Andrew’s Mother says that her son was drawing as soon as he could hold a crayon, and they frequently ran out of paper for him. Drawing his way right into King City Secondary School, art was his favourite activity, followed by math, and track and field. While doodling a portrait of Mr. Carson in Biology class, Andrew and his friend Rainer Dalla Rosa, came up with a great idea. Somehow they got permission, and set out to paint caricatures of as many teachers as they could in one of the school hallways after hours.
For the next authorized art project, Andrew and his friend Paul Davies painted a large mural of musical icons along a hall near the gym from floor to ceiling. Over the years other King City artists have extended the mural with paintings of current musicians.
After Secondary School, Andrew enrolled in a four year program at the Ontario College of Art and Design in Sculpture / Installation. Although he was still drawing and painting, he had discovered a whole new way to express himself. Like his father, welding became his passion, creating many bizarre metal creatures over the years. He also learned the basics of mold making, vacuum forming, plastics, and sculpting the human anatomy. This would become a fantastic foundation to enter the Film and Television Industry.
With the title of “Prop Builder”, the Hammy Hamster Show “Once Upon a Hamster” was his first TV series to work on. He made many miniature props for the animal cast to act with. From there, Andrew moved on to work for the On Air Department of YTV. Some of the most memorable props were: the world’s largest toe, a rocket powered leech, and a pair of goat underpants!
Next he would learn how to make large sculptures in a very different way - styrofoam and chain saws! Working for a display company, his first job was to sculpt many life sized animals for the Metro Toronto Zoo Splash Park. Then some video game characters for the E3 convention in L.A., one being a twenty foot robot. Other large displays Andrew created included a twelve foot rainbow trout for Calgary’s Bow River Conservation and a three foot molecule for an American Drug company.
“Hero Props” are props that need to be created from scratch instead of buying or renting them. An Art Director or Designer will dream up such objects that will then receive some close up attention on camera. Andrew has created many hero props, always under extremely tight deadlines, for countless print ads, commercials, short films, television shows, and features.
On June 8 2003 one of Andrew’s sculptures was entered into the Guinness Book of World Records. Earlier that year he had sculpted an Eleven Foot tall likeness of the game show host “Chuck Woolery”. Although it weighs nine hundred pounds, the head really bobbles.
Currently, Andrew is a freelance Toy Technician for a Toronto based toy company Spin Master. His job is to completely understand a certain toy inside and out and then push it beyond all limits. Acting as a technical liaison between the production company shooting the commercial and the client of the toy line. Pixos, Paperoni, Moon Sand, Moon Dough, and Fab Effex are just a few of the toys he’s worked on. Andrew’s creations have been shipped to New York, L.A. Germany, and China for promotional displays and toy shows.
In between jobs, Andrew keeps up with his own sculptures having pop up art shows in unconventional venues like hair salons, store fronts, and even a boiler room. Barbara Walters, Whoopi Goldberg, and the Canadian Astronaut Steven MacLean each own a piece of Andrew’s art.
Andrew can’t thank his family enough for all of their encouragement and support over the years, especially his wife and kids for always standing by him.
“Thank you to the teachers for letting students dream beyond the classroom borders.”
Written October 2012
Recognizing outstanding KCSS alumni