We had the good fortune of connecting with amy smith and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi amy, as a parent, what have you done for you children that you feel has had the most significant impact?
My husband and I both decided that it would be best for us and our son to work towards our dreams fearlessly so he can see that anything is truly possible. It’s important for me that he knows creativity it rewarded and important.
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.
My art is focused on identity and social justice. With all the objectification of the female form over the years, I create an empowering collection of art relatable to people that don’t often see themselves portrayed. Pop art especially glorifies celebrity. I try to focus more on the everyday women so more people can identify with my work and see the beauty in all of us. When I work with models I want them to feel strong and confident. Some have been friends who have never modeled before and find a sense of fulfillment when they see the finished painting. It’s really fun to collaborate. I also choose pieces of recycled magazines to share messages of hope and love. The nature of the brands in magazines are typically focused on making women feel negative to sell them products. I like using the magazines as a way to create a new narrative, something inspiring to the viewer that leaves them feeling connected. It’s been a long process of trying different things and refining my skills. I work consistently and am always thinking or brainstorming about ideas. Finding a mentor gave me direction. I used the mentorship to work hard and develop the style I show with galleries, art fairs, and more. I’m still growing and working on another series that focuses on social issues. I love finding different ways to share messages through my art that can connect with people visually and emotionally. I think art can have a positive impact and can create a sense of unity. I’ve learned to put myself out there for criticism. You will find people that like your work and some won’t. That’s ok. By putting your work out there you might even learn more about how it makes others feel and how they are responding to it. That might give you some insight for future work and help you better understand your own work. I think it’s a positive to be in a critic group or just showcase your work in shows to get that experience. Another thing I wish I had done earlier is to meet more people doing what you do. I’ve met an amazing group of artists in Los Angeles that I can call for advice, recommendations, collaborations, and so many other things that really make a big difference. I was always doing things by myself or with a friend or two but never really got involved in the art scene until a few years ago. I would do shows and not really talk to anyone. I am definitely naturally shy which is something I work on consistently. Even photographing my own models took a while. I was so insecure about interacting and seeming professional that I didn’t want to photograph my own models. Any advice I’d give would have to do with that. Its so recognize any insecurities so you can move past them. You’re the only one holding yourself back. Push past the discomfort and fear. You have art to make and lives to impact. My mission is to create work that is as diverse and powerful that speaks to our world. We all have our differences and that’s what makes us unique. And as artists we have the opportunity to visually address injustices that are happening at the same time. That balance is something I am embracing as my brand and as a creative.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I’m definitely not much of a foodie so I’m no help with where to eat or even really where to drink. There’s some cool places like Seven Grand downtown but I don’t really drink a lot anymore. I do love comedy so I would check out the Largo, The Improv, Upright Citizens Brigade, or the Virgil for some shows and drinks. You can get fancier and go to the Comedy Store or Laugh Factory I guess but there’s some cool small places to check out that are usually really great.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I definitely need to shout out L. Croskey for his mentorship. I went to one of his portfolio reviews and it changed my life. He gave me guidance without judgement. That confidence really helped me develop my style.
Other: pinterest- https://www.pinterest.com/artbyamysmith/
Brad Stubbs took the profile picture and billboard photo of me. That would be so nice to credit him for those.