We had the good fortune of connecting with Amanda Adomaitis and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Amanda, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
I spent almost 20 years working in the fashion industry full time, helping other creative people fulfill their visions and I loved it so much that I let it become my whole life. It felt like the only path and the only option but I looked back and all of a sudden it was all a blur for six years where pretty much all I had time for was work. All my memories were of work and it was almost impossible for me to enjoy the rest of my life. I couldn’t turn it off and it was all I thought about. I don’t think I gave myself another option and I completely did it to myself – I’m such a perfectionist and an overachiever that once I start working on something I can’t see anything else. It’s just all drive and push and I will literally make myself sick doing it. Which I did…so many times! I’m really focusing on that now and trying to learn how to use my nature to my advantage. The upside is I’m capable of being very productive but I am still working on not judging my entire identity based on my productivity. I have to remind myself to take days off and to remember that downtime is valuable – the reality is that my whole outlook changed the minute I was able to restore even a small amount of balance. It’s a work in progress for me and probably always will be.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
II’ve been illustrating and painting my own creatures for just over ten years now but it never really fully clicked until I got back into ceramics. I make both functional and non-functional ceramic pieces that are populated by animals and utilize my love of surface design. I’m a sucker for maximalist color and for an expressive face and I feel like those are probably the two main identifying elements of my work. Ultimately, I want to make objects that evoke an emotional response. I very much feel like the creatures I make are real and have their own story and nothing brings me more joy or pride than hearing that they are out there in people’s homes and bringing them joy too. I’m so excited to spend some more time this year on finding a balance between creating work for exhibitions and making smaller scale works that I can sell through my own platform. Making my work is very much a cathartic experience for my and as someone who is a huge introvert and finds human interaction puzzling, I’m often processing emotions related to that while I invent personalities for my pieces. Any success I’ve had thus far comes from learning to trust myself and just make work that speaks to me. Everything else is just noise.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
It’s pretty surreal to imagine a visit to the city right now since we have all been living in this alternate reality for the past year but kind of nice to imagine it happening again. Is it weird that the first thing that comes to mind is the La Brea Tar Pits? I love it so much. It feels magical staring at this place that has been unchanged for so long and so many creatures have succumbed to – not to mention how much I love the museum. I have a real fondness for animals and I never get sick of seeing the taxidermy, sculptures and fossils – not to mention my extreme love for a gift shop. I have a real deep love for this city and specifically how diverse of an experience living here can be. I’m a real food nerd and I think that’s such a great way to experience this city. It’s so incredible to me to go to places like Musso & Franks, Greenblatts, Langers, and Canters where I feel like you get a taste of what LA has been like through the years. We love Night Market Song, Hail Mary, Ricky’s Fish Tacos, Grand Central Market, honestly too many places to name but there is so much amazing food to be had here and that’s always a huge part of any visit for me. If you’re gonna go for a full LA tour Hollywood Bowl is kind of a must, a Dodger’s game, Huntington Gardens and LACMA. Largo and Wacko are definitely two places I have been going for as long as I can remember and feel very special to me. Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I honestly don’t think I could be doing any of this without my husband. He is so extremely supportive not only of my creative growth and weirdo ideas but in a practical sense that literally makes it possible. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve buried myself in a project and he will make sure I remember to eat, take care of stuff around the house and make sure our pup gets fed. I’m really thankful that there is endless space for us to bounce ideas off of one another. He makes his own work on his Instagram @kacksharter and it’s pretty great to be in a marriage where we are both making work that makes us giggle all day.