Mediums: Digital and mixed media painting
Style: Mixed media collage
It’s in the Eyes © Amy Smith - Original mixed media collage 48”x36” on canvas. The deep thought and pondering look in this piece is paired with the turquoise to help the emotion set in.
I began taking art serious in 2009 working on digital collages. The most recent project has been my mixed media collage series. I wanted to work with my hands instead of computer so I started trying out stencilling and the opposite of stencilling. The opposite was more interesting to me. That soon developed into the portrait series I’m working on now.
As a self-taught artist I think I do things a little differently because I don’t have the mindset of working the way others do. I never feel like I have to do something a certain way, I have the freedom to explore and find what works best for me. I think that shows in my work because I’m not doing what most people are doing.
I would describe my work as collections of varied expressions of myself. I get bored very easily so I have different styles and projects I work on.
Can you remember your first creation experience?
I remember taking art classes in high school. In this class I remember making a watercolor painting of some flowers. I got the reference photo from a National Geographic I think that my dad had. I brought it home and was pretty proud of it. My grandmother still has it hung up and framed. I saw it last time I was home and it wasn’t too bad.
Do you like to listen to music while creating art?
I usually just put my music on a shuffle. I’m pretty focused when I’m working so it’s just additional noise to me really. But I definitely need that noise.
Is there something you are trying to show viewers through your art?
I became more interested in exploring the quiet, kind of shy candid side of portraits that exudes a hidden emotional side. I connect closely to that and recognize a kind of lost beauty in something that can easily go unnoticed. I hope that people recognize the emotion portrayed in each piece.
Oh Hello There © Amy Smith - Original mixed media collage 36”x48” on canvas. I wanted to portray a confidence and playfulness in this piece complementing it with the soft pink.
Please explain your process of creating art
Regarding my collages, I look for portraits or photographs that evoke some kind of emotion. That is the basis of the piece so if that’s wrong, it won’t look good no matter what I do. After I have the subject figured out, I do a mock-up in Photoshop to see the outline and envision where the color will be. I cut everything out, tweaking parts as I go. I often will hang up a piece I’m working on to see it from afar because all my pieces are on the larger size. I make sure certain parts are clear and visible so you get the full energy of what the piece means to me.
What things inspire your art?
Fashion photography and graffiti art is really inspiring to me. The emotion, power, and stories they convey are really inspiring. Other artists are great motivators to me as well. I feel more motivated when I see other people’s work so I tend to frequent gallery openings and shows around Los Angeles.
I’ve shown my work all over LA. I have done a couple art walks and group shows. Also I’ve had my work on display at coffee shops, salons, retail stores, and galleries. Also I rent my work out to television shows when I can.
How are you selling your art?
Online websites are working for me right now. I have my designs on a great site called Deny Designs which sells artsy home décor. Also I have phone cases on ArtsCase, and an my own Etsy shop. Also I have sold a couple framed and original pieces by having them on display around Los Angeles.
Keep Positive © Amy Smith - Original mixed media collage 36”x48” on canvas. The face is the most important of this piece to me because she’s looking up and focused. It reminds me of thinking positively.
What do you do to market your art to the online world?
I am not a good social media person but I have my stuff on a lot of different sites, Twitter, Facebook, Glossom, Society6, Bluecanvas, Etsy. I also have a blog on Tumblr- http://www.tumblr.com/blog/amy-colorscape
Any influences you can mention?
Being a self-taught artist I have gathered inspiration in many places. From low-brow to contemporary, there are a few artists that especially spark my imagination. HUSH, Derek Gores, Banksy, David Downton, and fashion photographer Mario Testino to name a few.
Is there another artist you can recommend to us?
Since I just went to the opening night showcase of HUSH I would recommend him if you haven’t seen his work yet. I particularly love the mix between graffiti and fine art. I think he has a high skill and understanding of what he wants to achieve and nails it every time. Also I follow artist Mimi Yoon a lot and love her style. She is amazingly talented and works like a machine. I feel like she’s always developing and challenging herself.
Is there something particularly interesting in your life you would like to share?
I also love to use my vacation and traveling photos for digital artwork. I created a series called, “Architecture in Color” which evolved into creating original screen prints. These too have the pop urban color I use in my collages. I have pieces made from trips I took from Budapest, Italy, and New York. I of course have a bunch from Los Angeles as well since that’s where I currently live. Mostly taken with just an Iphone.
How has feedback on your art been going?
I’ve been very lucky and have had really good feedback on my art. I have a couple different series and styles and each time people have been very nice. I have heard my work described as, “Interesting” a few times. I take it as a compliment.
Any regrets in your art journey?
I wouldn’t say it’s a regret but I wish I realized my potential as an artist earlier. When I was younger I loved art but didn’t realize I could pursue it as any kind of career. I thought of it as just a hobby. I would have made art an essential and important part of my life.
What goals do you have for the future?
Well I have a few goals I’d like to meet this year. I want to have a solo show displaying my mixed media collage series. Also I’d like to sell my work internationally.
Any closing advice for emerging artists?
Amy Smith Artist - Self-taught Successes
Facebook page: www.Facebook.com/Colorscapefanpage