We had the good fortune of connecting with Andrew Utt and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Andrew, what role has risk played in your life or career?
After pondering this question for a few days, I came to the realization that everything I do is take a risk. While I leverage experience and learn from mistakes (and there have been many) I would not have gained had I not taken the risk. Rather than describing each action I’ve taken as a risk, I would imagine each action as a step on a giant staircase. The steps have treads, there are rails to hold on to, and I’ve got a harness that prevents me from falling backwards. Onwards and upwards. The top of the staircase is not visible, and that is what drives me. It’s not that I want to see the end, but simply that there is no end at all. This metaphor is not meant to prove that I want more, rather, it is meant to show that risks should be a natural phenomenon in our lives and if we stop taking risks, we become complacent. Complacency shouldn’t be equated with satisfaction. Satisfaction with what we have and what we do comes with an approval of your actions. We should be satisfied that a risk has been taken, you have learned, and that you continue to climb the staircase.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I went to art school in the Bay Area and received a bachelor’s of fine arts. But as I saw my friends graduating and struggling to live as artists, or not even making their art anymore, I realized that my success as an artist was so minuscule that it wasn’t worth the energy to commit my life in that way. I knew that I was an administrator and a curator. I liked to help artists shape their vision and give them a backbone for their work to be presented to the world. Now my work embodies this ideology and my art is producing exhibitions of others’ artwork to convey ideas and inspire the world to change for the better. It was not an easy pathway to get to this point in my career, but it was an easy decision. I am most proud when I see the success and appreciation of the work of others. Lessons I’ve learned: 1. go for it, 2. think 10 steps ahead before you take a leap, 3. you can never be original, but you can be inventive.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
First thing’s first, they’d visit all of the art museums in San Diego. We’d eat nearby, for convenience-sake, and then we’d eat at some of my favorites: Dumpling Inn & Shanghai Saloon, Puesto, a recent favorite is Candor, Blue Fin Sushi in Encinitas, City Taco, the taco truck in the Target parking lot in South Park, and Kiko’s, the taco truck on Texas St. We’d go on a bike ride on the boardwalk, a hike in Mission Trails, or through the hidden trails of Tecolote Canyon. And if they brought their passport, we’d go to Tijuana for delicious meals, salsa dancing, and maybe a trip to the Valle de Guadalupe and Ensenada.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I’d like to send a shoutout to all of the people who discouraged me, who doubted me, who shot me down, and pushed me away. You made me stronger and gave me more will to succeed. I’d also like to send a shoutout to all of the people who encouraged me, who believed in me, grounded me, and propelled me. Thank you.
Gallery shots by Isik Kaya.