Anyone can be an artist but being a successful artist is one of the most difficult achievements. So how did stay-at-home mom, Andrea Bonfils go from painting to fill her own walls, to garnering accolades from some of the harshest critics in the art world in ten short years?
Prior to having children and working in Manhattan for several not-for-profits companies with a Masters in Clinical Social Work, Andrea was always drawn to art. As part of her job, she co-wrote a guide teaching kids how to start an art related business. Little did she know, that would come to help her later in life. After having her first child, 12 years ago, Andrea had the opportunity do something she loved. “I always wanted to be an artist, bottom line.” So she started spending every free moment painting. A friend came by, loved her work and it became her first sale as an artist. Word of mouth spread and friends flocked to purchase her pieces. The demand was there and so she kept painting. Through her work, Andrea relates her vision of the dramatic, mysterious and ethereal subjects that surround her daily.
With her past interest in charities, Andrea was happy to donate pieces to event auctions. Coming full circle from her work in the not-for-profit world, she was able to find a way to combine both interests. Her first solo show came 5 short years after selling her initial piece and many more shows followed. She also teaches classes in her studio barn.
As a stay at home mom to her two girls, ages 10 and 12, Andrea could use her flexible schedule to pursue her passion of art. Having to say no to volunteering and outings, she uses any free time to paint. She says, “After putting my ultimate desire to create full time on hold for many years, painting now for me, is like breathing fresh air for the first time. It is the ultimate form of expression, truly boundless in a very tightly knit world.” Andrea says, “I paint in my head all day long. I eat, sleep, and breath art.” She believes focus and motivation will allow her to continue to thrive in her craft.
Working with oil and encaustic wax is Andrea’s love as that medium allows her the latitude to show her creative vision. Using a hot plate to heat the colored wax and a blow torch to move the colors around on a canvas can seem like child’s play, but in Andrea’s creative hands and with her colorful vision, she creates masterpieces that are coveted throughout the US and abroad.
Don’t be afraid to follow what you know is in your heart.