Growing up, Andrea Nancy always felt differentsomehow, like she didn’t fit into society’s conventional standards for feminine beauty — as most girls don’t. Today, she earns a living producing illustrative art pieces intended to show the full range of femininity, with a sci-fi twist. “Women are so diverse, and beautiful in our diversity,” asserts Nancy. “I like the idea of portraying girls as something alien and a little bit different — as people that don’t necessarily fit in, but are beautiful for not fitting in.”
Under the screen name Spooky Girl Art, Nancy sells prints, posters, stickers, temporary tattoos and more to showcase her illustrations, which tend to be stylized portraits of women with psychedelic or sci-fi-indebted flourishes — some blue skin here, a third eye there, maybe a fashionable formfitting spacesuit or two.
Her trippy artwork has had the benefit of sponsorship from cannabis companies like KushKards and Magical Butter, who host product giveaways through her Instagram account. A medical patient herself, Nancy uses cannabis to treat chronic nausea from cyclic vomiting syndrome (CVS), though it can also play a part in her creative process from time to time.
“I describe my art as very self-indulgent,” she explains. “I draw what I feel like, so if I’m really high, I’ll tend to draw something more colorful or more psychedelic — whatever I’m feeling, I go with it, stoned or not.” Though obsessed with drawing from a young age and having spent much of her high school career in the art room, Nancy was determined for a time notto be an artist, and majored in literature at Eastern Michigan University. “I kind of had a comic book focus almost,” Nancy recalls. “I studied comics from a literature perspective, and that’s absolutely helped me in trying to communicate through my art.”
“I like the idea of portraying girls as something alien and a little bit different — as people that don’t necessarily fit in, but are beautiful for not fitting in.” – Andrea Nancy, Artist
Three years into her degree, she came around to pursuing illustration as a career and pivoted to take more fine arts classes after graduation. Simultaneously, she began cultivating her online presence as SpookyGirl — a reference to “The X-Files,”the series that made her decide to ground her work exclusively in science fiction.
In translating art into a full-time career, Nancy has drawn upon past experiences assisting in her mother’s small business as a teen and freelancing as a fashion model for five years. She’s become an ardent self-promoter and marketer for her artwork, always seeking new mediums to make her work cheaper and more accessible to people like her, who love art but can’t afford to spend $300 on a framed piece.
Most recently, Nancy released her first comic collection — a non-narrative series of relatable comic images, called “Girls!” — at a show in Detroit, taking one major step towards her goal of completing a graphic novel.