NYC-based artist and creative director Andrew Thiele is taking over the art world by storm. Thiele is the real deal. After a critically-acclaimed solo debut in a Tribeca art gallery featuring elegant typography mixed with complicated schemes of layered art featuring captivating depictions of our time and era – the only question is, what’s next? We sat down with Andrew to help art lovers everywhere understand how a simple canvas can be transformed into a work of art.
Bold: Describe your experience with having your solo debut in Tribeca?
Andrew Thiele: The first show was an amazing experience from many different angles. I was humbled by the amount of people that came out and supported me. It was a room full of love and learning and we brought together many people to talk about ideas and experiences. That is what art is supposed to do – bring people together.
Bold: You have worked with leading brands from around the world including ESPN, Adidas, Universal Records, and Pepsi – what did you enjoy about creating unique designs for these companies, and how has this experience influenced your work?
Andrew Thiele: I always enjoy working with big brands because of the range of people that see it. Each company provides a unique experience because you must adapt to the brands needs and audience.
Bold: What artists inspire your creativity?
Andrew Thiele: I have a great deal of artists that inspire me, but the art that touched my soul were artists from the abstract expressionist movement such as de Kooning, Rauschenberg – French collage artists such as Raymond Hains and Jacques Villeglé, but I really want to progress my work the way Frank Stella did.
Bold: Your artwork is primarily abstract, can you describe what your creative process is like?
Andrew Thiele: My artwork was a departure from my design work. It started as an attempt to create something from me, something from my heart that wasn’t dictated by a client or for a job. When you start creating, you start questioning yourself of what your voice is and what you wanted to say. It was less about painting a pretty picture and more about a story of what I wanted to say. I spent a lot of time on the messaging of the pieces as well as a visual aesthetic that was mine. My influence comes from what I see – the grit of NYC, the love of fine arts, pop culture, advertising, signage, and daily news. Now it’s up to me to filter them, collage them together and create something that is beautiful to me.
Bold: How do you find the balance between satisfying commercial clients and expressing your inner voice?
Andrew Thiele: I approach art and design differently. When you are hired as a designer you are there to fulfill your clients needs. You are able to be creative but you need to put the client first and it needs to be their DNA. When I am doing my art, it is just me. It is what I want to see. It is subjective but non-negotiable. Every once in a while you are lucky to find some commercial jobs that fall right in-between and that’s what we call the dream jobs.
Bold: Was it hard convincing close family and friends that being an artist can be profitable
Andrew Thiele: I never really had a conversation with anyone about it being or not being profitable. I never had a hand-out in my life, so I guess everyone assumed it was (laughs).
Bold: How do you keep yourself motivated?
Andrew Thiele: Staying motivated is the same as staying inspired, it’s something I must do. Never stagnant, working off momentum. Some people say they have no fear and I tell everyone I am the opposite. I stay motivated from my fear of failing, fear of being in the same place 10 years from now.
Bold: What do you hope to accomplish through your art?
Andrew Thiele: I want my art to go full circle. People inspire the paintings, then my paintings inspire the people. I am hoping my paintings and artwork can give me a platform where I can provide opportunities and mentorship to people.
Bold: Your work often depicts dramatic urban scenes. What are your thoughts on the state of our urban areas today? Why do we see such violence and dystopia among so many of our youth? How can we work towards positive social change, and do you see your artwork as part of that?
Andrew Thiele: I think there is always going to be violence and drama in urban environments. It’s just something that is programmed into those areas. I think change comes when people try to make a difference. This issue is far from art but you can use art as a call-out to bring up social issues and develop these conversations.
Bold: What made you take the leap of faith to being an entrepreneur? How were you able to make that journey possible? What advice do you have for entrepreneurs just starting out?
Andrew Thiele: My journey of being an entrepreneur was something that I had to do, not wanted to do. I wasn’t offered any position so I had to create my own. My advice for any entrepreneur is just to be consistent and take pride in what you do. In any craft you take those simple steps, it will build.
Bold: How can people find out more about your work?
Andrew Thiele: You can always find me through social media @arteknyc and my website andrewthiele.com. I have some group shows in the works and the next major show isn’t going to be for another year-and-half.
Andrew Thiele Reel courtesy of TNYCinema
Andrew Thiele Reel from TNYCinema on Vimeo.
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