Meet An Artist: Andrea Martin

 We periodically share interviews of artists and volunteers, believing our readers will enjoy getting to know our organization through the stories of those who help us advance our mission. Andrea Martin will be sharing her passion for art and papercutting at her class on November 9. A former biological researcher, Andrea used to spend time dissecting fruit flies. She has assured us we don’t need to be that exacting to enjoy her class!

Did you grow up in a household where people valued art and craft? My grandfather was a woodcarver from Norway, and my dad always loved art, although he didn’t pursue it professionally. I loved to draw as a child. I remember completing a school assignment that required us to draw a plant – I somehow missed that the assignment was going to be entered in a contest, and then I won the contest! My first award – a potted fig tree.

Photo Credit: Submitted by Andrea Martin 
When did you begin to focus solely on creating art, and what was the catalyst? I needed to help my aging parents, so took some time away from teaching to be in Florida. I always knew I wanted to pursue art, my sons were launched and I decided to make the jump in 2007.

It seems brave to create art and then to put your piece out in the public for people to see and either like or not like. I don’t think of it as being brave. I want to tell a story and I love talking to people about their reaction to my story. I attend a lot of art fairs, and it doesn’t bother me if someone chooses not to stop at my booth. Many others do like my art.

Photo Credit: Submitted by Andrea Martin 
Why do you not only create art but teach others papercutting skills? I love teaching because whether children or adults, I always learn from my students. Someone may approach something differently than I do, and I gain another perspective.

What do you hope attendees will take away from your class? Papercutting requires a different way of looking at things, as there are positive and negative spaces. I look at the world differently because I’m thinking about those spaces, and I hope people will leave the class beginning to do the same, to look at things with a different perspective.

Photo Credit: Submitted by Andrea Martin 

What inspires you? Relationship between plants and animals and humans
Irrational Fear? Flying in an airplane
If you had a month with no responsibilities, where would you go? On an extended bike trip with my husband. I’m thinking of riding my bike to a conference in Pittsburgh!
Skill you wish you had? Writing
Favorite place in nature? Sitting in a grove of pine trees, sitting on pine needles, listening to the wind blow
Recommended books? The Secret Wisdom of Nature, by Peter Wohlleben, and I also enjoy books by Lisa Congdon, an illustrator and writer.