Cultists and new-age types spent the better part of 2012 obsessing over apocalyptic prophecies surrounding Dec. 21. But Andre Power, the artist whose "The Aquarian" is on the cover of this week's CityBeat, found a different kind of inspiration from the miscalculated end-times prophecy.
"The Aquarian," Power says, is a representation of new beginnings.
"There was a lot of speculation that the world was ending," he says, "but I did some research, and learned a lot about time and space and energy. And I found out that Dec. 21 was the beginning of the Age of Aquarius. It's a positive age of oneness.
"The Aquarian to me is this woman," Power continues, "a female god who overlooks the Age of Aquarius."
Power sought his own new beginning just five years ago, when he made the trip from the East Coast to San Diego. Born and raised in Philadelphia, he was attending the University of Delaware when a friend of his convinced him to cross the country and start fresh in new surroundings. And though he was hesitant at first, he ultimately decided to take the risk, sell his car and, on Jan. 1, 2008, make the trek out to Southern California.
And though he had been practicing his art since high school, Power's relocation also gave him the motivation to pursue a professional art career.
"I was pretty sure I was good, but I didn't take it seriously until I moved to San Diego," he says. "It seemed like a good time to reinvent myself. I realized that's who I am."
In addition to painting, Power works in a variety of other media, including illustration, photography, graphic design and even music. He DJs and also co-founded the record label Soulection, which specializes in a blend of electronic and soul music.
Music, in fact, is a major inspiration for Power. The first time he considered taking his art seriously, he was sketching a portrait of R&B singer Aaliyah, freehand. And even now, some of the most fun he has as an artist is when he DJs.
"It's just that instant reaction you get," he says. "It's the same as painting, when you see your art. You just feel something from it."
Write to firstname.lastname@example.org.