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About myself

"Something about myself"

I was born on 18 October 1962 in Rotterdam. My mum is Dutch and my dad comes from Suriname. I'm the third child of four, all daughters.

I have asked my parents if my name has a special meaning, because since my early age people always asked me where it comes from or if it has a special meaning because it has never been a common name in the Netherlands . They responded that they didn’t know the “roots” nor the meaning; they simply came across it and as they wanted all names of their children to start with an “A” they named me: Andra.

Since my early childhood I had a passion for drawing and painting.  In 1983 I passed the entrance examinations at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in The Hague. From 1983 till 1985 I studied fashion/monumental, in total a 4 year study but after 2 years I decided to pack my bags and move to Italy. I had all papers ready and translated in Italian as I wanted to study at the Academy of Fine Arts in Rome, however destiny decided different  and made me come 1 month too late to participate to the entrance examination. I had to wait till next year so in the mean time I subscribed to the free section of the Academy of Fine Arts  “Scuola libera del nudo di pittura” in the hope that the following year I would have more luck. But I didn’t; they had lost all my documents and I had to provide new ones, so once again I could not do the exams. I was desperate but not lost. I just followed my “destiny” and continued to go to “Scuola libera del nudo di pittura” I did so for 3 years. After these three years a friend provided me a job at a high fashion atelier for bridal wear so after some ups and many downs I managed to enter the world of fashion after all.

I’ve worked at the atelier for two and a half year as a dressmaker. The bad economic situation in 1989/1990 laid off half of the staff, I stayed till May 1991.

No more fashion and no more painting, to “survive” I had to focus on  “languages”.

I speak 5 languages which is a blessing if you live in Italy, so after I left the atelier I worked for several multinationals; car, marble, transport and chemical industry. Painting belonged to the past, but that changed when I met Joop in 1995.