We had the good fortune of connecting with Andrea Burke and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Andrea, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
When I was 6 years old i was put into the foster care system until i was about 20 years old. The only comfort I’ve had most of my life has been creating and I’ve always been most interested in things that involve design or art in some way. Creating is so fulfilling to me, it makes me feel safe and calm it gets me through the bad days and keeps me motivated to enjoy the good days too. I’ve always known i wanted to be a entrepreneur that i needed to be on my own to make the most impact and also where i could let my ideas flow. Up until the end of 2019 i was doing elaborate body paints on myself and sharing them online actually. But i was also diagnosed with 2 chronic severe conditions during that time, a brain condition and a connective tissue disorder body painting for 10+ hours began to be too painful i would get a migraine half way through and have to completely call it a loss. After covid hit i knew i needed a outlet and i had too many creative ideas in my head. I started researching what it would take to start my own business and make my own stickers/ art prints at home and everything blew up from there. Currently my driving factor is to show you can be chronically ill / disabled and still run a business and find ways to create, I also really want to showcase beautiful, happy disabled people in my art and bring more representation. The best feeling in the world is having someone felt seen and loved and also seeing friends who haven’t created in a while get inspired to start creating again. I want to motivate people to get back in touch with their creative side and have a outlet for their hopes or even their fears and pain.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
My art is really colorful. I love big dramatic eyes with stars or hearts as the iris and a-lot of glowing elements. I currently mainly do digital art because it’s really accessible and easy on my disabilities and i can take my designs and turn them into stickers. I honestly don’t know how to categorize my style because i have so many influences and i usually choose a prompt off my list but what I’m most excited to create in that moment. I think i stand out because I’m really kind and honest about where i come from and its helped me connect with a lot of amazing people. Being a foster kid i was exposed to such a variety of people that i get along with everyone pretty easily and its easy for me to put myself in someone else’s shoes. My journey was not easy in any way lol, because of my brain condition learning is incredibly difficult there are times when I’m trying to research something i need to incorporate into my business and my brain just will not process or understand anything on the page that day and i have to try again until i can comprehend what I’m reading and how to put it into action. It took me a while to understand the program i use for digital art for the same reason but I’ve had so many wonderful friends who have encouraged me to keep going, keep learning and keep trying. I think one of the biggest lessons for me is to have confidence in myself but also understand that my body and mind have changed so much with these disabilities that i need to be very patient and understanding with myself and sometimes its best to take a break and come back to the drawing board another day. It’s not about who understands everything all at once it truly is a journey and there’s going to be a lot of highs and lows on that journey. What matters is you get back up and keep fighting for the things and people you love. I think the thing I’m most proud of is being able to help other small businesses with their branding and getting to create custom stickers for small businesses as well, its really fun to collaborate with another creative and be able to bring their vision to life. I also really enjoy seeing my stickers out in the world and how they are incorporated into each small businesses packaging or products.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I will admit I’ve only lived here about 6 years and California is so massive and intimidating I’m barely scratching the surface here but i think The Huntington library and botanic gardens is wonderful and there’s also really cool art/historical exhibits there too , Long Beach rainbow harbor and Catalina island were both really fun to see and there’s a lot of tours/ boat rides you can do. If you are a spooky weirdo like me highly recommend the museum of death, Hollywood forever cemetery ( especially if you can snag a movie ticket during the season) , and the ghost tours/ dark harbor of the Queen Mary ( when it reopens).I’m not a drinker but for food definitely Totoyama sushi and ramen in Hollywood is amazing, Flores meat market in San Pedro for authentic burritos. And ofc all the beaches i think California has one of the prettiest coast lines ive ever seen and the beach is always nice.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I wouldn’t be where i am today without my husband and grandmother in law they have encouraged and supported me immensely to start my own business and always to get up and try again if i fall. I also have so many amazing friends who have spent the last couple of years helping me pick out names and colors and who have been my sounding board for ideas. I honestly think my business took off because of how much my friends believed in me and I’m so thankful for each and every single one of them.

x

Website: Www.shopburkemanor.com

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Image Credits
All images belong to @burkemanorart

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