Q+A with Andrea Castro, Dream-follower + Artist

When I recently asked Andrea how she was doing, she replied, “I’m more than great, enjoying my days painting and smiling a lot!” This joy and passion for life is normal for her, and more importantly, intentional. Back in January, this beautiful, brilliant Spanish artist decided to quit her day job and pursue painting full-time. We’re so excited to share Ms. Andrea Castro‘s story.

The Basics

  • Age: 28
  • Location: Palma de Mallorca, Spain (it’s a beautiful and amazing island)
  • Field of Interest: Creating, mostly art and paintings. I also love languages.
  • What Inspired You Today? Yesterday I saw a small article about how much we always complain, so today I tried to not complain at all and that helped me be more happy. It also helped me notice when I complained about stupid things, and see how often other people complained, too. So what has inspired me today has been seeing things from this other point of view without complaints every ten minutes.
  • What’s Your Favorite Thing About Yourself? I love my memory. I do have a very good memory because I train it by learning languages or memorizing numbers or words. I also love my hands: they are very large and beautiful and when I was younger I used to think I could be a hand model. My hands also let me paint, play the piano and do rock climbing, so I love them for that.

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Questions + Answers

You’re a very talented painter. When did you begin painting, and why?

Thank you! I started to paint when I was 11 years old. I do have a painting from when I was 5 though, but I started to paint more seriously at 11. Why? I remember there was a girl in my classroom that painted comic girls very good and I wanted to try it out. I noticed I could also draw it and from that a few years later I started going to classes with other painters to improve.

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What does your studio look, sound and feel like?

My studio is actually two rooms. One room is entirely dedicated to painting, and there are only wet canvases, two easels, my paintings tools, my music and a heater to keep me warm (I hate cold). This studio feels like home, like a safe place. And it sounds like Chopin and Tchaikovsky mostly, but also like Adele and Bon Jovi.

andrea-castro-byom-10In the other room, there is my computer and all the paintings that are already dried. So this studio is used to wrap the paintings and answer e-mails. And there is classic music, too.

You recently quit your day job to pursue painting full time. Why did you decide to take that risk? How did you gather the courage?

I did have to gather the courage…you’re right and I can’t still believe it. Last October I went to Paris and I visited quite a few galleries. In one I saw this big beautiful painting and I thought “I want this, I want to be there” and then I started to cry.

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So when I came back I had to think a lot about what I really wanted, if I really wanted to forget about my passion out of fear. I noticed that, even though I was “comfortable” I wasn’t happy. And I didn’t want that. So I decided to leave my comfort zone to do what I love the most: to paint.

Now that you’ve been pursuing your painting exclusively for a few months, what have you learned? Do you have any regrets?

I’ve learned that your cheeks can hurt you for a whole week solely from smiling. I’ve learned that even though I just have enough money to pass by the month, doing what I love makes it priceless. That I’m not as unorganized as I feared I would be, that actually I do have a good routine (painting in the morning, doing sports in the evening).

andrea-castro-byom-5 Regrets? I would say not doing it earlier. But then again, I think that earlier I didn’t want to do it because I was afraid and I didn’t believe in myself, and I also didn’t believe in other people believing in me. So I think I needed this whole proccess to be where I am right know. I regret nothing at all. I mean, obviously I would love to have enough money not to have to worry about next month, but right now I think this is also part of the process so no, I don’t regret a thing.

What advice would you give to people looking to pursue an artistic career?

If you want to do it, do it. If you don’t know if you want to do it, don’t do it right now. It’s ok, you have time to think about it and make up your mind. When I wasn’t painting I felt very stressed because I wasn’t doing what I knew I wanted to do, but I didn’t have a good answer for why I wasn’t doing it.

andrea-castro-byom-8That answer was pretty simple: fear. Afraid of not having enough money? Not believing you can live as an artist? Worried about what others may think of your decision? Maybe you’re not believing it yourself hard enough. Or maybe you’re afraid of not being recognized by those you love. Whatever it is, you will just overcome the fear or let it be. And both choices are ok.

Who Inspires You?

I’ll tell you one male and one female:

  • Sally Hewett: I simply love her embroidery and stitch work!
  • Winston Chmielinski: He paints with lots of colors full of vivid strokes, and he inspires me a lot.
+ Know any other young creatives who are fearless in their pursuit of their dreams? Tell us who we should feature next!
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