Andrea Graham’s lastest PODS are whimsical, colorful creatures exuding an organic beauty. “It began with plant forms and a political message and has evolved into little humorous plant/alien/animals that, when placed in a group, look like little families,” says Graham of her new collection. They are addictive—for viewers and for Graham.
“I had the intention of moving on from PODS when I began teaching them, but they keep spilling out. I do have other work I am working on, but as long as they are evolving, I will continue with these.”
A lot of work goes into the preparation of her artwork. “The creative time begins long before my hands hit the fleece. For bags and such, I design as I go, so more thinking and introspection in the assembly process.” But in the end, Graham relishes the freedom of the work she does. “There are no rules. It always varies. My work represents my views, my vision, my somewhat dark side and sense of humour.”
Andrea’s first began needle felting to make toys for her children when they were young. She found the art form more accessible, considering the ages of her children, and she liked the “added bonus” of making their toys for them. But her passion soon led her explore wet felting, and what she calls her “quest to learn from some of the best,” such as Chris White, Jorie Johnson, Karoliina Arvilommi (and her partner, Rod Welch), Chad Alice Hagen, Sharon Costello.
Andrea always keeps her sketchbook close for the frequent moments when inspiration strikes her, and she’s always working on a variety of projects. “I have the luxury (most of the time) to pick and choose each day whatever I feel like working on as I have a diverse array of places that I send work. I do, however, always come back to 3d form. I cannot explain why,
but dimension is just ‘me.’”
She also loves teaching, especially students who have already begun to work with felt and are looking to expand their skills, as Graham did when she was first starting out. She tells her students to “just keep going, keep exploring. No need to reinvent the wheel as there are many who have come before you and are willing to share their expertise.
Seek them out and learn from them…and then keep going.”
Because of the help she received, Graham feels particularly called to pass on her knowledge. She currently is giving one-on-one instruction via webcam. “It is more affordable than traveling and you have my undivided attention and we can focus on your specific interest,” says Graham. Those interested can email Graham at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Shows and workshops can be seen on her website, www.andrea-graham.com, and you can view more of her work at
http://andrea-graham.blogspot.ca/ and purchase things via her Etsy store, http://www.etsy.com/people/AndreaGraham.