Puerto Rican Women Killing It in the Independent Art Scene: Andrea Lynn Andino

With the internet being so easy to access, it has become easier for independent artists to find an audience and let their work be known. As a result, a variety of movements, collectives and scenes have found a space to develop and flourish. The independent art scene in Puerto Rico is no different to this impact. Recently, artists from a variety of disciplines have used social media other platforms across the internet like Createspace, YouTube, and music streaming services that have made it easier for them to share their work. In addition, small businesses such as Electroshock in Santurce and Rio Piedras, bars like Off The Wall in Mayaguez, and book store like La Casita Books and Gifts in Aguadilla, have provided up-and-coming artists a space for them to display their talents. “Puerto Rican Women Killing It in the Independent Art Scene” are interviews which provide a glimpse at a few of the women who are making their way in said movement. Though the artists were asked similar questions, some were asked queries focused specifically on their work.


Andrea Lynn Andino is a 22-year-old freelance illustrator who uses mixed-media to carry out her original and very colorful work. The following interview was conducted online.


How did you develop your style and how has it evolved through the years?

When I was around 9 or 10, I developed a love for everything related to superheroes and anime. I remember asking myself, “how can I buy comic books or those how-to-draw books?” I had a Justice League book that had a step-by-step guide  of how to draw the base and gesture of the figure, but I really didn’t understand what I was doing, though. I was just copying lines or poses from the comic books or manga themselves and then turning them into my characters.These things influenced my style a lot. If anything, I was already developing a style back then, considering that I never managed to draw actual anime. I was very upset about that because it was the rage in middle school, but having mixed those two styles helped give form to my current style, which is also continuously changing. Ever since I came to college, I’ve been learning and experimenting more. Everything before that was mostly self-taught. I went to Pablo Casals in Bayamón for high school, which was the closest art school,but there were a lot of gaps in my education that EAPD (Escuela de Artes Plásticas y Diseño) has helped me fill up.


(picture of Andrea Lynn Andino)


What do you think about the current state of visual arts in Puerto Rico?

Well, it’s booming; I can tell you that. It has its own life force and a lot of new things are being presented and recognized, like illustrations. It’s quick and fast paced, just like this consumerist society.


What do you think about the current state of the independent scene in Puerto Rico?

It’s still in the dark, but it’s moving at a fast pace. You never not hear something going on, whether it’s a band, business, or an artist that’s emerging or has been making a name for itself throughout the years it’s been active. I do wish that the independent scene, which is largely concentrated in the metropolitan area, expanded across the island. It’s moving slowly, but if it keeps on going like it is now, I see it being  a beautiful thing that will inspire everyone, not just kids, but those my age and older. Everyone deserves to be a part of the change, especially if it’s for the better.


(work by Andrea Lynn Andino)


Is there any other form of art you wish to pursue? If so, what field and why?

I’ve always loved music, film, and animation. I like a lot of things, but of those three things I just mentioned, aside from wanting to be a painter when I was younger, I always had a curiosity about music. Playing an instrument or singing is something I’d like to do at some point in my life.I also see myself doing animation. That has a higher chance of happening sooner rather than later. I don’t know. I’m open to a lot of things, and I definitely don’t want to just do one thing when there are so many opportunities to improve my abilities and experience as an illustrator. We’ll see.

If a young girl came up to you and said she wanted to be an artist, what would be your advice for her?

Never stop creating and don’t ever let others dictate what they think is good art or a decent/sustainable career. Nothing in life is permanent, so you might as well do whatever the fuck you want. Be unapologetic but stay humble. Any opportunity that comes your way, take it. Thank and appreciate the people that have supported you from the very beginning, but don’t let anyone take advantage of your kindness. Stay true to yourself, and always look for ways to better yourself as an artist and person. Practice every single day. You WILL see results. Oh, and one more thing: it’ll be hard. There’s no way to sugar coat it. You’ll come face-to-face with a lot of obstacles. Some are internal struggles that mess you up, and others  are alive and real. It’s how you manage these that will really help you grow. There’s a lot more that I wish to say, so much more. But you’ll just have to figure that out on your own. Don’t give up.


(work by Andrea Lynn Andino)


What do you seek to achieve with art?

Live off it. Everyone wants that even though it requires years to get to that point. You know, being comfortable. Safe. Everyone is different, though. Some are more involved than others, but this doesn’t make their efforts any less valid. The point is to be consistent, ambitious, and believe in your work. It’s not a lot to go on when you hear that, I know, but hard work really does pay off. I’m hoping that in the future I’m there or at least at a point where I can manage my life, artistically and economically, and feel stable.


What is your biggest goal right now?

Open an online shop, create more products--shirts, bags, prints, pins, etc. Be more accessible to my supporters and give back a little. Be more active in the art scene, That’s something that I’m finally seeing as a possibility. My thirst and desire to be the best I can is unquenchable. It always has been, but I’m learning how to be happy with what I have now and how far I’ve gotten.That’s another thing I set as a goal in my life, I guess, and it’s knowing when to say “I’m happy and that is enough.”


You can find Andrea Lynn Andino on Instagram

All the pictures in this article were provided by the artist