Dyami Andrews ’19, a student from the Bay Area, who can often be seen around campus with his bright and bold pants, which are equally as bright as his passion for art. He is currently pursuing a double major in engineering and studio art. With a lot of encouragement from his parents Andrews has cultivated a love of drawing and art in different mediums.
“I’ve been making art, basically, for all of my life. My parents are both artists, so growing up with them they encouraged me to do art, and just seeing how they made their careers and how they get to do what they love as a job just inspired me to try to pursue it here at swat,” Andrews said.
Playing cello has been a large part of Andrews’ life. In addition to hours of lessons he attended a classical music middle school called Crowden with a graduating class of eight people.
“I started playing in third grade, and I started taking lessons in third grade and continued taking lessons until sophomore year of high school. [Cello] was a huge part of my life, I was in orchestras, and my middle school was a classical music middle school,” Andrews said.
Andrew’s parents are musical as well. His mother plays the flute, and his father plays the guitar, both thought it would be important for him to have a musical outlet. Andrews highlighted the importance of his mother’s push for his participation in music and using music for creative expression.
Andrews also talked about Takashi Murakami as a source of adoration and inspiration for his own art. Takashi Murakami is a Japanese contemporary artist known for blurring the line between “high” and “low” art.
“He does these or cartoon-y abstract pieces that are heavily influenced by manga and anime culture. So I just find his paintings to be really beautiful,” Andrews said.
Andrews shares that his mother, who is a landscape artist, is a heavy influence in his work and shapes his artistic style.
“The art that I make is sort of abstract landscape-y stuff, and I focus a lot on the surfaces themselves and building up stuff over multiple layers and how that… makes things look complex,” Andrews explained.
While at Swarthmore, Andrews has had the opportunity to broaden his artistic horizons, trying and learning new styles in various studio art classes. When asked about his favorite art project, Andrews described a sculpture he made in the fall of 2016 in his sculpture class.
“I made this sort of twisty spinning sculpture.It actually spun. It was really cool because I hadn’t done any painting on a sculpture before; it was an interesting challenge,” Andrews said, as he wrapped his pointer and ring fingers clockwise around his middle finger to demonstrate how the sculpture wrapped around itself.
Due to his intensive double major, Andrews talked about the difficulty of constructing his schedule. While inconvenient however, it has helped him branch out.
“I think because of the way the major is organised or made, it forces you to take [a] 2-D art and a 3-D art [class], and also because of scheduling I couldn’t take a painting class this semester; I had to take a photo. Taking my sculpture class and now taking my photo class is stuff that I wouldn’t be doing normally, and it’s been eye-opening,” Andrews said.
Before coming to Swarthmore, Andrews explain he was adventurous, trying new interests and art styles.
“I put one of my paintings in the oven and almost burned down my house. I had poured wax all over it, and the wax wasn’t cooling down fast enough so I stuck it in the freezer. It cooled down really quick, but because it cooled down really quick…the wax cracked. It wasn’t the flat surface I wanted… so I thought how would I heat this up evenly? I put it in the oven and walked away for two minutes and came back because I smelled smoke, and there was a fire in the oven.”
While taking classes for both his majors and enjoying other classes, Andrews has put a lot of thought into the possibility of bringing both topics together.
“I definitely plan on trying to fuse the two together at some point, but I have yet to find a way that I am… super excited about,” Andrews said.
Students in the past who have double majored in studio art and engineering have been really interested in architecture. Andrews talked about his lack of pursuit for architecture himself, especially in comparison to his passion for painting.
“For some reason I sort of strayed away from [architecture] when I started painting, because I became interested in the visual aspect of the paintings rather than sort of creating an imaginary space,” Andrews said.
While Andrews hasn’t found that intersection he is looking for, he talked about how engineering classes have affected his own art.
“When I was making the spinny thing, I had to think about it structurally a lot because I had to make a sort of skeleton form for it to sit on,” Andrews said.
In his free time Andrews is painting out of his studio, a table dedicated to art in his apartment. He has really approached his studies with serendipity, allowing his passion for both majors to meet when the time is right. His work can be seen in Kitao or on his Instagram (@DyamiAndrews) where he posts pictures of his work and sells his pieces.