By Racine Guajardo
Andrea Cruz was born in Lake Tahoe, California but later moved to Southern California at an early age. A sketchbook and pencil played a huge role in her upbringing. Her first influence was her Grandfather, saying, “He was the one that opened my eyes to the arts.” He was the one to put her first pencil in her hand and helped guide her through her passion as he was a self-taught colorblind artist.
At the age of 10, Cruz learned the meaning of life and death as her mother had lost her battle with cancer. The more she tried to comprehend what happened, the more she dove into her sketch book. After high school she moved to Hollywood, but due to unforeseen circumstances, she became homeless and lived her life on the streets of Los Angeles for the next 4 years.
No matter what extremes Cruz was faced with on a daily basis, one thing that she could count on was her sketch book and pencil that she carried around with her everywhere she went. It became her release and comforted her with the overwhelming amount of emotions she was experiencing. Through all her life experiences, she became more in tune with herself and the world around her. In 2004, she started experimenting with paint. The longer she worked with art, the more she realized how much it has helped throughout her life.
Cruz realized that creativity helps build self-esteem with young kids and adults across the board. She wanted to create a platform for people to express their creative side.
“I have been able to be part of some wonderful organizations with my art like donating my creative expertise, for example, building a dollhouse that won third place in a contest for Habitat for Humanity, to help them to raise money for the organization. Partnership with Orangewood Foundation, helping our foster youth and soon to be aged out fostered teens express their creative sides by introducing them to painting on canvas,” Cruz said.
When Cruz was asked what she would like people to know about her she said, “I am passionate about my art and it is important to live my life through my passion. I believe that we are all born with talents, it is up to us to recognize them, find ways to develop them, and as we are inspired, it will inspire others.”
She is a self-taught artist; her own style allows her to be able to break down any paint for anyone to understand.
Today she has found a way to be able to share her talent as an artist by creating a business with her close friend, Oscar Torre. In 2015, they formed a paint and sip company called, The Painter’s Loft.
“From day one, I knew we had something wonderful that we were offering to our customers. Oscar, with his witty sense of humor and zest for life, connects wonderfully with each of our customers. He creates a wonderful synergy while I step by step instruct the painting of the evening,” Cruz said.
Cruz has since been featured in numerous publications including: The Chocolate Voice and Inland Empire Magazine. Her work has been featured in Dallas, Southern, and Central California. She also sells her work to a collector in the Philippines. She currently has art pieces hanging in The Robbins Nest Wine Bar in Orange County. You can also visit The Painter’s Loft several times a week at Mimi’s Café in Corona and Chino Hills, The Robbins Nest in the Artist Village district in Santa Ana, Renata’s Café Italiano in Orange County, and Rodrigo’s Mexican Restaurant in Corona. Throughout the week, Andrea and Oscar instruct private parties in four-counties (Riverside, San Diego, Orange County and Los Angeles County).
Andrea and Oscar can be found on multiple social media sites including, Facebook: The Painters Loft, their website: www.thepainters-loft.com, Instagram: the_painters_loft, and Twitter: @thepaintersloft.