Dreamcatcher Series: Amanda the Painter

If there's one thing that motivates you in NYC, it's your friends. I've been lucky enough to live in this city for almost ten years and I probably wouldn't have made it as far as I have without the inspiration and drive that is a byproduct of a friendship made in the concrete jungle. Everyone is hustling, everyone is focused and everyone is chasing a dream.

Dreamcatchers is a series that has been on my mind for over a year now. It's dedicated to the interesting people in my life who inspire me everyday. I'm so excited to officially launch and introduce Amanda. Amanda and I actually went to high school together, but we weren't close. It wasn't until a few years after college (when I discovered she had moved to Queens) that we became friends. She's traveled all over the world, taken risks that have changed her life forever and never lets anything get in the way of her dreams. She's a talented painter with a cool personality and someone everyone should know. So, without further ado - meet Amanda.

What does it feel like to do what you love?

It can be equally as fulfilling as it is excruciating. It's tough on the days when you doubt yourself, but I can't imagine not doing it. One of the best parts is the inclusion in a community of people who share the same love; they are my second family. 

When did you realize that painting was your true passion?

I knew when I was young that I would be in the arts. In undergrad I took an intro to painting class and that was it. All throughout college, I painted during my free time in my dorm room. After I graduated and moved to NYC, I rented a studio and painted on nights and weekends when I had the chance. Eventually I made the decision to pursue a Master's Degree at the New York Academy of Art. It changed my life. 

What advice do you have for people who want to take that leap to pursue their dreams?

My advice would be to have an alternate skill or career path that you can do simultaneously to support yourself. 

Where do you get your inspiration from?

Other than the history of all visual artists, I've always been fascinated by other interpretive arts: film, music and dance especially.

Where do you get your motivation from?

I've been motivated for as long as I can remember. My parents instilled motivation in me from a young age. They raised me to be very independent, but were always extremely supportive of my goals and ambitions. 

Who are some of your favorite artists?

There are so many! Closest to my heart is the Francisco Goya - Francis Bacon - Jenny Saville lineage. I was lucky enough to meet and take a master class with Jenny during grad school. Euan Uglow and Edward Degas are also up there. I'm currently looking at Edwin Dickinson in the studio. 

How would you describe your personal style?

Hmm… Part grandma, part "boyfriend" with a touch of gypsy? For everyday casual, I like to mix more feminine things like floral patterns with a little more masculine items like combat boots. My jewelry is mostly brass. And I have an unreasonable amount of scarves in my collection, mostly from my travels. For formal occasions, I love the 30's - 40's style silhouettes. Pearls and kitten heels. 

What is your typical beauty routine?

I cleanse with my Clarisonic Mia, and moisturize at night with either Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate or organic coconut oil. For cosmetics, I usually start with Kiehl's BB Cream to even out skin tone, especially under my eyes. Then Bare Minerals blush or bronzer. Some kind of liquid eyeliner (currently Revlon Color Stay). And Clinique's Almost Lipstick in Black Honey. My favorite makeup remover is LUSH's Ultrabland.

Do you have any upcoming projects?

I have a few shows booked for 2015, two of which are solo exhibitions. Next spring I'll be away for the Eric Fischl Teaching Residency at West Nottingham Academy, where I'll be teaching classes and working in the studio. I'm pretty excited/nervous! 

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