Today we’d like to introduce you to Andrew Blaurock.
Hi Andrew, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
I’m Andrew Blaurock, a Biologist and Artist from Long Island, NY. I received a B.S. in Biology and a B.A. in Visual Arts from Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, FL. I’ve been creating art & passionately drawing since the age of 2 and had multiple solo art exhibits during my childhood years.
My work has always revolved around my passion for the natural world, particularly reptiles, invertebrates, and exotic plants. I branched into realistic portraiture during high school and began painting in a more surrealistic manner throughout college. Recently branching into scientific illustration as a way to portray knowledge of these enigmatic species, I began illustrating in Procreate and found it incredibly enjoyable.
I’ve since worked for several groups and organizations as a freelance illustrator and am open to commission work and opportunities. I’ve also recently branched into botany & horticulture, producing & propagating numerous species of carnivorous plants and rare aroids. I intend to launch a small exotics business in the future, revolving around Arts, Animals & Botanicals.
As of this year, I have fully relocated to St. Petersburg to work at a Bioscience company in Largo, and to allow my tropical plants to flourish in the beautiful Florida weather
Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall, and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
It definitely has not been a smooth road, and I’ve encountered numerous hurdles along the way (completing my degree, relocating in an incredibly short amount of time, battling with the extremely competitive & absurd housing market to find a place, etc.) but I’m proud of where I’m at right now.
My biggest struggle was finding security in whatever direction I chose, and it certainly took a lot of perseverance to get this far. In the vein of my plant business, I’ve gone from a single pop-up greenhouse purchased on Amazon & a propagation bin to a full-scale closet-sized grow tent, with mature plants adorning every inch of my apartment & balcony.
It’s remarkable to see how much the plants have grown, and it also feels reflective of my own personal growth throughout this journey
Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
In the vein of my creative work & art, I specialize in both Scientific Illustration and Surrealistic Realism. From a young age, I was able to create realistic portraiture in multiple forms of media (charcoal, graphite, oil/acrylic/watercolor paint, colored pencil, etc.) and have utilized this ability in the majority of my work.
I grew to love figure illustration in college, and found depicting the human form in various poses & styles fascinating. As I grew more comfortable and secure in my abilities as a realistic painter/illustrator, I began to incorporate styles, ideas & methodologies used by surrealistic artists such as Salvador Dali & Frida Kahlo, some of my favorite artists within the cultural movement of Surrealism.
In my surrealistic work, I love incorporating vibrant & unnatural colors, hues & shades, blending and molding them to appear as if they belonged in real life. I frequently utilize light, color, dramatic posture & naturalistic influences to bring my pieces to life. In terms of my scientific illustration, however, I tend to do the opposite; in botanical and biological illustrations, I depict everything as realistically and true to life as possible.
For enigmatic, unphotographed, and poorly-known species, this means reading journal entries for the original descriptions and depicting them based on the scientific jargon provided, which can be a tedious process & laborious undertaking. This, however, drives me to work even harder in order to ensure accuracy.
I’m extremely proud of the work that I was able to create over the years, and of my ability to depict both figures and objects of my choosing in whatever manner I see fit for the piece at hand. I believe the versatility & fluidity of my work, compounded with two very distinct but analogous themes, sets me apart from others.
Do you have any memories from childhood that you can share with us?
My favorite childhood memory was the opening of my third solo art exhibit, which was set up in response to the gulf oil spill and to benefit the fight for restoration.
It’s extremely difficult to describe how overwhelming and incredible it was to be surrounded by friends, family, peers, and others who had come to the museum to see my show and purchase my work. I was in 5th grade at the time and decided I wanted to donate all proceeds from my show to the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill relief effort.
I led an instructional class in a room adjacent to my exhibit, leading a demonstration & illustration class for kids of all ages. Making any sort of a difference (even a small one) and educating others on conservation always meant the world to me