By Sonya Gankina
Remember drawing as a kid? The joy in dragging a Sharpie marker across a white sheet, or even drawing right on important documents that your parents left out on the kitchen table. Creativity in children seldom goes any further than that, since at a young age we hear that art is not a “real” job.
Many of us opt for more pragmatic yet still creative prospects like graphic or web design work. And although our parents grumbled that we were never going to become doctors or lawyers, the desire to create was stronger.
But for Andrew Newby, he decided not to choose between his desire to be creative and the need for a paycheque. Newby is a web designer in Ottawa who creates beautiful creepy art in his spare time. With a diploma in graphic design from Algonquin College, Newby has both the innate inspiration to create and the technical skills to execute more complex ideas.
Apartment613 connected with Newby virtually to discuss the world of black-and-white art and his personal inspirations.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
Apt613: How would you describe the style of your work?
Andrew Newby: Black and white, pointillism, pop-culture, and more! I use several mediums, including ink pens, watercolours, markers, acrylics, and even Photoshop for digital collages. I focus on dark, and often gothic subject matter, usually in greyscale but sometimes with a splash of colour. I always try to build a nice composition using simple shapes, lots of white space, and a clearly defined focal point.
How did you get started?
I’ve always had a knack for drawing, and I can definitely thank my mom for fostering my talent and always encouraging me to draw. The rise of Instagram also gave me the best way to showcase my art to more people. Seeing what other artists were doing inspired me to share my own work.
Who or what inspires you?
Ideas for subject matter usually come from movies, tv, memes, and pop culture. In terms of style and motivation, I’m inspired by fellow artists and creative ass-kickers of all kinds! This includes film directors, photographers, musicians and producers, graphic designers, and especially tattoo artists!
How has COVID-19 affected your way of living as an artist?
From a production standpoint, nothing has really changed. I think the newfound free time can be a tremendous opportunity for all of us to accomplish these little creative projects we’ve all had in the back of our minds. In terms of feet-on-the-street promotion, COVID has undoubtedly slowed my ability to network and exhibit my work at local markets.
What’s the best way to support you?
I have lots of items that can be purchased through my website including apparel, stickers, original drawings, paintings, and signed art prints. Really though, engaging with my content on Instagram goes a long way… Like, share, comment, send me a message, and tell your friends!
Next time you’re scrolling through Instagram or Facebook, check out Andrew’s art and give him a follow—from covering popular memes to supplying us with endless original work, his account is a welcome addition to your carefully curated feed. You can also check out his work on his website. Most importantly, remember to shop and support local!