Amanda Wand is a Toronto-based visual storyteller that believes in the power of process through creation. As an abstract intuitive painter, she uses art as a way to navigate the many complex emotions of our world with the intention to invite others to process their own emotions through her work. She does not plan her pieces instead, she allows her vulnerability to lead the way. This process creates authentic works representing the full spectrum of human emotion. Every piece is an extension of her subconscious and they all hold certain energy and message. Her work is influenced by how people treat others and themselves. It explores concepts of connectivity, identity, and self-worth. We interviewed Amanda to learn more about her practice, inspirations, and what she is working on today.
1. How does your creative day look like and what inspires you to make art? Has your creative day changed due to Covid-19?
My creative day is always flexible. I allow myself the freedom of not structuring painting time. I create very quickly so I am never worried about not finding the time to paint. Although typically I allow myself a slow morning with a great cup of coffee, then I will start to think of things that inspire me while I prepare an area to paint. Sometimes I will paint for hours getting lost in it. Other times it will be faster and then I will take the time to really look at the piece to figure out it's message. I am inspired to make art because it helps me figure out how I am feeling, it provides me with a way to connect to myself and then others with honesty and vulnerability. I create art because it feels good and I know it is my true purpose and calling.
My creative day has changed due to Covid-19 and now that it is September I feel I am settling into a better routine and feeling more grounded in my creative days. A big part of this is because I recently moved out of a studio space that I loved and now I have a home studio. So there was a period of transition in slowly realizing this was the right decision, grieving what once was, and now I have fallen in love with my home studio and am very grateful for how it has propelled my art style forward.
2. Tell us more about your art studio.
My home studio! Oh, it is so wonderful to have space, a full room (it was a spare bedroom) at home to paint in! My old studio space was an hour transit ride away. So being able to paint whenever is really lovely. My space has a closet full of finished work, a long table for painting on, and an awesome bright yellow door that leads outside.
3. How did you first get interested in your medium/s?
When I was 16 years old I did my first ever abstract painting in my bedroom. And I remember painting a heart where one half was a question mark and the other half was a flame. I felt like it was the most honest thing I have ever created and from that moment on I loved painting and was always drawn to abstract work as it allowed me to fall into flow and not stress about being perfect. I minored in Visual Arts in University and always preferred creating abstract works instead of representational pieces.
4. Describe your style in one sentence.
I am an intuitive abstract painter that uses vibrant colours and brush strokes to create art about the interconnectedness of our world.
5. Has your style changed over time?
Totally! My style has changed multiple times over the years. I have a great little highlight on my IG that goes through the years.
Because I am an intuitive artist, I end up painting what I am feeling and it helps me process whatever is happening in my life and in society at large.
In 2013 I had more bold colour blocked work
2014/15 I was more influenced by water and loved dripping paint down the canvas.
2016 I painted really dark, a lot of blacks and very intense work.
I started to lighten up in 2017 with a lot more vibrant colour and Pollock-esque paint splatters.
Then in 2018, I brought together the bright colours and bold thick details. I also painted faces for a few months and realized they were helping me understand different parts of my identity. After the faces came a big shift in style for me when I started using a lot of water on wood panels, this opened me up to a whole new dimension.
In 2019 I started combining all my techniques and started to fall more and more in love with pink and yellow.
in 2020 I have started to work more with soft colour palettes and my work feels calmer and less chaotic.
6. What are your main artistic tools?
Paint Brushes of all sizes
7. Do you ever experience creativity blocks and how do you stay positive and inspired?
I do experience creative blocks and I used to try and push through to try and paint but I never like what I create during those times. So I try to use it as a time to rest or to collect inspiration to use later. I try to stay positive by focusing on other interests outside of art or try to do another productive work task that isn't painting. I now think creative blocks are just messages for me to rest or to step away and trust that when the inspiration hits again it will be magical and usually a new style emerges.
8.What artists - either contemporary or from history - have had an impact on you and your art practice?
My favourite artist is Frida because I love her bold attitude to living her life. Artistically we are not the same however I admire and love her story. I am always more drawn to the emotional connection the artists have to their work than the actual work itself.
9. Do you think the art world has changed or will be changing due to the pandemic? If yes, how?
Yes, I do think it will change. I cannot say how exactly but my hope is that the pandemic and the Black Lives Matter movement will help open people's eyes to the inequalities in the art world. I hope it will challenge people to push for more inclusivity and wider representation of different identities. I hope the pandemic helps consumers have a different appreciation of art, valuing it more than non-essential. I do hope the events of 2020 will open more hearts and minds and create a ripple effect of change that benefits all artists!
10. What project are you working on right now? What would you like to do next?
I have a few exciting ideas to bring to life this Fall/Winter! Don't want to give away any spoilers but I am looking into other products/items that my art can live on!