We were lucky to catch up with Andrea Rector recently and have shared our conversation below.
Andrea, thanks for taking the time to share your stories with us today Let’s jump back to the first dollar you earned as a creative? What can you share with us about how it happened?
I grew up in Jacksonville, FL until the age of 11. My younger sister, Megan, and I had a bit of an entrepreneurial streak and we enjoyed coming up with ways to make a little money. One such endeavor was sitting at the end of our driveway and selling drawings we had made. Now, our house was on a small cul-de-sac with about 3 or 4 other houses, so hardly anyone ever came by. But we did have an amazing mail carrier (who we called “the mail lady”) who would buy a drawing from us every single time. I don’t remember how much we sold them for – maybe 5 cents – so I doubt I even made a whole dollar! But it was the first money I ever made from my art and definitely got me hooked.
Many years later, in 2014, I was participating in one of my very first art shows and my only goal was “sell a piece of art to a stranger.” Selling to friends and family is great, but there’s something about a total stranger buying your work that feels very validating. I ended up having to go out of town on short notice on the day of the show, so my sister and my friend stepped up to cover my booth. And guess what – they sold my first piece to a stranger! They took pictures with her and everything. It still makes me laugh that I wasn’t even there for that milestone.
Awesome – so before we get into the rest of our questions, can you briefly introduce yourself to our readers.
I paint mostly small objects or animals. Lately I’ve been painting toys that remind me of growing up in the 80s and 90s (hello, troll dolls!) I look back on my childhood with a lot of great memories, but I also struggled with severe social anxiety when I was young. I have so many stories of times that I couldn’t do a simple task like go up to the counter at a fast food restaurant and order food (my little sister would have to do it for me). Art was one of the few ways I knew how to connect with people back then. I never wanted to stand out or be the center of attention but I was ok with being recognized for my art. Today, I want to share a message of hope, possibility, and individuality through my work – that you can overcome challenges, and that you are accepted and loved for being exactly who you are.
Are there any books, videos or other content that you feel have meaningfully impacted your thinking?
This is more related to life philosophy than business, but the book that has had the most impact on me is Your Money or Your Life by Vicki Robin and Joe Dominguez. It’s one that I reread regularly. The message of the book is to really stop and think about the tradeoffs you are making when you spend your time working for money and then spend that money on “stuff”. Is the time spent worth the stuff purchased? What could you be doing with that time if you didn’t spend it working to buy the stuff? The book takes you through some in-depth exercises to show you how much money has come into your life and where it’s going, and whether that is actually in alignment with your values. It’s something I’ve internalized in my life and it applies to my art business as well.
For you, what’s the most rewarding aspect of being a creative?
Two things come to mind. The first is seeing people’s joy and excitement when buying a piece of art and knowing that I’ve helped them in some way, whether it’s as small as finding a notecard to send to a friend or as meaningful as finding a piece that really resonates with them.
The second is having something that is all my own. In my art business I get to decide what I create, how often, where I will show it, what my prices are – everything! It can be overwhelming but it’s a fun challenge at the same time, and very empowering.
- Website: https://www.andrearector.com/
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rectorartstudio/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rectorartstudio
Where My Mind Wonders, LLC