August 29, 2014

Artist Spotlight – Amanda Pereira, (withfrost)

Made Urban is lucky enough to have an ever growing membership base of amazingly creative people. Amanda Pereira is no exception. We are proud to introduce her to you and hope you can draw some inspiration from her beautiful art and unique and insightful way of looking at the world. And don’t forget to pick up one of her pieces or commission some work from her, you won’t be disappointed!

Tell us who are and what you do:

My name is Amanda Pereira, (withfrost), and I am a 26 year old artist from Toronto, Canada. I spend most of my time drawing or painting, but I work with just about any medium; I just love creating in general. I’m always interested in working on special commissions with anyone, anywhere – two minds can come up with some funky stuff! I’m also married to the most beautiful soul… and really, really like cake. (and cats.)

When did you know you wanted to be an artist?

I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t drawing; my mom always had full supply of pencils, crayons, paints, etc. when I was growing up, because it was something her kids were into. As soon as I could hold a crayon on my own, it just always seemed to be a natural thing to do. I think you’re born with a purpose – mine may have just been to doodle!

What inspires you the most when it comes to drawing, painting, etc?

The smell of burning wood or the feel of grass on bare feet can inspire a painting or an art piece in the same way that a breakup or a death could for me. It’s all in how you perceive it and what it brings out of you; what it makes you feel, think of, remember… that’s the good thing about inspiration, there is an abundance of it, even if we have to wait for it to become obvious sometimes. As long as it’s something that sparks an emotion, it’s enough fuel to get the fire going.

Who is your favorite artist (famous or not famous) and why?

My favourite artists are my brother and my husband; it’s too difficult to pick just one, because they are very different in what they do, but equally incredible. I grew up watching my brother whipping out drawing after drawing. We could be sitting in a restaurant with a napkin and a crayon, and he would just draw something fantastic in no time, with what seemed like no effort at all – it just came to him so naturally. To this day I get nervous showing him a new piece I’ve done. And my husband, he is the same when it comes to his art, which is music. He is a prodigy! I’ve never seen anything like it before him. He has a musical heart and notes flowing in his veins. He can idley fiddle with his guitar and the results numb me, it is insane. He plays and it tells a story with no words; you just know what he’s feeling when you listen – their completely natural talent is intimidating, and yet they remain so humble about it.

What’s your favorite piece that you’ve created?

I don’t know if I could really pick one! Not that I think they are fantastic, but because each piece I’ve made has meant a lot to me for different reasons, so it’s hard to narrow it down. I might have to say the first painting I ever did for my husband, back when we were still just friends, because it was so personal to both of us. His music played a role in saving my life, and without going into detail, I did the same for him… so the painting represented us keeping each other safe. I ended up tweaking it slightly and getting it tattooed on my arm.

How do you get into a creative headspace?

Honestly, music plays a major role in that. A good majority of my drawings/paintings come to me when I’m spacing out to music. I’m very much a ‘lyric person’, and lyrics are so universal in that everyone can relate to them in their own way. Listening to music gets me thinking about so many things, relating the lyrics I hear to situations in my own life, and that often births new pieces. It’s my therapy, essentially.

What has been the most challenging part of being an artist and creating commissioned work? (As opposed to just creating art for yourself.)

Good question! For me, it’s hard to create something that I don’t have an emotional connection to, but in doing a commission, it’s all about the connection the piece ultimately has to your client. You want your client to be 100% happy with the end result, so you have to try and tune into their feelings in what they are requesting, and try not to let your distance from their situation play a role in your work. You’ll also sometimes get a client who doesn’t really want you to have any artistic freedom, and is specific down to each and every paint stroke, which makes it feel like a very one-sided arrangement, if that makes sense. It’s less of a ‘let’s create something together’ situation, and more of a ‘do this like this, and make it snappy’ situation.

How do you keep yourself motivated on the hard days?

It’s not so much what I do, but what I don’t do – I don’t force it. I wait until motivation hits me again, and then go from there, where ever it takes me. Sometimes it takes an hour, sometimes a day, sometimes three months. Art for me is fueled by strong emotion, and sometimes you’re not ready to bring it forward. It has to come naturally, though, because I can’t create anything without putting part of myself in it, and that is something that can’t be fabricated. Art has to be genuine, and I think it shows when someone has created for the sake of having a finished product or some sort of payment, rather than creating because they ‘need’ to.

What would be your one piece of advice to someone thinking of becoming a full time artist?

Don’t allow yourself, (or anyone else, for that matter) to hinder your progress. We tend to be our own worst critics, and you mustn’t let self doubt prevent you from putting yourself out there. Have a web presence, promote yourself, post to websites and forums… get your name out there by sharing your craft. Also, know that things won’t ALWAYS be steady. Sometimes you will find yourself in a rut, artist’s block, and you won’t be able to create as you normally would – that is OKAY. Give yourself a break, and go back to it when you feel you’re again in the right frame of mind to do so. If you force it, it’s going to feel more like ‘work’ and no longer something you enjoy doing. Live your passion.

Where can people find you?

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