Artist Name: Andrew Varh but I prefer to go by Dru
What do you consider yourself? Artist, illustrator, painter, designer, other?
I see myself as an artist.
What kinds of projects have you done in the past?
I’ve mainly been doing a lot of portraits and logo commissions.
Could you talk about how you got into art or doing what you do today? What’s your story? What made you want to pursue this path? Were there any challenges you had along the way?
Well, this story sounds like it’s been told a thousand times but I started drawing really young and drew pretty consistently. However, I quit drawing back in middle school because someone made fun of my drawings. Back then, I was only drawing Dragon Ball content and they weren’t even that great. That was back in 2003. I got back into drawing in 2016. Seeing a lot of art on my social media feed inspired me to pick up the pencil again.
I’ve recently started my tattoo apprenticeship at Inkarnate Tattoos. I chose this path because it seemed more rewarding and stable, allowing me to concentrate on putting out more creative content.
Did you attend art school or majored/minored in Art or Design in college? If so, what were your experiences with it and did you think it helped you become a better artist? If you did not attend college or attended but did not majored in anything art-related, what helped pushed you to pursue art or improve your craft?
I didn’t attend art school or any art classes other that art appreciation. I wish I did take some active art classes though. I think what motivated me was long hiatus from art and seeing other talented artists out there. I’m always feeling like I need to play “catch up” so I try to get into all sorts of mediums to make up for time loss.
How do you balance art with work and life? How do you make time for art?
As a married man and having 2 big dogs, life has its challenges. I have a regular 8 hour shift job and I go to the tattoo shop afterwards. What little time I have left after everything, I try to spend most of it with my family.
Do you think making money from your art is important to you? Do you make money from your art? If so, how?
I’m just happy to be able to do art and express my creativity but the money does play its part. You can’t do art if you don’t have the funds to support your art. Yes, I do make money from my art, mostly by commission.
Where do you get your ideas from?
I find myself most creative when I’m doing something physically distracting (i.e. washing dishes, doing laundry, mowing the lawn). Because of these activities, my mind is free to wander and jump through ideas more easily.
What kinds of tools do you use to make your work or what is your typical artistic process like?
For traditional mediums, I use Copic markers, Prismacolor Premier colored pencils, Windsor & Newton watercolor, Arteza watercolor markers, Micron ink pens, Faber-Castell ink brush pens, Windsor & Newton Acrylic paint, and a Faber-Castell graphite set.
For digital, I use a Wacom Cintiq Pro for Adobe Photoshop & Illustrator on my Razer Stealth computer. For mobile purposes, I use an iPad with the Apple pencil on Procreate.
Once I’ve gathered all of my references, I start everything off with a sketch or outline of my subject. When the gesture looks good, I throw myself into production mode and turn on some good music, mostly cinematic music. Lyrical music tends to distract me.
Are there any artists you look up to or find inspiring?
There’s a lot of amazing artists out there but I am really inspired by Feng Zhu, Artgerm and Sparth.
Do you have any favorite books, apps, movies, resources, or art tools that you recommend?
I’d definitely recommend getting anything by Scott Robertson. His books and Youtube videos are extremely helpful and detailed. Other than that, I learn mostly by drawing images of real live things. However, I would love to do more life drawings.
Is there any advice you would like to give to young artists or people just starting out?
Don’t rush it! Learn to enjoy the process. I used to get so anxious trying to learn that I burn myself out.
Is there anybody you would like to collaborate or work with? Could be a person, another artist, or company.
I honestly don’t know. lol. I don’t have anyone particularly in mind but I’d be up for any collaboration.
What is your ultimate dream project or something you’d like to accomplish in your lifetime (could be art or non-art related)?
Ever since I was little, I’ve always wanted to animate. One day, I hope to get proficient enough with the technical skills of animating to be able to make at least, a short film.
What is the best way to get a hold of you or view or purchase your work? You can list links to your website, online store, or social media.
My Instagram: @art.by.dru