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Meet Andrew Robinson

Today we’d like to introduce you to Andrew Robinson.

Every artist has a unique story. Can you briefly walk us through yours?
I got started in my practice kinda by accident. I had always been really into music and wanted to pursue Audio Engineering, however, I started attending Arizona State University and they don’t offer a whole lot in that area. The closest I could get was one studio class and a couple of production classes if I declared as an Arts, Media, and Engineering Major with a concentration in music. The AME program is part of the design school and it’s actually more of a computer programming major but for making art and it has a wide range of possible applications. One aspect I really got into doing was designing audio reactive animations because my roommates and I had also begun to host houseshows. There’s a very large scene in Tempe for local and touring bands to play in people’s living rooms and since we had attended a lot of these shows, when we moved in together we all agreed we wanted to host some. We had a projector and I knew how to make these audio reactive animations so we thought it would be cool to use them as the backdrop for when bands would play at our place and it definitely adds a lot to the experience of the show. I fell in love with designing and running them and since we started I’ve met some really amazing people and have had the opportunity to work with a lot of incredibly talented local and touring bands.

Please tell us about your art.
The main kind of art I make are audio reactive animations. Through some coding work, I am able to design different styles of animations and make them respond to sound. I do a lot of freelance work designing them and setting them up for live shows because seeing them react to the music being played on stage is a magical experience and really adds a lot to the atmosphere of the show. I do a lot of procedural animation stuff because it’s fun to code and it’s also pretty abstract which works well for shows because I use a projector and have to think about how it’ll also look as light being cast over a crowd and onto the band and everything else on stage. Since the animations are audio reactive I really get inspired by the music I’m listening to. I know once the aesthetic of the visuals starts to match the vibe of the song then I’m going in the right direction. Because I am designing these with the intent of it being for a live music performance I hope what people take away from my work is that natural concert-goer high. The beauty in my work for me is how it all comes together with every other element of the live performance and I want that to make people walk away with their minds blown.

I do a lot of other responsive design work in addition to these animations. I’ve designed a few responsive environment projects, several interactive art pieces which I’ve gotten to show in museums and art shows, and I’ve built a pair of hyperinstrument bongos recently that I would like to start performing with at shows.

Choosing a creative or artistic path comes with many financial challenges. Any advice for those struggling to focus on their artwork due to financial concerns?
It’s definitely hard finically. I often undersell my work services to clients because most people can’t afford to pay me what I should actually earn. If you can avoid doing that though you should! Have the confidence to sell your work at the price you think it deserves and don’t let people guilt you into giving it away for nothing. The other piece of advice which I’ve found to be immensely helpful is aim to have what you do for money be as close to your practice as possible if you can’t live off your art alone. For example, I used to work at Starbucks and the long hours made it difficult to find the time to work on my art. A couple of years back though I quit and applied for a design research position at ASU. My job isn’t doing stage design work but it’s in a related field and it’s helped me with my stage design practice, and I get paid. By bringing your worlds together in this way, you’re giving yourself the resources to do more with your art while still being practical about the financial stress.

How or where can people see your work? How can people support your work?
I have a couple of shows in June I will be doing as well but the details are still being worked out. People can follow me on my Instagram Andrews_Art_Project where I share a lot of videos of my work and make frequent announcements about shows I’ll be a part of. I have also started a video series you can check out on youtube called “Live at The Sunroom” where we record and film local Arizona bands play live in our living room with an audio responsive stage setup. The other best way to see my work is to hire me! If you are a band or artist and you want me to design something for one of your shows, I am available.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Athena Burton

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