Alumni Spotlight: Trish Andersen
Written by Elise Mullen
Photos by Kendra Frankle
Originally from Dalton, Georgia, the carpet capital of the world, Trish Andersen pursued SCAD and graduated with her B.F.A. in fibers back in 2005. Her journey recently came full circle when she took up tufting, a form of textile weaving, and started using the same crazy gun to create carpets and rugs as in her hometown.
Fibers however, was not part of the original plan for Andersen, “I came to SCAD to do graphic design––I think because it was [something] I was exposed to in high school, and to me, I thought that was the way to get a job, the way to do things,” Andersen said. Once at SCAD, Andersen never took a graphic design class and even briefly took up interior and furniture design. She credits the designers she looked up to in those fields for opening her eyes to the hands-on aspect of design and ultimately, fibers.
Andersen has influenced the SCAD community ever since her time as a student. Besides being one of the first people to sell artwork in shopSCAD, she continues to create installations at SCAD’s different campuses. “SCAD is so supportive of their alumni,” Andersen said. “They’ve been a huge part of my success today. They are, I’d say, one of the number one reasons why I’m here today.”
One of Andersen’s favorite pieces she created for SCAD was her Bories installation in Lacoste, which she dubs as her favorite place in the world. Besides Lacoste being her idealistic place for an installation, she also loves the project because of its enormous scale. “It was two miles of hand wrapped rope. I cried when it was done because, to have something in your head, and then to see it, was a real accomplishment,” Andersen said.
In addition to her incredible accomplishments within the SCAD community, Andersen has recently gained a lot of attention through social media, all thanks to a popular Instagram account, Design Sponge. “Grace [creator of the account] has been an amazing supporter of creatives since I first started,” Andersen said. The account reposted an image of Andersen’s colorful stair runner inside her home and it quickly boosted her popularity. She now has over twenty-six thousand followers.
Andersen is grateful to be recognized for something she created for herself and not for another company. She finds it can be easy for artists to get caught up in what other people are looking for, taking away from creating something they’re happy with. “I think that if you’re able to block that in your head and really go for what you want to see in the world, then try to put that out there, it opens doors for you,” Andersen said.
Ultimately, Andersen emphasizes the importance of being fearless and trying new things. “I think people see a lot of everybody’s successes all the time, [yet] nobody sees anybody’s failures. But you can’t let that stop you, you have to just keep putting yourself out there and [continue] reinventing yourself.”