We had the good fortune of connecting with Amy Smith and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Amy, how do you think about risk?
Risk taking is important to everyone especially artists. I tend to make decisions based on my goals and what’s going to make me the happiest. I’ve had to make a couple scary decisions and pivots in my life. They were all really hard to make but ultimately they ended up being the best decisions. I don’t shy away from taking risks. I try to only consider how I honestly feel about the risk or decision. Knowing what might block you or what your natural excuses will be is helpful. Knowing yourself as much as possible will help you make those tough decisions.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My art is a contemporary narrative of inspiration and powerful imagery that I weave together using recycled magazines and elements as collage and hand cut stencils based on illustration or photography. I am definitely proud of the photographs I started taking to base my imagery on. I love collaborating with photographers, but I really wanted to own every step of the process. This was a recent challenge I accepted after realizing my anxieties about photographing models or friends myself. I definitely didn’t feel like I had the knowledge or ability to do it and then I tried. It worked out so well one of the sessions became the Library Card for La County. I learned you can be scared and still try. I use my work to engage in conversation, build community, and connect with people. I use recycled materials because I love the idea of creating work from something that is given less significance after being used. Commenting on the waste and excess, I’m giving the pieces of paper a new life with new meaningful purpose.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Well Covid really makes this hard but I will imagine it isn’t a Pandemic and we can do whatever we’d like. I would love to go to the beach and walk around Venice area. If there were some art shows I would take them to my favorite spots at Corey Helford Gallery or any street art exhibit going on. If the Melrose Trading Post was open we would go there on Sunday and walk around and find some great things. That’s all I can imagine right now. I know when things are up and running there’s so many festivals and fun outdoor activities to do and see but we’ve been 9 months in quarantine so it’s mostly Netflix.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My first mentor was L. Croskey co-owner of Thinkspace Gallery & Art Bar LA. He helped and encouraged me as an artist. I always appreciate his advice and will always go to him with questions. He’s great because he’s honest. He doesn’t try to put his agenda or pass his ideas on to you, he encourages your own personal growth and creativity. My recent mentor is Natily Gonzalez of Moby Arts. She has taught me a lot about quality when making reproductions and being a boss. She values my work and has helped me see the value in myself as an artist.