Although the pandemic affected the arts and entertainment scene at large, local artist Andre’ Sessions Jr. has shifted his perspective to see the trials as opportunities for his artistry. Andre’ is an artist of many crafts, including photography, poetry, script writing and sketching.
“At first, I only thought I was a photographer, but I understand I am much bigger than so,” Andre’ said. “I think creatively on another level. I love great food, I love great music and I’m entrepreneurially spirited. I am learning about myself and as long as I continue to grow and expand my interests, I will remain and grow as the artist that I aspire to be.”
Andre’s artistry began in photography in November of 2018 and has since manifested into a larger mission through his camera lens.
“I think of my photography as graffiti,” he said. “It is rugged, real, reprehensive and cool. When I shoot, all I think about is capturing images as if it were a movie, but in real life; An ethnographic approach to things per se. I want it to be investigative to the viewer, I want the person to really think about what is going on in the mind of the subject, what is happening in their world and what they can do to change their own attitudes as people.”
As a multi-crafted artist, Andre’ said the impact from COVID-19 made him realize he was spending more time creating content for social media rather than art.
“I do appreciate it’s (COVID-19) impact on my work because I am wanting to post less of my work on social media,” Andre’ said. “I always felt the need to post as much content as I could so I could get more followers and have people see more of my work, but after some copyright infringement things recently, I’ve taken a step back to really analyze my projects so I can create more art and not content. I’d rather have that exhibit, project, series or collection that puts money in my pocket and has more of an impact of outreach, rather than that post that will be forgotten about within a week.”
Another positive lesson Andre’ has learned is to have patience with himself and to become a person who takes more risks to earn more rewards. As a young artist, Andre’ has just begun immersing into the Omaha creative scene, and he aspires to continue growing and exploring opportunities outside of Omaha as well. He said the Omaha creative scene has more work to do with inclusivity. However, he appreciates the recent changes.
“I’m just now starting to enjoy the creative scene because it is something that I am just now joining, as I am new to finding my creative talents,” Andre’ said. “I like the recent changes within the past two years in the local creative world and am interested to see where it will be in 10 years from now. As for UNO, we are seeing a shift as well and hopefully that shift isn’t diminished by the socioeconomic factors of Omaha and Nebraska’s culture.”
On the subject of inclusivity and February being Black History Month, Andre’ said BHM deserves to be honored for more than just the shortest month of the year.
“I believe that Black history (as well as other cultures) should be celebrated all year around,” he said. “Black history is America’s history. It is beyond African Americans. It is well beyond the shortest month of the year.”
To support Andre’ and his crafts, visit his website at www.epicandre.com and follow him on Instagram @epicandre.