Amanda Miller is a 22 year old who paints her soul onto canvases. Art is her lifestyle. She says that art is what she feels and calls painting a “heart that purely beats passion in its purest form.” This artist has not been taught her techniques, but instead relies on her natural ability to convey her emotion through the colorful images she creates by “speaking without words” by using color to be “speaking through feeling.” Let’s tap into this lovely painter’s emotions and find out what she is feeling on the inside!
JF- How long have you been painting for? When did this creativity begin?
AM-I’ve been painting seriously for about 4 years now but have been creative since I’ve been alive. Funny story: I actually got into painting through my high school senior project. A project due right before graduation which, little did I know, would change my life and perspective on things forever. The project was, “Do something you’ve never done before that you’ve always wanted to do.” I had always wanted to paint on canvas, so painting was the first thing to come to my mind. So I went to go buy the materials and was infatuated with the outcome of my project. All of sudden I had made a discovery of a beautiful battle that seemed to have created on its own. Since then, I look at life differently. I try to do things I’ve never done before because… why shouldn’t I? No one else will do them for me. To die with unsatisfied questions marks in life doesn’t seem to be worthy of even really living. Never know until you try, right?
JF- Wow. What a great attitude! If painting has given you that mentality, then it is worth it already. Has anyone helped you become inspired or maintain this spunky attitude of yours that you have towards your work?
AM-The most influential person to my art, believe it or not, is me. The battles I create on my own, and the mindset I have developed seem to paint themselves effortlessly through the colors of thought. Almost sounds crazy to say, but the most influential person is my subconscious. I feel as though I am blind while my subconscious paints freely. Then, when I believe to be finished, my eyes can then see. Almost like reading a book. I see it as a calming language I didn’t know I was capable of speaking…To see feeling in the form of color is amazing.
JF- I can say that I am jealous of your ability to lose yourself in your paintings. I do seem to be able to lose myself in your paintings as well. I’ve noticed that there are a lot of giraffes in your paintings. Is there a significant meaning behind this painted creature?
AM-Nature seems to be the root of everything, but I see it more as a peace of mind. The stencil giraffe I created is more of a personal symbol to remind myself to push harder, to reach higher. The length of the neck is almost like growth, with endless possibilities seeking whatever you choose to encounter. Typically, I don’t like to ever tell people what something “means” because that’s the beauty of it; letting others interpret something with their own eyes to relate it to their own life. There is no exact answer for what something “means” for it is an ongoing thought that captured just a glimpse of my feelings at that specific moment. It is forever flowing and changing for the viewer.
JF- You have such a great imagination, strong presence, and work your emotions into the images you create. Do you ever pull from the environment you live in for inspiration to use on your paintings?
AM-Ha ha, no my living environment does not seem to inspire many creative ideas. It comes from internal inspiration. My eyes go into the world differently then most. When I hear words/poetry/stories/thoughts, it’s almost like I hear them in color. I hear feeling, which seems to leak through my fingers on command. If I could say my expressions with my mouth, then there would be no reason to paint it. It’s an understanding.
JF-So with all of this talk about color and emotion, feeling and expressing…Do you find reading to be a mundane activity? If you don’t, what is your favorite book?
AM-Funny you ask. I’ve never been too big on reading, but recently I have been doing a lot of research. I am hungry and itching to learn. My recent research has been on the art of finding one’s peace of mind. Bruce Lee’s books on fighting, philosophy, meditation, along with other books by well known philosophers have sparked my interest. I’m a big fan of psychology. The human brain is something else. “The ones who think they are crazy enough to change the world, are the ones that do.”
JF- Wow. Philosophy? Meditation? So are you a calm, more introverted kind of person?
AM-I’m most definitely an outgoing person. I’m loud, but far from crazy. Overall, the best way to describe myself is passionate. My body holds enough passion for 8 hearts combined. Not by choice, believe me. But it has left me with this amazing ability to truly understand emotion. Not too many really understand it. I breathe passion.
JF-So what about other artists that breathe your passion? Any favorites?
AM-My all time favorite artist is Banksy and his new followers. The style he has created is beyond words. He is a street artist that has created some of the most inspiring work I have ever seen. He has inspired me to make stencils of my own and create my own style. I would like to think that my art is different from that of anyone else, which I describe as being urban abstract.
JF- I have seen his work as well. It is very unique and brilliant. Now for someone trying to find their own way in this art world, what do you wish you would have known earlier when you were first starting out as an artist?
AM-Something I wish I would have known was something that was right in front of me all along. I wish I would have known that art, in fact, is the peace of mind I was searching for. But as far as knowing certain techniques, I have no regrets. I didn’t expect much from myself at first because I’ve never taken art classes beyond a high school class. I keep my style forever changing and flowing. You know what they say, “The only thing constant is change.” As an abstract artist I have to appreciate the painting in the moment because the next time I go back to that painting; the feeling is not the same. Art is almost a form of meditation, letting me pour my soul out without speaking a word.
JF- So for a lady like you who seems like she can handle anything, what has you’re your biggest challenge with art?
AM-The most challenging aspect of art is my own frustration, of my own self never being satisfied. But the most rewarding thing is not ever being satisfied, ha, ha!. It’s a catch 22—a beautiful thing. Satisfaction would be the end of me. It would never let me bring out the best in me. To be satisfied is to allow yourself to have a starting point and an ending point. I choose have the mindset of never having an ending point. Again, to flow like water leads me to keep creating, to keep trying new things, and to keep pushing harder. You know, “If you want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe, that’s when you’ll be successful.” Satisfaction would not allow myself to display feeling or emotion. Satisfaction would be more like a solid concrete thought. Not sure if I’m making sense, but who does anymore
JF- Word. I feel like everyone speaks a different language sometimes. Music is said to be the universal language for us human beings. Do you listen to music while you paint?
AM-If I’m painting, I’m already in the zone. Seems like when I pick up a paintbrush, I can’t hear any other thought in the world. I listen to music while I paint, light candles (such a hippy), and sometimes I’ll stop to dance for a few minutes. But I find myself staring at my own canvases for very long periods of time—like I’ve never seen them before. No idea what I’m thinking about, but it’s like I get completely lost; almost like hypnotism.
JF-What would you do if you couldn’t paint? If you didn’t have that outlet?
AM-If I couldn’t paint (everyone can paint by the way, people are just usually too scared to try), I would focus all my time in training even more in the art of martial arts than I already do. Bruce Lee’s style, the style of no style, leaves me speechless. What a role model. It’s not about fighting, but more like the power of expression. First you master the physical part, then you master the emotional part. Besides art I do boxing, Jeet Kun Do, soccer, writing, dance, stretching. I’m actually also in love with ballet. What a beautiful world we live in.
JF- Indeed. So the ultimate question now: do you believe in true love?
AM-True love? Yes, I’m in love with love. “Why do we love love, when love seems to hate us?” I’m such an old soul. My mind seems to crave it, but it’s always a dangerous destiny. I couldn’t get away from it for the life of me. I continue to dream. I’m very intrigued actually that you asked this question. Interesting. A secret compassion that is impossible to mask.
JF- I am also a romantic. I find I have to ask people who seem so passionate about something if they believe in being so passionate about another person. So, back to your first passion, art. What is next for you?”
AM-Next for my art? Endless possibilities. I am going to learn more and create more to make my knowledge grow to its highest level yet. There’s nobody stopping me. I promise I WILL be someone important. I’m working on creating my own show which should be coming up sometime soon. Going for the gold to inspire others… But I will most definitely keep you updated
JF- Thank you so much for your time, Amanda.
Amanda Miller- Of course. It was a pleasure!
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