We had the good fortune of connecting with Andrew (ANA” ALU) Hollimon and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Andrew (ANA” ALU), can you tell us about a book that has had a meaningful impact on you?
A book. I will offer one book with a bit of detail and another worthy of a read by anyone who wants to understand and live via success strategies. As a young Airman in the US Air Force, I read a book by Dr. Maxwell Maltz; Psycho-Cybernetics. I read the original version not the many extrapolations or revisions of Dr. Marltz’s theories and practices. Basically, the book deals with the person and the person’s inner-self via understanding mechanisms of the brain accompanied by learned behavior modifications that support personal development towards goals and personal interactions. For Instance: “…steering your mind to a productive, useful goal so you can reach the greatest port in the world, peace of mind.” The early chapters of the book were not easy reads, but after understanding the brain’s servo-mechanisms, the book moves to personal development techniques including self-hypnosis, Imagery, and visualization. I can attest to a few attainments of goals that I feel were facilitated by reaching goals through a mentally developed mechanism focused on a goal. Also learned techniques in imagery and visualization have proven helpful throughout life and my years of creativity. …. I often use visualization in preparation for working on an art piece as well as weeks prior to starting the piece along with frequent visualization as the piece develops. An example, a famous current record-holding professional baseball player responded when asked about his batting success: ” I use visualizing to see the ball over time and now the ball looks as large as a basketball as it reaches home plate.”
Please tell us more about your work. We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others, what you are most proud of or excited about. How did you get to where you are today professionally. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges? What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way. What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story?
What am I most proud of(excuse the ending preposition)? Self-taught artist after years of working in Corporate America at the management level and teaching college as a Business Instructor and Business Administration Chair. My work spans various painting categories: Landscapes, Seascapes, Animals, Figurative, Earth-Moon work, Florals, Geometric patterned Abstracts, and less frequent exercises in Still-Life. So I can’t state what sets my work apart from others except to say all art is distinguishable but only in the eyes of professionals who work and deal in the arts (galleries, representatives, internet sellers) and most important… buyers. What distinguishes my work from another artist is a personal preference (of the buyer or exhibitor) and ultimately a willingness of a buyer to pay the asking (or negotiated) price. As I develop and create art, I find myself almost exclusively not using heavily mixed painting. while I won’t claim to be an “out-of-the-tube” painter, yet I will admit to non-use a palette with lots of blending and mixing. I do that literally on the canvas surface. While probably a downside of being self-taught the tendency nonetheless works well for me. I often hear the words “vibrant colors.” I mentioned the various types of art creation. Despite selling in each listed category, I infrequently get remarks about doing art in too many categories. While not a challenge for me as paint for myself first with an eye to sales once done, I write off the comments as “I do what I do”. it should be noted most of those comments do not emanate from actual creatives. I’ll leave that comment there. Lessons learned: Stay flexible while creating, do it my way, do it thoroughly, spare no detail, and don’t get stuck on the opinions of others and of most importance, recognize that not everyone will purchase my work but really appreciate those who express a fondness for the work. If I had $100 dollars for every “OOOH, Ahhh, “I like that piece” or viewer favorable finger-pointing, I’d be a very wealthy artist. .
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Recognition for support and encouragement? After many years of self-learning 2D art via sketching, trial and error painting the following names stand as people who have worked with me in advancing “What I do and How I do it.’ If they read this article, they each will know how they contributed; there is no need for individual attribution. William LaChance (International Artist) Rolando Chang Barrero (Artist, Curator, Gallery Owner) Anthony Burks Sr. and Trina Slades Burks (Artists, Curators, exhibition developers) Paul Fisher (Gallery Owner, Art Representative, advisor) Beatrice Hollimon (wife), Dr. Gwendolyn Williams, MD (Collector), Tim Morrissey and Sharon Vanhook Morrissey (Collectors), Randall Hollimon (Advisor), Danielle H Woods (Collector, business advisor, review specialist). Josh Prince (advisor, critical reviewer, founder #TEAMBYOC confab).