Artist | Pen and Ink
Kevin Anderson, Pen & Ink Artist
Provide a brief general introduction about yourself.
My name is Kevin Anderson. I was born in Sioux Lookout, Ontario. I have lived in multiple locations throughout Ontario and Manitoba.
What got you interested in your chosen career?
I always had the natural ability to draw, even as a small child. I decided to illustrate full-time due to multiple personal issues as a healthy way of dealing with trauma, illness, racism, and addiction. Others started noticing my talents and have gone to do features in newspapers and honourable mentions, fundraising events, and the like.
How did you get to where you are today?
Trial by fire, is the closest way of putting it, and not giving up. The process involved a lot of juggling around my personal issues and with support from close friends. People in publishing heard of me from others and started to contact me and book interviews, so I had to make sure I attended those or nothing would become of showing my talents.
I only heard of the ‘Aboriginal Art Business’ course when someone told me about it a few years back, so I applied. It was just the start of the showcases and exhibitions. By the time I graduated, I had learned how to promote my own showcases and how to exhibit displays pleasing to the eye to the viewers.
How do you keep developing your skills in your career?
The more I illustrate or dabble in new techniques, the better my artwork becomes, what amazes others is how fast I learn these skills and amaze people with the results. Sometimes I have to back out a few showings to continue what I want to do, which is the art, so it turns into a small sacrifice to show something much better later on.
What has motivated you? Is there anyone in particular who has inspired you?
The more artwork projects I complete compels me to produce more larger pieces and bigger projects, such as ‘Street life’ exhibition and a graphic novel project called ‘Myeloma Invasion,’ nearing completion. Other artists I know continually push me to achieve what I am capable of, such as Pat Bruderer (birch-bark biting artist), Leonard Bighetty, Billy Joe Green (musician) and a few others.
What are some things you like about your career?
I love the fact that I can show the world my artwork, and have a growing audience/fan club. Invitations to other communities have also kept me busy, which includes travel costs, lodging, usually paid for by the interested parties, which is nice. I like to see other places.
Outside of work, what kind of things do you do to take care of yourself?
I continually look for new things to watch, read, and study to enhance my work, such as comics, movies, and the odd novel now and then, and try to figure out how I can mix my version of Aboriginal artwork and traditional science-fiction/fantasy.
What would you like to share with the youth reading this?
Don’t give up, set an ultimate goal, or final destination, and break it down into smaller goals to get there. Much easier that way.