We had the good fortune of connecting with Amanda Mullins and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Amanda, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
I went for a creative career because that is what most interests me. Ingenuity has been ever-present since I was a child; meaning I have always gravitated toward many forms of artistic expression. It all started very early with a vivacious interest in music and art. I have continued to land in creative job positions along my path from fine art, costume, make-up, and graphic design, in addition to music and fashion. It even shows up in the cookbook I released through the plating of my dishes to the photography and layout. A creative career was always a clear choice because that is where I get lost in the process and feel the most driven.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
The art and music I have created over the years are quite versatile. When it comes to fine art and illustration I think there is a common thread but when it comes to the graphic design side I have done all kinds of projects with different styles, esthetics, and themes. For example one day I may be working on a book cover for a sweet romantic chick-lit novel and the next day a CD cover for a metal band. When it comes to music it is the same story in that I like to do a variety of genres and projects. I most gravitate toward experimental stuff on my own but I have been involved in an array of bands and endeavors. I’ve been in an acapella choir also grunge, punk, and metal projects. I love so many styles of music I want to explore a lot. My current passion lies in the art of taiko drumming with a group called Makoto Takio in Pasadena. I am most proud of the fact that I have been able to work with so many amazing artists and have had a chance to grace stages like the Pantages and the Ford amphitheater as well as perform with bands I have admired for years. I feel fortunate that I have been able to make a living through graphic design and fashion for such a long period. The way I got to where I am today has been a slow and steady build of schooling, practice, working with others, continued learning, and making the arts a priority. I took jobs at places that led me to get into the art department. I worked with many mentors and artists along the way. The most important traits that have helped me over time have been perseverance, consistency, and reliability. Word of mouth has been my greatest ally. Sure there have been challenges along the way. I came from an economically depressed small town, I’ve been turned down, gigs have not always panned out, projects die and companies fold, but I have continued to move forward by knowing it is just that, a challenge and nothing more. It can be worked through just like all things in life. A valuable lesson I learned is to write things down and keep a calendar to stay organized. One time in college I double booked some important events. I honestly don’t remember what it was now, but it was embarrassing to have to cancel on someone last minute when I figured out my avoidable mistake. Time management is paramount in being reliable and keeping appointments and deadlines. My time is valuable and so is yours. Say that with your actions by simply keeping on top of these things. What I would like the world to know about my story is that you do not need to be conventional to make a living. With some integrity, reliability, and passion you can do most things. Take opportunities that come up especially if it scares you a bit. That is the place where growth happens.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Oh, wow…this is so funny. I am such a homebody and introvert. When my best friend is in town we stay in most of the time…However, I have been known to take people to the Downtown art district, go to ramen at Daikokuya in LittleTokyo. It’s fun to check out thrift stores. All the Goodwills in LA are pretty awesome in addition to little mom and pop places. I like Philz coffee or my favorite Mexican restaurant Casita Del Campo in Silverlake. I love to drive people through my old Highland Park Neighborhood, the victorian homes in Angelino Heights, or check out the Watts Towers and heavily graffitied parts of LA. I also enjoy places like Descanso Gardens, The La Brea Tar Pits, and the Museum of Natural History. If I can find a local death metal show at a tiny dive bar that is a definite must too. LA is so rich. After 18 years of being here, there is always more to learn about her.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I want to give a shoutout to my mother, my sister, and my teachers who all believed in me at times when I didn’t believe in myself.