Everyone’s work is deeply idiosyncratic: in our regular Spotlight segment we explore artists’ experiences and inspiration to understand what defines and inspires their unique styles. Bold and colourful and certainly inspired by her environment Andrea von Bujdoss tells us what inspires her.
As a New Yorker, I grew up in the vibrant neighbourhoods of downtown Manhattan in the 1980s and 1990s, which were full of exciting subcultures such as graffiti, street art, skateboarding, raves, punk rock and clubs. So I've been deeply inspired by the urban landscape from an early age and I was intrigued by graffiti.
As a young teen part of a newer generation of early 1990's graffiti writers, I became friends with some of the most prolific old school subway graffiti writers and began to teach myself the complicated art form of graffiti by consistently practicing my letters and graffiti style. I’ve always loved lettering, design and drawing from a young age, so I would sketch and draw for hours everyday as a teen. And then of course, I would go out with friends and paint in the street. I eventually developing my own unique style and also earned a BFA at Parsons School of Design. I began a successful career, working for worldwide brands and magazines who appreciate my passionate knowledge of typography, branding and visual communication.
Since the early 2000's I've also consistently painted murals and graffiti in the NYC streets and in other major US cities as well as Paris, Amsterdam, Tahiti, etc. These days as a full time artist, I work on new paintings for exhibitions as well as large scale murals, branding, illustration, commissions, lettering and apparel. As of now, I've spent nearly 20 years perfecting my graffiti and typography skill sets and I'm always developing new styles, it’s really fun work and an exciting journey as a creative.
My hometown New York City is the most amazing city in the world, in my opinion! Not only is it bustling with great galleries, museums and advertising agencies, it's also multicultural city full of people from diverse backgrounds, which is such an important aspect of vibrant communities. My work is definitely influenced by the diversity around me and I find it exciting to visually translate my experience of urban life. Some of my work incorporates clashing combinations of different patterns and phrases, which basically conveys diversity through interesting visual juxtapositions. Being in New York City is also great because it's home to some of the best advertising and media companies, so there's a huge amount of creativity and innovation buzzing here.
Typography and color are my biggest sources of inspiration at this point in my career. I love researching vintage lettering styles and following the evolution of typographic styles in advertising and media. Letters can be illustrated to convey powerful messages and affirmations. My work includes song lyrics and inspirational phrases that I paint as large scale murals or detailed digital illustrations, to create a big impact for those particular phrases. It’s an ongoing obsession with letters! I also explore different color palettes in my work by researching trends in art history and in nature. The natural world is a huge inspiration for my color palettes and color combinations, especially tropical nature.
The "LOVE" typography sculptures and prints created by pop artist Robert Indiana have had a big influence on me because they're so bold and iconic, unlike anything else that existed at the time when he debuted them. I used to work at a design studio across the street from one of these sculptures in midtown Manhattan, and it was just amazing to see his sculpture every day. I think Robert Indiana opened the door for such bold, letter-based works. The clever typography and positive message are very direct and appealing. And the fact that these sculptures were placed on such busy streets in Manhattan is incredible, they have become iconic public works of art.
Drawing and sketching is a fundamental method that I always use to generate ideas and explore ways to express concepts or phrases visually. There are so many digital programs and new devices to illustrate with, but I think traditional drawing onto paper is a beautiful practice that shouldn't be forgotten! It’s fun and liberating to let your mind wander and to just draw. For my paintings, I mix a lot of custom colors and use tiny brushes for my detail work, as most of my paintings incorporate hard edged shapes instead of free form brushwork. My work can be abstract and wild, but it’s always precise and graphic in terms of composition and production. When I’m digitally refining my illustrations on computers, I use a few digital tablets with pens, including portable ones when I'm on the go. Using tablets and pens are much faster for digital illustration. Working this way basically mimics my pencil-and-paper traditional drawing style which is pretty much impossible using a mouse. The settings and short cuts on digital tablets with pens make my process very efficient when I’m re-coloring or adding effects to my vectorized artwork.
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