanced by a new found interest in bouldering. Other than thse two things, somewhere as I child I vowed “art” would be the foundation of my livelihood. Both in application and in philosophy. If I’m starring at someone 9/10 it is because I’m looking at the shapes, tone and how they reflect who the person is. It’s a reality i’m comfortable in.
[10) Who Is one artist you would like to work with and why?]
I would like to work with Jonathan Djob Knondo because I love his work. I like how he visually tells his stories. His sense of design and simplification is dope and he’s a great animator.
[11) How would you define Potent Expression?]
Potent expression is creative expression that can’t be denied. Interpret it however you want, but it makes you feel what was intended to be felt. That comes with understanding yourself just as much as your craft because in order for the general public to be affected by one’s creation it needs to be articulated clearly. Sort of like how we sorta understand what a “mumble “ rapper says versus what a lyrical rapper who doesn’t let a word go to waste, let a lone a bar.
See More Of Andre’s Work Here : http://andrebarnwell.tumblr.com/