Andrea Pippins talks about the people she loves, her illustrated books, and how a change of mindset makes her happy
Andrea wears many hats. Her background is in graphic design and teaching, and recently she transitioned into doing illustration full time.
Since I asked her to be on the podcast, Andrea has been thinking about what makes her happy. For a while she has been looking for ways to be internally happy without needing external sources of happiness. She believes being happy is a choice.
Andrea finds external happiness in drawing and doodling; colors; patterns; going to a vintage market, flee market, or farmers market; family members, spending time with her mom, with her dad, and her partner.
There is a difference between internal factors and external factors that bring her happiness. If you rely on external factors, they can be taken away easily, and we have to ask what happens with your happiness when they are gone; it’s ok to feel sad, we need to feel a range of emotions to go through every day challenges. Andrea realized that things that make her happy externally add to the things that make her happy internally.
This mentality is very new. Andrea fell into the mindset that you have to get to a certain point or be with a certain person to feel happy; she was feeling down and started questioning what she was doing in life and who she was with. She concluded that she needs to make a choice to be happy; she wrote in her journal that she decided to be happy. She realizes she can’t be happy every day, but she will make the effort.
There is a correlation between the moment she decided to be happy and her change in career. Shortly after writing in her journal that she wanted to be happy, she realized that drawing and doodling was what made her happy in her career but she wasn’t doing it anymore. She was looking at her students’ work and how creative they were but how she wasn’t doing that in her work, so she decided to make the time to do it for herself. Once she opened the door, many positive things started coming her way.
One of the things Andrea enjoys of her new career path is the freedom to create. When she was working on her book, I Love My Hair, she was drawing for 60 days straight, and because it was drawing and the kind of content she loves, it was bliss and she fell into a flow. For Andrea, freedom is being able to create without limitations and being able to sustain her life without worrying about how to pay the bills.
This change in attitude towards happiness and freedom also carries to her personal relationships; she has fewer expectations of others and this makes the relationships easier and opens her up to new kinds of relationships.
Not being able to create would be a terrible feeling for Andrea. She thinks she would figure out a new way to create and translate her creative skills to a new form. She hopes she will always be a creator.
There is a relationship between inspiration and creation. Andrea constantly finds creative inspiration and often she sees something wishes she had done, but has come to the realization that she can’t do everything and it’s ok to consume and appreciate and support other artists and she doesn’t have to do everything she is inspired by. As an ambitious person, Andrea wants to try everything, but she realizes she is a human being.
As a woman of color, Andrea didn’t grow up with any women of color role models she could look up to, so she hopes she can be inspired by her. Andrea is humble and doesn’t think about people being inspired by her, but she hopes she can touch other people. She is surprised, honored, and humbled every time someone approaches her saying they are inspired by her.
Links / Read / See / Hear
Jason Zappolo for editing and mixing this episode; follow Jason on instagram.
Orly Margulis for social media support; follow Orly on linkedIn.