Geek Girls are Real: Andrea De La Ossa
Found another unicorn! We continue our mission of debunking the fake geek girl stereotype by introducing Andrea De La Ossa (28), an amazingly talented makeup artist! Ever since she was a little girl she has been a geek, although she prefers to describe herself as "awkward and obsessive". Her family introduced her to geek culture when they collectively played Zelda on the original Nintendo. Because of this, gaming was her first geek interest. Like she said: "What wasn't attractive about Punch Out?". Agreed. Nowadays, her interests have expanded: "It's a rad time to be alive! I love Doctor Who (or the BBC in general), Sandman, Harry Potter, Zelda, Supernatural, horror films, everything Marvel is doing, DC on occasion... I'm one of those people who will never be happy with Batman because I had Michael Keaton and Kevin Conroy"
Even though Andrea has lots of interests, she confessed that she really likes Sandman. She said: "It was the first series of comics I'd completed that made me feel lovesick afterwards. Each time I re-read the series, life has happened in its gloriously complicated way, and I'll find a portion of the narrative I didn't notice or didn't appreciate before. It grows with me. Or I grow with it." In addition to her love for Sandman, she also shared how Kevin Smith has been a huge influence in her life and creativity: "I was 12 years old when I saw Dogma and that movie was talking about a lot of things. It started a conversation in my soul and I'm still having it. Not one of an existential crisis but more like *How the hell do I tell a story LIKE THAT?*. I've watched the *An Evening with Kevin Smith" recordings where he fills probably 2 hours and answers maybe 4 questions. THAT is what an amazing storyteller is."
When she was little, Andrea remembers that the word "geek" felt very negative: "...jocks yelled it at skinny boys in movies". Something she can identify with since she was bullied in school because of her geeky interests: "I've been called nerd and usually it was when a popular girl felt I should understand my lot in life. I was myself. I didn't dress fashionably (still don't) and I read a lot of books". These days, she feels the word geek is more like a replacement for "enthusiastic" and she is glad it is no longer a derogatory word.
Staying true to herself has definitely helped Andrea achieve her goals. With more than 39,000 Instagram followers, Andrea consistently shares amazing creations and has become an inspiration for many artists. She uses her own face as a canvas to create truly stunning works of art. When asked what her favorite makeup creation has been so far she shared: "I haven't made it yet. I know how that sounds, but it's true. Give me a week and I can hate my most recent look because I am never satisfied".
Andrea has been interested in makeup for as long as she can remember but it was the behind the scenes footage of Michael Jackson's "Thriller" music video that made her realize someone was doing what she loved for a living. Andrea said: "Someone was making these things! I used to check out stage makeup books from the library when I was a kid just to read. I never thought I could be included." But two years ago, she decided to go for it and start sharing her art: "I decided I was going to make a hard run at it. I thought, why not me? I have the Cosmetology background, I can learn. So I created an online presence just by posting. It kept me motivated".
Like many talented and successful female creators, Andrea has unfortunately been a victim of sexism in the industry: "I've been accused of only being interested in things to impress men on several occasions. Apparently I'm not a nerd, I'm just another whore with glasses". But even though she's had to deal with these types of comments, Andrea continues to work on her art and pushes herself to make more ambitious creations every single day. Thanks to her determination, talent, and courage, she is quickly becoming a force to be reckon with.
Andrea had the following advice for aspiring artists: "FUCKING DO IT! That's half the battle! It's so easy to look at someone's success and not even try because how could you get there? I see Jordu Shell all the time, blowing raspberries on clay and there... he just made a masterpiece. And of course your instinct is to compare, but your behind the scenes footage can't be compared to someone else's highlight reel. You have something they don't. You have your story, your voice, your experience. You just need the hours in the craft. Whether it be music, painting, stand up, calligraphy, WHATEVER... you just need to learn by doing!". This geek girl is clearly an inspiration and proof that you can accomplish anything by putting the necessary effort, time, and passion. She is not an unicorn, she exists, she is amazing, and she is living her dream.