"No matter what field you enter into as an entrepreneur,
you are essentially an artist painting your dreams
on this canvas called life."
FEBRUARY 22, 1987: PASSING THE TORCH
February 22, 1987 marked the death of Andy Warhol, the man whose name has become synonymous with Pop Art. This form of visual exploration tests conventions of artistic expression, explores controversial subjects and celebrity culture, and pushes traditional confines of business and advertisement. Pop art became more of a cultural commentary and social movement, and extended beyond the boundaries of the art world to exert an influence on business, society, and culture that continues into today.
February 22, 1987 also heralds the birth of Whitney Anderson, this century's paragon of pop art. It's as if the proverbial pop art torch was passed on from Andy Warhol to his contemporary inverse: from their genders, their birth and death date, and even their initials, Whitney Anderson and Andy Warhol seem to present an uncanny mirror image of one other, sharing their unparalleled talent and influence in the world of pop art.
Whitney harnesses the original sentiments of the Pop Art movement, which was characterised by a senitment of optimism in the wake of World War II, and a revival of consumerism during 1950's and 1960's. It coincided with the proliferation of popular music and youth culture. This visual art movement was bold, young, fun, and the antithesis of the "artistic establishment." It included disparate styles and the use of many mediums, but what they all had in common was an interest in mass-media, mass-production, mass-culture, and mass influence.
Similarly, Whitney's primary goal was to tap into the original roots of optimism, creative expression, and powerful messaging in order to, above all else, "make people happy," and drive mass influence by empowering her audience with the sense of hope, resilience, and wisdom she infuses into every piece.
"Optimism is a daily spiritual practice.
And when we do it, we can transform this world."
But Whitney's sense of optimism, resilience, and wisdom was not culled from a smooth road or rose colored glasses, but rather cultivated from her own trials, adversity, and disappointments.
BREAKTHROUGHS IN ADVERSITY
Whitney was a nationally ranked runner in highschool and went to Duke University on a full ride scholarship for track and cross country. In such a highly competitve setting, there was a lot to live up to. While Whitney always strove to excel in any undertaking she applied herself to, she constantly put art on the back burner because she "didn't think it could take me anywhere." So she kept it as a low-key passion for years until it finally took the lead.
Midway through her freshman year of college, Whitney sustained a running injury that would affect her for years to come. Her life's trajectory was instantly altered, and she would have to redefine success for herself. It is a formative and humbling process when something you have poured tireless hours into, over countless years, at the expense of innumerable sacrifices, would be taken abruptly off the table.
a man to himself."
"Art helped cement my purpose in life." Art was a very personal expression of who Whitney was and what she valued. She explained her initial reluctance to "put [herself] out there." But "like they say, 'I didn't choose art, art chose me'."
That could not be more true being a self taught artist, and shunning traditional classrooms. Whitney never took art classes growing up: "I always created on my own.”
"I love the person I've become because I fought hard to become her."
-Whitney Laurel Anderson
ROOTS & INSPIRATION
"My mind is involuntarily tuned in to the most mundane parts of life which is why a lot of times I will come up with ideas out of thin air. I could go to the gas station or grocery store and come back to my house with a life-changing realization or concept." As a pop-cultural artist, she savors variety and finds that there is such an abundance of subject matter that captures her mind and senses that she hardly does the same subject twice.
Whitney owes much of her curiosity, creativity, and intrigue to her mother and her wanderlust. Whitney has been to over 55 countries, and she's not likely to leave that number at that. Her mother took Whitney and her sisters around the world since they were very young, which ignited Whitney's curiosity, fueled her inspiration, and continues to drive her to "think outside the pop box."
Her first trip was to Europe when she was 9years old. "I will never forget touring a concentration camp in Austria and learning
firsthand the atrocities of the Holocaust years before I would be taught in class from a history book", or "going to China and viewing the mass grave of the clay Terracotta Army that contains more than 8,000 soldiers, 130 chariots with 520 horses and 150 cavalry horses all made for when the emperor passed away to "protect" him in the afterlife", or "going to see where Karen Blixon started her coffee plantation in Kenya based from the movie "Out of Africa." The entire world served as her muse.
"I have seen many things in my travels,
and I understand more than I can express."
-Joshua Ben Sira
ART AS AN OUTLET
"My life outside of art is what makes art therapeutic and an escape for me." In order to support herself while operating her art and fashion brand, Whitney moved to Florida from Colorado in 2012 to earn a living as a yacht stewardess. a job saddled with its own unique struggles and stresses.
As a pop-artist and an all-American girl, Whitney also has a way of using her creative expression to become relatable to her generation and explore issues that men and women face. She immerses herself in experience, discusses relevant topics, and does not shy away from exposing her own precarious cultual encounters, including her comical dating experience on Tinder, a story too many women can relate to.
Whiteny's work is laced with wit and wisdom, driven by a combination of powerful imagery and poignant messaging. "There are so many things beyond my control but my ability to paint my visions has always been my biggest asset.”
"Vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others."
ENTREPRENEURSHIP & THE BUSINESS BUG
Being the daughter of a third-generation commercial fishing captain, Whitney spent all of her summers growing up in a remote part Alaska working on her family's boat. So the "self employment" bug has been running through her blood for as long as she's known. Based on catch records alone, her father is -- objectively speaking -- one of the hardest working fisherman in Alaska. It's clear that her remarkable work ethic is the product of his exemplary way of life.
So while her mother was responsible for igniting her curiosity through travel and exploration, her father planted the seeds of self-discpline, work ethic, and business prowess that would come to serve her creative efforts. Whitney's upbringing enabled her to discover unique ways of expressing herself through art, and showcasing the subject matter she is most passionate about. "It's given me a different perspective on life.”
"I have found in life that the greatest reality is an idealistic individual thriving in a world they've created for themselves....
but it hasn't been easy."
Whitney describes the internal dialogue many of us encounter, between the person you are and the person you strive to become. But she uses her passion, purpose, and potential to bridge that gap daily. Her secret in traversing this trecherous cleft? Remaining "passionate in the pursuit." She acknowledges the inevitable obstacles we face as individuals, artists, and entrepreneurs, but she explains that in the face of inescapable challenges, having the right attitude in life is the one thing we truly have control over. And acting on that attitude makes the magic happen.
"The difference between who you are and
who you want to be
is what you do."
Big. BOLD. Fierce. is the ultimate embodiment of this mantra and mental fortitude. Founded in 2011, her fashion line merged her passion for fine art with high quality apparel. She created an outlet by which form met function, and her powerful messages extended beyond gallery walls and began walking the streets.
In many ways, Whitney embodies the bridging of reality and possibility: her sweet vulnerability is matched by her fierce tenacity; her beauty by her brains; and her artistic brilliance by her entrepreneurial acumen. She is an all-American girl from the Alaskan frontier thriving in a Miami metropolis. It's as if her art and her fashion brand mandate the bridging of two worlds, the pursuit of a unique path in life, and the discovery of that intagible thing that propels you forward.
What risks have you taken
to create your story?
Join the #norisknostory movement
Can't get enough of Whitney?
Neither can we!
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