'Artists can effect change in their communities and the world.'
Amanda Greive is an artist based in Illinois, USA. Her themes developed from a foundation in still life to exploring figurative narratives. Currently Amanda’s detailed and intriguing paintings are wholly concerned with women, how society perceives them, and their struggles in life. Botanics serve as telling symbols and metaphors, drawing upon historical meanings of flowers.
Where is your current studio? What would be your dream studio? My current studio is in my home on a farm in Central Illinois, USA. My home isn't large, so I commandeered my dining room for my studio space. My dream studio would be a separate building on my property with large windows and lots of space for painting, meeting with other artists and curators, and maybe putting on workshops. Do you prefer to work in silence or does certain music inspire you? It just depends on my mood, really, though most of the time I like to listen to music. Silence allows my mind to wander too much! When I do listen to music, I listen primarily to classical or choral music, something that doesn't really have lyrics for me to sing to.
What is your favourite/ least favourite part of the creative process? My least favorite part is laying down the first layer. No matter how many times I do it, there's always a very real nervousness that I feel during this part--can I still paint, have I lost my touch? are thoughts that run through my mind. My favorite part is after the first few layers are on, and I can get a sense that painting is going in the direction I want it to. I also really like all the detail work that comes at the end. How has your style evolved and what contributed to the changes? My style changed quite a bit after I had my daughter seven years ago. Before she was born, I painted primarily still life paintings. After she was born, I became really interested in the body and the issues that women face with relation to their bodies, so I started to focus more on the figure.
Describe an obstacle you have faced and how did you overcome it. Being a mom is a 24 hour/ day job, so its sometimes hard to find time to work. Whereas before I had my daughter, I could spend lots of time in my studio, now I have to be more flexible. Shifting my perspective was really hard at first. I had lots of ideas for pieces and not a lot of time to complete them, so finding balance was a real obstacle for me, as was giving myself permission to just rest sometimes. It took me a while to realize that the opportunities that are meant for you will find a way to get to you, and that burning the candle at both ends, while somewhat honorable I guess, isn't at all practical in the long run.