We had the good fortune of connecting with Robert Andrade and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Robert, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
When I was in my early 20’s it made the most sense to study what I was genuinely interested in, even if that meant a career that is typically not thought of as having many job prospects after school. I always thought I could find work with the skills I learned by studying art. At the beginning I used jobs as a way to learn as well. I worked as an art handler, carpenter and a fabricator for a little while. The skills I learned in these jobs were directly used for my practice. It hasn’t always been easy, but it has seemed to work out.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
For the past several years I’ve worked in a few mediums including sculpture, photography, video and drawing. Most recently I’ve been more invested in design and music. I’m currently in the Landscape Architecture + Urbanism program at USC . I’m finding ways to incorporate landscape design and art into my practice currently. I learned that I liked doing design and other commercial work as part of my practice when I would have exhibitions. Since I have some of the skill-set, I thought it would be a good idea to start offering services to others to build my client based portfolio. It took a while to get to this point but now I have experience doing commercial architecture, product photography and book design. I’m currently designing a residential garden with my collaborator in LA. Doing things smart is key. It’s important to make sure a client is a good fit and always be honest about that. A main lesson I learned, which is not very sexy, is to get a good tax person. Its very practical advice, but will save you money and a lot of stress in the long run.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Of course I always take guests to Balboa Park. It’s one of my favorite places in SD. And given that a lot is shut down because of the pandemic, it’s still a safe place to go if it isn’t packed. I usually hang out with friends in North Park. Walking around offers a lot in terms of food and other activities. Five Space, Folk Art Records and Normal records are great places that I always go to for record shopping and Communal Coffee is great as well. Nomad donuts is always a crowd pleaser and there are countless restaurants to check out. I often go to Fat Boys Deli for a good sandwich.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
The first art class I enrolled in at Southwestern Community College was with an instructor named Roy David Rogers. He was the perfect person for me to meet just at the right time in my life. I was starting to take art more serious and he recognized it. Roy encouraged me to to experiment, travel, research and to get in the habit of having a lot of projects going simultaneously. All of which I still do today to some extent. That was back in 2003 and we are still in touch regularly to this day.
All images are courtesy of the artist.