I am Andy Wyss. I design stuff. And dadgummit, I’m good at it.
Some of my earliest memories involve sitting at my kitchen table drawing my action figures in various battle scenes. I loved being part of a world where Darkwing Duck won street fights against Frankenstein and The Shredder. And while some kids dream of growing up to be an astronaut or a pro football player, I was a lot more sensible than those young’uns. Before I had even begun kindergarden, I had already decided that I was going to grow up and be a book illustrator. I was fully prepared to take over the Mr. Men series if Roger Hargreaves ever called the house looking for help. Well, he never did and I never became a book illustrator. I’m also still working on growing up. But I definitely found my calling.
In middle school, I picked up some graphic design work from local businesses using the fancy Microsoft Picture It! software that came with our family computer. And for what it’s worth, I was probably the best designer in the history of the world ever to use Microsoft Picture It!. When I went to college, I thought I wanted to do more with computers than art, so I started out majoring in computer science and coding. That was a mistake. But from these humble beginnings, I used my journey and experiences to become the design behemoth that I am today.
I graduated summa cum laude from Concordia University in St. Paul, Minnesota with a double major in Graphic Design and Multimedia Communications. I definitely owe a lot to my experience and the faculty at Concordia. But perhaps the most important aspect of my era on campus (which I didn’t even realize at the time) was the growth of my faith. During the three years I spent as a student, my faith went from something I did on the side, a nice moral backdrop and something I mostly kept to myself, to defining me. It was because of my time at Concordia, the interaction with the faculty, the Christian classroom education, and the fellowship of believers that I was able to understand my faith and realize that I am first and foremost a servant of Christ. That is why my artist statement takes on a very simple and concise message:
To use my God-given talents to glorify my Creator, that people might look upon my processes and the work I create and see Him. By God’s grace, I am an artist. These are His talents, not mine.
And while I have provided design services for businesses, people and organizations from all walks of life, there is nothing that excites me more than the opportunity to serve those that are likewise chiefly centered on Christ. I am passionate about reaching people around the world with the Gospel of salvation through faith in Christ. That is what I care about, and that is why I feel called to be a Graphic Designer.
Now I’m happily married and have children of my own. Part of me wants them to never grow up. But another part of me wants them to keep learning, discovering, and thinking creatively so that someday they’ll sit down at our kitchen table and draw scenes where Hello Kitty and Kim Possible open up a hospital to take care of the aging Care Bear population. That’s the type of world I want to live in.
So, now that you know more about me than you ever wanted to know, here’s a few more little morsels for you to take home and chew on. This is essentially the Spark Notes version of my existence. For the unabridged version, come find me. We’ll grab a couple beers and a plate of cheese curds and I’ll tell you everything your heart desires.
- I was born and raised on a hobby farm in the-middle-of-nowhere, Wisconsin.
- My family raised beef cows, llamas, miniature donkeys, peacocks, emus, and other exotic creatures.
- I now live in a new middle-of-nowhere, Wisconsin. It reminds me of home, but with less livestock and more fishing boats.
- I wore nothing but sweatpants until I was 17 years old. And not the cool, baggy sweatpants. I wore the skinny jeans of sweatpants.
- To this day, I have a strange obsession with Shaquille O’Neal.
- I used to dress up as Cruella De Vil when I would watch 101 Dalmatians and quote all her lines.
- I would prefer that my diet consist of only macaroni & cheese and chocolate milk.
- I am a two-time world champion in Destination ImagiNation.
- My first car was a 1990 Dodge Dynasty, and I thought it was very bad-ass.
- On more than one occasion, I have tried to convince my sister that she was adopted.
- I’ve never been to New Jersey and I’d like to keep it that way.
- The line from Pinocchio where Jiminy Cricket says “You buttered your bread, now sleep in it!” is a good example of how I try to live my life.
- The last video game I enjoyed playing was GoldenEye 007 on Nintendo 64.
- I was fired from my first “real job” at McDonald’s for playing with snow.
- My Sexual Education teacher in high school was my mother. But she also taught us Badminton and Tinikling, so it was cool.
- I still have an 8-foot basketball hoop at my parent’s house so I can dunk and feel good about my athletic abilities.
- My favorite movie of all-time is Forrest Gump.
- I am addicted to rap and hip-hop music.
- I was an NCAA collegiate Track & Field athlete, competing mostly in the Triple Jump and block holding.
- I spent one summer working in a glass factory. Which inspired me to never spend another day ever working in a glass factory.
- I spent another summer working on a 1929 Model A Ford.
- I look good in corduroy vests and Scottish kilts. But never at the same time.
- My doctor says that I need to eat a certain amount of Reese’s Puffs cereal and Oreos per year or I might die.
- I married my high school sweetheart.
- I can quote every episode from every season of Home Improvement with complete precision. Sort of like a less-impressive Rain Man.
- I thoroughly enjoy any Sunday that starts with church and ends with Green Bay Packers football and a pizza.
- I once coached 8th Grade Volleyball, but had to quit because the officials wouldn’t let me wear the spandex on the sidelines like my players.
- I’ve never met a Samuel Adams I didn’t like.
- I enjoy wearing shoes without laces.
- I have already decided that I’m going to start smoking a pipe and carrying a cane on the day I become a grandfather.