Name: Andrew Thornton
City, state, country: Bolivar, Pennsylvania, United States
Blog name: The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton
What do you blog about?
I know it may sound clichéd, but I blog about life. Specifically, I blog about my life as a creative person.
I document the everyday happenstances and occurrences that inspire my work and fuel my creativity. Oftentimes this takes the form of posts about nature, food, my cats, and general observations.
Inspiration really is everywhere, and magic can be found in the smallest of things. Sometimes the results of that inspiration find their way into the blog and usually they take the form of paintings, collages, and jewelry.
I also host giveaways and use the blog as a way of keeping in touch with supporters of my work and my online shops.
Who are you?
I am an artist, writer, and designer who lives in rural Pennsylvania on 80 acres of land with my partner and our two cats. My collection of books, beads, and succulents threatens to bury us all alive!
My earliest memories are of sunshine. I grew up in Florida in a working class family. We didn’t have a lot of extra money, so we children had to be inventive with our amusements.
A box of clay could be an army of fairies. A cardboard box could be a castle. The backs of older siblings’ dittos and old paperwork could be works of art. I think that resourcefulness stuck with all of the kids and formed the foundations of our careers as artists.
My sister Sheila is a painter in Los Angeles, and my sister Cynthia started Green Girl Studios, which is a metalsmith-based jewelry component company in Asheville, North Carolina
I didn’t always think that I’d be an artist, though. Early on, I was involved with journalism and worked for a local newspaper. I was also involved in environmental activism, non-profits, and grassroots organizations with the aims of social awareness and change. Art had always been a part of my life, but it was on the backburner as just something I was good at.
Then September 11th happened, and things changed. I felt a new urgency to embrace my passion and make art the most important thing in my life. I moved to New York City and attended the School of Visual Arts. I graduated with a fine artist’s degree with a specialization in collage, mixed media, and painting.
I lived in New York for several years, selling my work and living it up. I had a lot interesting jobs and experiences during that time. Eventually, though, the glitter of the city started to dull, and I found that I was constantly struggling to stay above water. I was perpetually in survival mode and found that it wasn’t conducive to making art.
So, we left the hustle and bustle of the city for a quieter life among trees with room to stretch and grow.
Why do you blog?
I’ve been keeping an online journal for more than a decade—since before they were even called “blogs.”
The practice of keeping an online journal originally started as a way for me to vent and expound upon the injustices of man. Eventually—several incarnations later—the blog became a tool to organize my thoughts, provide motivation to be more creative and more positive, and to get to know myself better.
I think that it’s important for me to portray the real life of an artist who works hard at his craft, has highs and lows, and is stripped of the pseudo-mythology that surrounds creative types.
The blog has become a platform for me to share my life and, as a result, build community.
Who and what inspire you?
Life is the great teacher. All the secrets of the universe are right there before us. We can learn the lessons and unravel the mysteries if we choose to listen and look. Life, in its multifaceted splendor, inspires me.
Everyone has a story. Those stories are rich with ideas and inspiration. Those who choose to be storytellers, working in whatever medium best suits their tale, usually are my greatest inspirations. Artists like these definitely move me to create:
Nina Bagley http://ornamental.typepad.com
Ross Bleckner http://www.rbleckner.com/
Kate McKinnon http://katemckinnon.wordpress.com
Susan Lenart Kazmer http://objectsandelements.typepad.com
Kathy Van Kleeck http://kathyvankleeck.blogspot.com
My sister Cynthia Thornton http://cynthiathornton.blogspot.com
Iviva Olenick http://wereisobesotted.blogspot.com
Anne Choi http://annechoi.com
Sarkilahti of Odette N.Y. http://www.odetteny.blogspot.com
Monica Cook http://monicacookart.com
Nancy Schindler http://therabbitmuse.blogspot.com
What do you see yourself doing in 10 years?
It’s hard to say. Life is full of change and can be so very unpredictable. Had you asked me 10 years ago what life would be like now, my answer would have been very different from the reality that is.
Ideally though, I’d like to see myself continuing to happily make things. That is most important.
I would love to be teaching and sharing my experience and traveling the world. Hopefully, by that time, I will have penned several books and the seeds of business endeavors we are planting now will be firmly rooted and fruitfully abundant.
*Andrew is a regular contributor to Stringing Magazine, and his work has been featured in Bead Chic by Margot Potter and Steampunk-Style Jewelry by Jean Campbell. Visit these other platforms from Andrew Thornton:
Online Shop: http://andrewthornton.bigcartel.com/
Online Sale Shop: http://andrewthorntonsale.bigcartel.com/
Creating the Hive: http://creatingthehive.com/signup/andrewthornton
And check out the Lark Jewelry and Beading page each and every day for great content, including these fascinating recent interviews with leading jewelers, beaders, and metalsmiths—please click the Facebook “Like” button and leave comments!
Laura McCabe (with free project PDF)
Jamie Cloud Eakin (with bonus project PDF)
Nathalie Mornu (with two free project PDFs)