The mighty tribute – when I truly painted from the heart

Can you remember a specific year, where things were really awesome most of the time? I have quite a few, but this time I wanna highlight 2010. The year I rediscovered how madly in love I am with creating art. That’s when I got laid off at my first job, which was probably the best thing happening to me at that time. I was completely free the months after that, as I’ve managed to save enough to get by for a while and to try my wings to freelance.

It was also the beginning of the Chiustreams, and the Sketchoholic group. Wow, you have no idea how much that community fueled my creativity and urge to paint. The timing was just perfect. Life was a blast.

I can’t really explain it or where it came from. For some strange reason, I just felt more passionate than ever. Don’t really like the word “passionate”… So, “High” perhaps? It was pretty much like falling in love, you barely sleep and you obsess over something until nearly losing your mind. You catch yourself smiling like a fool, and others notice it too.

The Mighty Tribute

I painted a few pieces at the time that I, to this day, am very proud of. Like the Mooster and Caterpillar. Haha, these were hilarious to work on!

But my most favorite piece from that time was probably my tribute to Freak The Mighty. A novel written by Rodman Philbrick.

Ohh this painting is so outdated. I love it though, despite all the flaws. They’re just beauty marks.

Do you know that story? It’s probably my favorite. Especially the movie based on the book. If you haven’t watched “The Mighty”, then you have to! It’s heartbreakingly beautiful! Don’t forget the tissues.

I’m suprised that it’s not become a well known classic around here. I’ve introduced the story to quite a few friends, since none of them knew about it. Think that students read this book during English class in the US? Seems to be more or less unknown to most Swedes though. I came across this movie when I was 14, the only time I saw it air on TV over here. I’m so glad that I own the DVD these days. It’s gold to me.

Luckily inspiration struck in 2010 and I felt that I just had to make some fanart, and paint Max and Kevin. I put the movie on to play in the background. Had a hard time drawing at first, because I was literary crying my eyes out. Silliness! I get so emotional just by hearing the movie soundtrack! Ask my friends. God, now I’m tearing up again just by thinking about the story… I know what you’re thinking, I’m going mental like that viral catlady on youtube”I can’t hug every cat…” Hahaha.

No but really. What’s not to love about these two underdogs sticking together in a cruel world?!

Allright Andrea, we get it. Calm down.

Clearly, I was truly painting from the heart. I’ve never felt that emotional. Fun times! Strangely, things went smooth. I’m  mercilessly critical, so it was unusual that things just fell into place.

When I finished it, I suddenly got this crazy idea that I should try to approach the author. For thanking him and to send him a fine art print as a gift. I mean, you’re allowed to wish, right? ◠◡◠

I tried to find his adress, but failed. Only managing to find contact details to publishers and whatnot. Frustrating, yet not suprising. Well at least I tried! So I forgot about it, and just posted the artwork on my good old blog and social media platforms.

Then a few months later, the craziest thing happens. GUESS WHO CONTACTS ME DIRECTLY?


He did.

That e-mail made my day. Week. Or month even. Haha. Such an honor. He asked if he could buy a print of my fanart. But of course, I could never charge him for that, so we made a “fair trade” instead. I got a copy of some of his novels, including Freak the Mighty of course ◠◡◠  and he got a fine art print on the nicest paper I could find. I don’t wanna sound like a crazy fangirl, but I get all giggly when I think of the fact that my painting reached Rodman Philbrick himself. What a bonus.

Freak The Mighty

Enjoying art without the need of others validation

I realized that this anecdote could be a good personal reminder. During times when making art feels more stressful than fun. I didn’t paint the piece for the validation of others, like I often do. I did it out of love. Yes it’s cheezy, but screw it! This is a soft spot for me, I can’t explain it. I just remember how emotional I felt, and that’s how I wish I could feel more often while creating. Worrying less of what others like and don’t like. Because this time, it felt like I was the only one who knew about this story. Since it didn’t seem to have blown up here in Sweden.

It was my secret treasure. So it was easy to just let go and create without feeling some sort of pressure. Wait, did that rhime? Haha!

So yeah. Note to self: Give yourself time to once in a while remember what’s truly meaningful to YOU.

Paint that.



  1. Didier DUROC 21 December, 2016 at 11:57

    I agree
    In art, and also generaly in life, you always need to do things without expecting any rewards other than your personnal satisfaction to have done it, it’s freedom.
    if you produce a piece in the aim to be sold, you will be under the influence and the boundaries of marketing rules.
    Work to live, not the contrary.
    Be emotionnal
    And let it go

    1. sergio arevalo 22 December, 2016 at 03:20

      Yeah! i have friends that say to me.. “if you are not making money then why are you drawing?” i am like.. omg.. not everything in life is money!! sometimes we draw just for the sake of doing it!! or to try something!!.. hahah so yeah i’m totally agree hah

    2. Andrea 24 January, 2017 at 19:49

      True that! :)

  2. MarschelArts 2 January, 2017 at 17:28

    Ah, your Painting for freak, the mighty… It’s the first of your paintings.. and art in general I saw and I follow you since then. I’ve seen it only once, maybe 10 or more years ago but the story stuck with me and influences parts of my ideas to this day. I stumbled upon it by chance, zapping through the channels. I missed the title and I couldn’t watch the end credits so I never knew how it was called, until I saw your painting and the description many years later and instantly recognized the characters :D. And yeah, I follow and admire you, your work and growth since then.
    As for loosing your reason for art and finding it again.. I think many of us know that all to well. I’ve had that a few years back and still struggle with it to this day ( though its by now means as bad as a few years ago :) ) But I think I’ve told you that story already oô…

    1. Andrea 24 January, 2017 at 19:51

      Oh really? Wow!! :D

      And yeah, that story gets stuck on you so easily.

      Yes, vaguely, but feel free to elaborate! :) I love discussing artistic struggles, it’s like a therapy session haha.

  3. Andreas 18 January, 2017 at 23:13

    Ahh, good ol’ the Mooster, I love that drawing. ^o^
    It’s a heartwarming story, and you write very well. Reading it and the comments above reminds me of some wonderful times, full of passion for creating art. I hope I can someday draw from love again, without fear of what others might think.

    1. Andrea 24 January, 2017 at 19:52

      Thank you, so glad you like it! <3

      Hope you manage to ignore your fears soon, you can do it! :)


Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.