An interview with Andrea Offermann

Andrea Offermann at the opening of "Here Be Dragons" at Thinkspace

An interview with Andrea Offermann

Please tell us a lil’ bit about yourself and what you hope to communicate through your work.

I was born and raised in Germany and, after first trying two years of med school, came to the US to study illustration at Art Center College of Design.

Med school influenced me in my work in that I tend to bring a scientific part to my concepts, and often have an analytical approach to the themes I choose. But in my work I focus on more intuitive solutions, I want to give the viewer the freedom to wander to new interesting possibilities, always keeping in mind that science has boundaries which the imagination doesn’t have.

Studying illustration shaped my way of thinking in that I always tend to tell stories and want the viewer to go on a journey when he looks at my paintings. I also found my love for linework during printmaking courses at the school.

I am now back in Germany, living in Hamburg and working as an illustrator as well as a fine artist.

Andrea Offermann 'Skin Deep' - Pen and ink, watercolor, oil glazes - 9 7/8 x 7 3/4" (2011)

Can you share a lil’ bit about the themes behind your new body of work for ‘Here Be Dragons‘.

On medieval maps people would mark unknown territory by writing “here be dragons” or drawing a dragon or a sea serpent in that spot. In my new body of work I focused on the experience of people reaching an unknown land and trying to make it their home. They do not really understand the “creature” they are walking upon, and are shying away from everything strange while relating to things they recognize and can identify with, like their own likeness. They bring their understanding of the world to this strange place and try to apply it there, not noticing the changes and also destruction they are forcing onto this new place. With this body of work I wanted to comment on the mix of curiosity and fear of the unknown that drives the human mind.

When did you know you wanted to follow the path of being a full-time artist?

I decided to try it while I was still studying Medicine, but found myself relating a lot of the things I learned with art. I was interested in being able to express my own point of view and have the freedom to analyze and work with what I saw not only scientifically.

Andrea Offermann 'Their Lot' - Pen and ink, watercolor, oil glazes - 21 x 5.5" (2011)

What fuels you to keep creating?

A continuous urge to express experiences, pose questions, offer intuitive solutions or imaginative ideas relating to a question

Favorite item in your studio?

Right now my orchid. It was all withered up and I thought it was dead when all of a sudden there was a small green bud. Now its blooming again. Such an interesting plant…

Andrea Offermann 'Bricks' - Pen and ink, watercolor, oil glazes - 5 1/8 x 12 3/4" (2011)

Any shows or special projects coming up after your exhibit with us here at Thinkspace you would like to mention?

I have a few YA novels coming out next year but after this show I will take some time off before I start again with a new series of fine art. I want to have something to talk about first before I start a new body of work.

Check out the works from Andrea Offermann’s recent show at our gallery here:
www.thinkspacegallery.com/2011/11/project/works-offdrag.php

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