Andrea Grant is a Canadian-born writer and multimedia artist of mixed-blood Coast Salish Native ancestry. Her artistic reputation comes from a unique melding of mythological stories, poems, photography, film, spoken word audio, and live performances designed to create a dynamic expression that can be understood on many levels.
Throughout, her work is deeply informed by her First Nations heritage, where she often weaves together traditional Coast Salish legends and classic fairytales which are infused with multicultural and feminist influences. Due to this blended point of view, her writing is often described as being that of a “Modern Native.”
Grant studied Creative Writing at Kwantlen University College and has been awarded several prestigious First Nations Storyteller grants from the Canada Council for the Arts, as well as grants from the B.C. Arts Council and the First Peoples’ Cultural Council.
One of these was to write BLEACH, a memoir about her upbringing within the dystopian Jehovah’s Witness faith and subsequent exploration of her Native heritage (publishing details to be announced). “Many of my stories are about remembering where you’re from and realizing the greater scope of why you ended up somewhere mythologically,” Grant states.
Her latest film, NIGHT SWIMMING (2024), uses the various elements of water as an allegory for the emotional range of women. It’s about feeling an intense connection to the power of the ocean, the rain and storms, and an appreciation of how Mother Earth bestows her gifts when we need them most. It’s also about how we heal. How swimming in the ocean can be cleansing, or how a thunderstorm feels incredibly satisfying when one is going through a romantic break-up. It’s also about the exhilaration of dancing in the rain, listening to your intuition, and honoring the voices of the ancestors that speak to us.
“We filmed at an obscure beach in Laguna, famous for a mysterious castle tower on the shore,” Grant says. “The rest of the time we were at the futuristic California Scenario by Isamu Noguchi, Indian Alley in Downtown LA, in the pool at night after a hot summer day, and then we shot in a rain room where I was soaked to the skin. It conjured powerful emotions and was like a baptism, of sorts. I felt magic all around me.”
In 2020, Grant completed her first short film, MODERN NATIVE, based on her epic spoken word poem of the same title. It was nominated for Best Music Video by the 45th Annual American Indian & Indigenous Film Festival and has premiered as an Official Selection at the Annual American Indian Film Festival, L.A. Skins Fest, Dam Short Film Festival, Venice Shorts, Chicago Indie Film Awards, Berlin Movie Awards, and the L.A. Sun Film Fest, Santa Monica Shorts, Austin Film Festival, Amsterdam Short Film Festival, Toronto International Women Film Festival, Toronto Indie Shorts, and Cannes Cinema Festival. The film won Best Experimental Short at the Arthouse Festival of Beverly Hills as well as at L.A. Independent Film Channel Festival and was a Finalist for awards at the Austin Film Festival, the San Francisco Indie Short Festival, New York International Women Festival, and the Vancouver Independent Film Festival. It was also screened at the prestigious “Never Apart” Gallery in Montreal, Canada. In 2022, MODERN NATIVE won eight Awards of Merit and Recognition from The Best Shorts Film Competition in the categories of lead actress, women filmmakers, direction, original score, voiceover talent, script writing, and best music video.
“MODERN NATIVE is about the storytelling traditions of Native culture and finding empowerment as you face up to life’s challenges and take control of your destiny,” Grant explains. “It’s about how tribal myths are taught and learned throughout generations. In a lot of ways, the current shift from the print to the digital medium reminds me of how so many First Nation stories got lost in the transition from oral history to print. There’s an urgent need right now to share those narratives with the world in a contemporary, accessible format, which is where film comes into play.”
Grant began her career in Vancouver, Canada with the launch of the arts-focused COPIOUS magazine, which gained a significant following and associated itself with the spoken word scene. She eventually went on to work as a digital editor in New York at Condé Nast, a dream she’d had ever since she was a teenager reading Vogue magazine. In 2009, she published her first poetry collection, THE PIN-UP POET—a book that pairs noirish Cindy Sherman-inspired photos of Grant portraying a number of different characters, with imagistic poetry that offers insight into the women’s identities or predicaments.
Her passion for merging words with visuals is what propelled her into the realm of comic books. She began writing illustrated stories as early as 2003, starring a mysterious heroine called MINX, a Native warrior woman with the ability to move between the parallel dimensions of Dreamtime and our waking reality, usually surrounded by a pack of white spirit wolves.
Around this time, she became friends with Victoria-born, Vancouver-based Kiley James Hendriks, better known as the hip-hop artist, Prevail. He impressed her as an award-winning rapper known for clever, lyrical references so cryptic they sent fans straight to the literature section of bookstores. Prevail and his co-collaborator, Mad Child, had created the group Swollen Members, and at that time they were considered the most innovative artists in Canadian hip-hop. Prevail was a kindred spirit, a local boy who was also from a mixed-race family, who had found his voice and was constantly exploring new levels of his potential. He became a collaborator who inspired Grant to new heights, and she was delighted when he agreed to play a character in MINX.
In a way, the MINX saga is also Grant’s own story, a kind of allegory that mirrors her own passage out of darkness into a greater discovery of both herself and her history. Like the protagonist, MINX, it took Grant a long time to unlock her inner life. Grant found herself growing increasingly wary of the Jehovah’s Witness church’s teachings, a skepticism that grew deeper as her father began to explore his own lineage. “My father began rediscovering his Native origins later in life,” she explains, “He left the religion and had a sort of shamanistic breakdown, suddenly remembering traditions that his father had taught him in his youth, which he then passed on to me.”
Grant eventually left both the religion and the Pacific Northwest, relocating to New York in 2004 for several years to concentrate on her art. The concept for MINX gradually expanded to include roles for many of Grant’s friends, including Prevail and Oliver “Oli” Power Grant, the Founding Producer of the Wu Tang Clan.
New York was everything Grant wanted it to be—exciting, creatively stimulating, gritty, and overwhelming. She began writing more poetry, developing her portfolio to expand into different genres of writing, and getting published in more and more literary journals. She began performing spoken word at famous venues such as the Nuyorican Poet’s Cafe and Le Poisson Rouge, sometimes under the alias of “The Pin-Up Poet.”
New York was such a multicultural city, and Grant submerged herself in the mythological stories of different cultures as well as her own, exploring the concept of archetypes and the hero’s journey. In 2011, she launched MINX: DREAM WAR, a graphic novel series that deftly blends the folklore of her own Native heritage with Greek mythology, Taoist philosophy, and the classic archetypes developed by Joseph Campbell. The result is a work that explores the power of legend and myth—while also being a dizzying, surrealist adventure.
The idea of Dreamtime and Dream Warriors stems from the Native belief that when you sleep, you actually visit Dreamtime, a world just as rich as the one you inhabit while awake. Graphic novels were a vehicle to expand on the notions of heritage, personal choice, and identity.
It finds Grant carrying on the tradition of her people, using comics as a way of preserving the ancient myths and modern narratives of her heritage in a contemporary format. Grant maintains close ties to her Penelakut tribe near Vancouver Island, transcribing Native legends from elder storytellers. MINX was well-received by the public, exhibited at several Comic-Con events, and was even syndicated in Indian Country Today magazine. MINX is currently being developed for future comic books and a film or television series.
MINX’s identity in Dreamtime, and what it is she has to accomplish while she’s there, will be revealed over the course of the next several books. Throughout, Grant expands on the notions of heritage, personal choice, and identity, using MINX’s adventures as a way to explore the notions of being true to your past while confronting the obstacles that lie ahead. Ultimately, it is about one woman’s journey, both across dimensions and into her own past.
A prevalent theme throughout Grant’s writing is about returning to your tribe with the realization of why you ended up on a certain mythological journey. In 2017, Grant was unexpectedly struck with acute pancreatitis, an inflammatory condition of the pancreas that is extremely painful and deadly. She spent two months in the ICU literally fighting for her life. The mortality rate of this disease is around 10%, and she was determined to not be a statistic.
“When I was in the hospital, a friend kindly gifted me with a book called Poetry Will Save Your Life,” Grant recalls. “At the time, I believed it would certainly save mine. It inspired me during the darkest moments and reminded me of how much I love poetry. Part of what got me through my near-death experience was the intrinsic belief that there is still so much creatively that I have yet to accomplish. From my hospital bed, I began writing poetry for the first time in ages, experiencing a feeling of “returning” with a forever-altered viewpoint.
She is currently wrapping up a collection of illustrated short stories, entitled MODERN NATIVES: AN ILLUSTRATED COLLECTION OF REIMAGINED COAST SALISH MYTHS, with art by renowned Tacoma artist Qwalsius-Shaun Peterson, among others. These stories are supernaturally driven and haunting, exploring what it means to be a modern Native in the digital age. Wolves and killer-whales shift into human form, missing Native girls are avenged, rainmaking rituals are paramount, and—as in all universal myths—the power of transformation is at the core of the most emotionally dramatic tales. In addition to a book, Grant has plans to eventually animate some of these stories.
Grant is also working on a poetry collection called NO RETURN: TOO NARROW FOR MY SHOULDER BLADES, which Grant describes as “an exploration of mythological female archetypes from the perspective of a Coast Salish woman of mixed blood.” The concept of “returning” will be explored in the context of returning to origins after a phase of self-realization, and the feeling of being trapped in an unfulfilling or dangerous place, either geographically or metaphorically, and overcome by a pressing need to escape. It is only after a transformative experience where pivotal lessons have been learned that there is enough emotional space to symbolically or literally “return.”
The collection will involve an investigation and reclamation of the mythology of goddesses and women warriors, saviors, sinners, mystical priestesses, medicine women, mothers, daughters, and sisters who look to that mythology for guidance. It will also explore the conventions of matriarchal cultures, and the sacrifices that many women made to facilitate the survival of future generations. The project is being mentored by award-winning Canadian poet, Marion Quednau.
Through her stories, films, and poems, Grant hopes that perhaps people can find a bit more of themselves: “I want to inspire people. I am living proof that if you follow your own path, there is redemption.”
Andrea Grant—Curriculum Vitae 2024
Click to Read
Education + Awards
2024—Won five prestigious Awards of Merit and Recognition from The Best Shorts Film Competition for NIGHT SWIMMING.
- Award of Recognition: On-Camera Talent (Andrea Grant)
- Award of Merit: Music Video
- Award of Recognition: Native Peoples
- Award of Merit: Experimental
- Award of Recognition: Women Filmmakers
2024—Finalist, Prague International Music Video Awards
2024—Special Mention, UK Animation and Music Video Festival
2024—Semi-Finalist Award, New York International Women Festival
2024—Semi-Finalist Award, Seattle Filmmaker Awards
2024—Official Selection, Berlin Lift-Off Film Festival
2023—Awarded a First Peoples’ Cultural Council (FPCC) Grant to create NIGHT SWIMMING, a Spoken Word Film about feeling an intense connection to the power of the ocean, the rain, and storms, and an appreciation of how Mother Earth bestows her gifts when we need them most. It’s about how we heal as women; how swimming in the ocean can be cleansing, or how a thunderstorm feels incredibly satisfying when one is going through a romantic break-up. It’s also about the joy of dancing in the rain, listening to one’s intuition, and honoring the voices of the ancestor guardians that speak to us.
2022—Won eight prestigious Awards of Merit and Recognition from The Best Shorts Film Competition for MODERN NATIVE, a Spoken Word film in which Grant poetically describes her unique upbringing learning both traditional Native myths and western fairytales equally.
- Award of Merit: Lead Actress (Andrea Grant as herself)
- Award of Recognition: Direction
- Award of Recognition: Original Score (Vocals by Andrea Grant, Music composed by James Goudreault)
- Award of Recognition: Narration / Voiceover Talent (Andrea Grant)
- Award of Merit: Native American / Aboriginal Peoples
- Award of Merit: Script / Writer (Andrea Grant)
- Award of Recognition: Women Filmmakers
- Award of Merit: Music Video
2021—Awarded a Canada Council Aboriginal Storyteller Arts Grant to produce an animated short film, entitled Andrea Grant’s MINX: RUN ME WITH THE WOLVES, Part 1 of an Episodic series based on the MINX Comic Books, slated for release in October 2022.
2020 to 2021—Andrea Grant’s Spoken Word Short Film, MODERN NATIVE, was nominated for Best Music Video by the 45th Annual American Indian & Indigenous Film Festival and premiered as an Official Selection at the Annual American Indian Film Festival, L.A. Skins Fest, Dam Short Film Festival, Venice Shorts Film Awards, Chicago Indie Film Festival, the Berlin Movie Awards, L.A. Sun Film Fest, Santa Monica Shorts, Austin Film Festival, Amsterdam Short Film Festival, Toronto International Women Film Festival, Toronto Indie Shorts, San Francisco Indie Short Festival, New York International Women Festival, Cannes Cinema Festival, and the Vancouver Independent Film Festival.
2020 to 2021—MODERN NATIVE won Best Experimental Short at Arthouse Festival of Beverly Hills and the L.A. Independent Film Channel. The Spoken Word film was a Finalist at Austin Film Festival, San Francisco Indie Short Festival, New York International Women Festival, and Vancouver Independent Film Festival. The film was screened at the prestigious Never Apart Gallery in Montreal, Canada in Summer 2021.
2019—Awarded a British Columbia Arts Council (BCAC) Storyteller Arts Grant to write a collection of poetry centered around the mythology of women’s stories, entitled NO RETURN: TOO NARROW FOR MY SHOULDER BLADES. Renowned Canadian Poet, Marion Quednau, has acted as a creative mentor on the project. Release date of poetry collection TBD.
2019—Awarded a First Peoples’ Cultural Council (FPCC) Grant to create MODERN NATIVE, a Spoken Word Film exploring one’s connection to tribe in the digital age, and an exploration of Andrea Grant’s experience as a woman of mixed-blood Coast Salish ancestry.
2018—Awarded a Canada Council Aboriginal Storyteller Arts Grant to write a collection of reimagined Coast Salish myths, entitled KILLER WHALE-WOLF & THE ISLE OF WOMEN, illustrated by renowned Tacoma-based Salish artist Qwalsius-Shaun Peterson.
2016—Awarded a Canada Council Aboriginal Storyteller Arts Grant to write a memoir called BLEACH, from Andrea Grant’s perspective as a young woman raised in the dystopian Jehovah’s Witness faith who experienced cultural confusion, identity crisis, and then a reawakening and exploration of her powerful First Nations heritage. Release date of book TBD.
2011—Awarded a Canada Council Aboriginal Storyteller Arts Grant to produce a full- length graphic novel titled Andrea Grant’s Minx: THE DREAM WARRIORS (2012 release).
2010—Awarded a Canada Council Arts Grant Aboriginal Storyteller Arts Grant to produce a full-length graphic novel for Andrea Grant’s Minx: DREAM WAR (2011 release).
2009—Won G4 TV’s ‘Women of the Web’ award in the category of “Women with Mad Skills” for comic book writing.
2001—Kwantlen Polytechnic University, Graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Creative Writing + English Literature.
Poems, Stories, Publications + Career Highlights
2021—Killer Whale-Wolf & The Isle of Women: A Collection of Reimagined Coast Salish Myths Limited Edition Collectors‘ Preview by Andrea Grant, illustrated by Qwalsius-Shaun Peterson.
2021—Andrea Grant’s Minx: DREAM WAR – Launched the 2nd Edition of the Graphic Novel.
2021—The Pin-Up Poet – Launched the 2nd Edition of Andrea Grant’s Poetry / Photo Book, available in both print and digital formats.
2016 to 2022—Created Copious Consulting, a boutique Social Media Marketing Agency (www.Copious-Consulting.com).
2013 to 2015—Writer for several “Graphic Classics” books (www.graphicclassics.com). Stories include The Hunter & Medicine Legend (featured in the Native American Classics anthology), Morella (an interpretation of an Edgar Allen Poe story), and The Flowering of the Strange Orchid (based on a story by H.G. Wells).
2012— Andrea Grant’s MINX: THE DREAM WARRIORS (Limited Edition Comic Book Series).
2012—Adaptation and syndication of the Andrea Grant’s MINX: DREAM WAR series in Indian Country Today magazine (published in both print and digital formats www.indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com).
2011— Andrea Grant’s MINX: DREAM WAR full-length graphic novel, released both in print and digital formats. The MINX series merges traditional Coast Salish Native American mythology with clever contemporary fantasy. MINX has had an ever-growing, loyal fan base since the early iterations of the MINX comic series, circa 2006.
1995 to 2021—Poems and Essays published in literary journals such as: Beneath the Surface, Amethyst Review, The Adirondack Review, Afterthoughts, Copious, DETAILS magazine, Hecale, Macenstein.com, Slightly West, Newsletter Inago, South Ash Press, Unlikely Stories, Circle Magazine, Poetry in Motion, Slacker Bonding, Illya’s Honey, In Your Face!, Arachnia, and Poetry Motel in addition to various online journals and social media platforms.
2010 to 2013—Writer & Digital Editor for DETAILS Magazine (Condé Nast Publications).
2010 to 2012—Writer & Producer for Copious Productions custom comics, in association with the Thrillist media group (www.copiousproductions.com).
2010—Ready to Where? A Fashion-themed web comic series written and produced by Andrea Grant and published by The Fashion Spot in accordance with New York Fashion Week.
2011—Editor of Amore Bermuda, a cookbook by Italian-Bermudian celebrity chef Livio Fergio (published by Inside Edge Communications).
2008 to 2010—Editor-in-Chief of The Fashion Spot (www.thefashionspot.com).
2009—The Pin-Up Poet, a full-length art book featuring poetry and accompanying photos of Andrea Grant portraying feminine archetypes.
2008 to 2009—Andrea Grant’s MINX: Coma Sleepers Hear It All comic book series, syndicated in Bombin’ magazine and featured in Comic Arts Guild #5.
2008—Freelance Writer for Bermuda News Network.
2007—Writer and Producer of an animated MINX short film for Media Edge/MEC Global and Y&R agencies to promote a pharmaceutical product.
2001 to 2009—Copious Magazine: Editor & Publisher (www.copiousmagazine.com).
2004 to 2005—Profile Magazine “New York City Dating Diary” columnist.
2004 to 2020—Cross-promotional creative projects including collaborations with internationally renowned fashion and art photographers such as Simon Thorpe, Pepsi Kim, Shannon Brooke, Viva Van Story, Chas Ray Krider, Ken Thurlbeck, Circe Hamilton, James Graham, Justin Hyte, Nicholas Routzen, Darryl Humphrey, Gordan Dumka, Vlad Voloshin, Gigi Stoll, Circe Hamilton, Gary Breckheimer, Joseph Marranca, Julie Watts, Jerry Ruotolo, Rames Xelhuantzi, Scott Sapp, Stefani Adeline, and Charlene Ellen Johnny, among others.
Spoken Word Recordings, Speaking Engagements + Performances
2022—Recorded a new Spoken Word poem called RUN ME WITH THE WOLVES.
2021 to 2022—Acted as a First Nations Cultural Advisor & Poet, providing Spoken Word and Choreographic Ideation for The Impossible Has Already Happened, an international Dance Production co-choreographed by Jennifer Mascall (Canada) and Claire 0’Neil (New Zealand), co-produced by Mascall Dance and Footnote New Zealand Dance).
2021—MODERN NATIVE Spoken Word Short Film screened in Summer 2021 at Never Apart Gallery, a non-profit organization in Montréal, Québec, Canada determined to bring about social change and spiritual awareness through art, culture, and music events (www.NeverApart.com).
2019 to 2020—Spoken Word recording of the poem, MODERN NATIVE and the creation of a corresponding short film funded by the First Peoples’ Cultural Council (FPCC). Film locations included Vancouver, Vancouver Island, Penelakut Island, Tacoma, New York City, and Los Angeles, with various talented filmmakers and Native actors collaborating.
2019—Spoken Word Film premiere for Andrea Grant’s poem, VANILLA VODKA, at the Forty For 40 | SALON DE RÊVES Arts Charity Event held at the Fairmont Hotel in Vancouver, B.C.
2019—Spoken Word recordings of stories from Killer Whale-Wolf & the Isle of Women to coincide with 2020 book launch.
2016—Spoken Word features in the songs “Speakeasy Love” and “Pin-Up Girl” as part of an all-female ensemble led by L.A.’s “Retro Raptress,” Deborah Jane Burke and Canadian singer/songwriter Apryll Aileen Stansfield. Collaborations included several live performances and an appearance by Andrea Grant in a music video produced by Deborah Jane Burke.
2015—Spoken Word Performance as part of “The Mixed Media Method” project in NYC.
2013—Lead role as Actress in How to Be Alone: How to Make an Art Video (how-to-be-alone.com), directed by Donari Braxton.
2013—Lead role as Actress in a surrealist art video by musician Evan Ønly.
2012—Exhibited the Andrea Grant’s MINX: DREAM WAR comic book series at the Pequot Museum in Connecticut (www.pequotmuseum.org) and spoke about how modern Native people are preserving traditional tribal stories in a new, multimedia context.
2012—Recorded Modern Native, a Spoken Word track produced by Dan “Vago” Orellana.
2012—Participated in W2’s InDigital Animate and Career Path lab, speaking to Indigenous youth in Vancouver, Canada.
2004 to 2014—International comic book convention autograph signings and promotion of the Minx comic books and brand (U.S. and Canada) including launch parties in NYC.
2003—Want Some Scratch? A 23-track Spoken Word CD produced by Dan “Vago” Orellana and The Stylist, also distributed digitally. Sales are steady into 2022, mostly due to Spotify streaming.
2000 to 2016—Performed several poetry readings in the U.S. and Canada. Highlights include several events at the world-class Le Poisson Rouge in New York City (2009-2015), headlining a 2004 Halloween event at the Nuyorican Poet’s Café, opening for bands, the “Louder Arts” poetry slam at Bar 13 in New York (2003), “B.C. Day Festival,” at the Plaza of Nations in Vancouver (2003), and “The Flying V Tour” with Canadian recording artists, Swollen Members (2001).
Press Coverage + Documentary Features
2021—Interview with Never Apart (www.neverapart.com/features/andrea-grant-interview).
2019—National News TV feature on the Aboriginal People’s Network (APTN) to promote MINX and MODERN NATIVE. Interview by Tina House (https://bit.ly/2PA0sGK).
2014—Interview feature with Andrea Grant about her poetry and multimedia art for Popreel, a TV series about popular culture, produced by the Swedish Educational Broadcasting Company.
2012—Feature in Cosmopolitan Korea to promote Andrea Grant’s MINX: DREAM WAR.
2009 to 2012—Features and interviews for comic book industry publications and traditional media and websites, including Newsarama.com, ComicAttack.net, JazmaOnline.com, ComicRelated.com, AlterNative Media, Comic Foundry, ComicReaders.com, Examiner.com, ComicsWorthReading.com, BUST magazine, New York Post, NY Times Style, and the Village Voice.
2009—TORO Magazine feature article, entitled “Andrea Grant: The Heroine.”
2009—Appeared in Oprah Winfrey’s O Magazine in a feature about New York fashion editors.
2008—Page Six, New York Times, mentioned in an article about being a creative in NYC.
2008—Lead role in a TV commercial for Johnny Walker, as a woman personifying the BLUE label brand of the famous scotch.
2007—Documentary piece by Sarah Keenlyside (Inkblot Media) entitled Andrea Grant’s MINX: The Dream War Project, filmed at NY Comic Con (www.youtube.com/watch?v=iLGDJcMkn4w)
2007—Interviewer / Host of On the Spot, a series produced by The Fashion Spot for NY Fashion Week which included street style interviews, live fashion show coverage, and interviews with top designers such as Isaac Mizrahi.
2006—Documentary segment on Art or Something Like It, produced by Brian Bernhard in NYC, in a feature on Spoken Word projects.
2006—Top story coverage in the New York Post detailing a trademark battle between Andrea Grant & DC Comics over MINX (amicably resolved).
2005—Documentary segment on CBC’s Zed TV show, produced by Greg Liburd with a focus on Pin-Up Poetry + Art projects.
2005—Camel Cigarettes International campaign, appearing as a film noir model in numerous print advertisements.
2003—Documentary segment on CTV’s First Story produced by Pieter Romer, focused on MINX and Andrea Grant’s Coast Salish Native tribal origins.