By Cynthia Reeser with Andrea Pejack
Cynthia Reeser (CR): What inspires you as an artist?
Andrea Pejack (AP): Anything can inspire. Sometimes inspiration comes at the most unlikely moments. For instance, if someone is speaking, a word will stand out for me and an image will flash in my mind and I’ll build from that. But one consistent source of inspiration that never fails is when I read books. Whatever I am reading at the time, I often write my own thoughts in the margins so whenever I come across words or phrases that I find intriguing, I will underline them or write them down in my sketchbook and use them as starting-off points for a new piece—as if I give myself an assignment to begin the creative process.
CR: What do you hope to achieve with or through your art?
AP: I suppose it is pretty simple what I hope to achieve.
A lot of the work I make is personal to me. Sometimes pieces can be more complex than others and even though they are my thoughts and feelings, hopefully others will relate or have a connection to the art from their own personal experiences and will remember the feeling they had when they viewed my work.
CR: Could you talk a bit about your process?
AP: When I was younger, my art teachers always encouraged me to sketch out what I plan to make—sketch, re-sketch, and make variations. It was never something I enjoyed doing, but over time it seemed to stay with me, and now I can’t stop sketching before I make something.
A lot of what I make now goes through a number of changes through preliminary sketches before I finally decide to make something.
CR: You work with mixed media. How do you choose which mediums will best represent your vision for a planned piece?
AP: When I have a vision for a piece in mind, like when discussing inspiration, it is usually pretty immediate as to what medium I would like to use. I enjoy using painting when I have work that is detailed and more pictorial. I feel I can control intricate works better through paint. When I have more abstract themes, I like the idea of using clay and wood for a planned piece.
CR: What is your favorite medium to work with and why?
AP: Painting will probably always be my first love. Though I love experimenting with the wood and clay work I’ve been doing, I always find myself missing my time painting.
CR: How do you know when to call a new piece finished?
AP: During the good days when I have a ton of new ideas, I say a piece is done when I’m ready to create the next—or it’s just simply when I say when.
Here’s what’s next for Andrea Pejack . . .
Andrea will being displaying work for an art colleague in the project, “Sustainable Farming: Art for Advocacy” at Stetson College of Law, 1401 61st St. S., Gulfport, FL 33707
Senior graphic design thesis show, “Blood, Sweat, and Peers,” at USF St. Petersburg / Harbor Hall Building, 1000 3rd St. S., St Petersburg, FL 33701
Andrea Pejack is a fine art student at the University of South Florida. Most recently, her work was showcased at the Florida Craftsmen Gallery in St. Petersburg, FL and in a solo exhibition at the University of South Florida’s Oliver Gallery. Her work has also been on display at Donna Gordon Gallery and in her own exhibit, Shelter, at Studio@620 in St. Petersburg, FL. Her art has been seen at the Mainsail Art Festival and the Morean Arts Center, as well as several shows at Studio@620 including the production of Canteen!@620 and The Girlie Show: Under the Big Top. Andrea’s artwork has appeared on several program covers for the Palladium Theater and at the Studio@620 including Bosikom and Republic the Musical. Andrea received an Honorable Mention for Creativity for the Fine Art and Faith exhibit at the White Stone Gallery in Philadelphia, PA. She is also the winner of the Mainsail Young at Art Award and Scholarship, and the recipient of two Gold Keys and three Awards of Merit from the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. Her artwork, murals, and graphic designs have been commissioned around the bay area at private residences and businesses, including KolyabyelyCreativeArts and the Tampa Bay magazine, Saw Palm. Andrea’s work has also been displayed at Safety Harbor Public Library.
Cynthia Reeser is the Founder and Publisher of Aqueous Books, and Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Prick of the Spindle literary journal. She has published more than 100 reviews in print and online, as well as poetry and fiction in print and online journals. Her short stories are anthologized in the Daughters of Icarus Anthology (Pink Narcissus Press, 2013), and in Follow the Blood: Tales Inspired by The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew (Sundog Lit, 2013). Cynthia is currently working on a literary short story collection inspired by fairy tale lore. Also a senior editor for two association management companies, she lives and works in the Birmingham area and attends the University of Tampa in pursuit of her MFA in Creative Writing (fiction). Visit her on the web at www.cynthiareeser.com.