This last week and a bit I have been trying out a March Meet the Maker #hashtag on instagram to let people know a little more about me. Hopefully this will make people more interested about my work and what I have to say about all my creative endeavours. I am also trying to be more active on my website, and in general I'm trying to create some kind of social media presence to start of my career as an illustrator. So I've decided to summarise my posts from instagram to kick start my hopefully more regular blog posting.
Hi! Amanda. I'm 21 years old, currently studying BA Illustration at University for the Creative Arts in Farnham, Surrey. My favourite colours are red and black, my hair is usually dyed these colours (it changes a lot) I have worn glasses all my life, and I'm as blind as a bat. My passions include drawing, photography, watching films, reading, petting cute animals, and singing (I keep that a secret though) I'm a pretty easy going, strange, ditsy creature who does her best to stay creative and happy.
Where. Now this is a complicated one. I grew up in a little village outside of Reading, but I have lived in Málaga, Spain. Moved back to the little village, lived in Poole, Dorset, now Farnham, Surrey. But for long while now I haven't really felt at home anywhere, just sort of existing in space but I think a lot of people my age feel this way no matter their circumstances. But I suppose my home for now is my little room at university and I'm okay with that, and I will be sad to leave. I also find home in long walks in the rain with some good music, I find the home within myself.
How I started. I've been creative and wanting to draw and make from as long as I can remember. I read a lot as a child, played a lot of imaginary games, andas a child I was always encouraged to do creative things to occupy my time. It's the one thing I was always praised for at school, even when I moved to Spain and I failed literally everything because I didn't know the language... I won competitions when I was young which spurred me on. But it wasn't till I became older that I found therapy in drawing. I would in my darkest days draw people and faces and till this day do not know why it's is what I jump to first. It wasn't till I returned to the UK I realised it was all I wanted to do, and really the only thing I had left after missing three years of my education. It's taken a lot of hard work to get where I am today, and that may not be very far. But, I know now what I want out of life and they may be simple things, but as long as I can keep creating, and hopefully one day inspiring, it will all be okay.
Favourite to make. These are some of my favourite pieces, which are in the Portfolio section of this website. These are all editorial pieces responding to text. This is my favourite thing to do. Reading, listening or researching and creating something visual from it in my own kooky way. I love to be experimental and I have no one set way of working. I love to push boundaries, but mostly my favourite thing to do is create something different from what's been done before.
Day Five: Photography, this is a hobby of mine and I haven't done it so much recently because I've simply not had time but picking up a camera feels so natural to me. I love to find small details in life. My favourite work is black and white film, I have more examples of these and all my photography under my Portfolio section. I use photography a lot in my illustration work as inspiration, but in my current project I hope to be using it more!
Day Six: Workspace. This is my desk in my room. The best thing about being an illustrator is that I can work from anywhere as love as I have my materials, a place that can get messy and some good lighting. It's the biggest workspace I've had to date, and yet I still manage to run out of space. I have to have things organised otherwise I become distracted. I have the things that I love and interest me around my workspace, it all adds to to create a cosy, happy working environment!
Day Seven: Routine. I have a planner in which I map out every day from when I wake up at 7:30-8:30 till when I get into bed. (I also plan my meals and breaks) I have to have a plan and be organised with my time or I tend to not cope with things very well. I think it may also be something that has come from dealing with depression and giving myself goals. But, last year I was told I have dyspraxia, which is to do with movements physical and temporal, temporal movement such as having to map out and plan to be able to function. I see this an attribute as I'd like to think I'm a highly organised person, and that can't be bad right? Most days of the week are full with Studio work, or working as an ambassador for the University for the Creative Arts. I also sometimes help out with workshops at the weekends and in general get involved with as much as I can without exploding. When I don't have anything planned I still map out my day to work on projects, or do research days. A typical day consists of, studio work or freelance/career planning 9:30-12:30, lunch, then work again 1:30-4:30, going to the gym, shower, dinner, 7-11 more work, bed. I like to keep busy that way I feel like I'm achieving things.
Day Eight: Flatlay, These are some of the tests/roughs I have been working on. Today I have just gathered some more research and visual aids and will be continuing with rough image making and developing these bad boys. I tend to research a lot to help me with my process (which is kept separate) then work things out and write things down in my sketchbook, then use loose paper to draw out my ideas in fill and test things out.
Day Nine: How it's made. This is just a simple pencil sketch of a mandrake I've just finished. I've used my research to help inform me on what it should look like whilst also using my imagination. I make a lot of different things in various ways. But it usually starts with research, then rough sketches, then experiments of media linked to what I want to create, then more final roughs, then by making the final thing in whatever medium is best for the brief!
Day Ten: Time to relax, thought I'd do a little a little drawing of the things I do to relax. No surprises that drawing is one of them, it's a weird thing to draw to relax but also draw to work.. Other than that I relax by eating beans on toast, sleeping or watching films at home or the cinema. It's the simple things in life. I have a little bit of a complex about relaxing, I get bored easily and often feel guilty if I don't do anything. Because of what I do, not everything works out right all the time, and sometimes it takes so long to achieve anything at all. But I try to do at least one drawing a day to keep up my skills and feel like I'm still being productive even on rest days.
That's it so far, I'm really enjoying updating things everyday, check out my posts on Instagram at @_amandadraws