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Thanks so much Amanda’s for doing this interview! We wish you the greatest success with your art and ideas.
Amanda’s Ideas are great for beginners to learn paint pouring!
First of all, tell me a little about your background and how you got started painting.
I have no professional art training. While I was in school I was never drawn to art classes. Low self-esteem and anxiety always made me feel like I just never had the skills to do art. My husband and my mother in law are very artistically gifted and it has always been very inspiring to me to see what they can create.
As I got older I decided that I want to break into the art world and find a different way to express myself. Learning and teaching myself, and showing myself that I CAN do something that I never thought I could do, has been a game changer in my life. I looked into a lot of different types of art and started with something that seemed easier for me, Zentangles.
I followed a six week course through a book and it was easy for me to pick it up because the artist/author broke down a larger drawing into individual tangles and taught you how to draw each tangle, and then how to incorporate multiple tangles into a larger piece. Working in “bite size” pieces helped me learn and actually feel that I could build on each of then into a larger painting.
From there, I was interested in learning other art techniques like watercolor and acrylics. I had always like resin and fluid art but didn’t know what it was, what it was even called, or how it was done. At the beginning of 2017, a viral video was going around on Facebook and other social media of an artist out of California doing fluid art and I was immediately hooked.
I knew from watching that video, pour painting was something I wanted to learn and I’ve been hooked ever since. I started doing research to find out how to do paint pouring and tried it a few times. I worked out of my kitchen and by August of 2017 I did my first video for YouTube.
I now upload 3 days a week and have over 450 videos.
What is your creative process like?
I have SO many ideas for art. I constantly make lists of techniques or colors that I want to try and keep my lists in my craft room for inspiration when I am working on a piece or my next video.
The process for me always begins with what colors I want to use, what technique I want to do, and what size or shape of canvas I want to use. Once I figure out those three things, I am good to go.
What’s your work space setup like?
I take up quite a bit of space in my house! I paint at my kitchen table since it is a nice open work space and I can fit my tripod and lights in there. I keep all of my finished pieces and all of my art supplies in a spare bedroom.
I do have a table set up in that room too that I can work on other projects, but painting for me is much easier in the kitchen. My husband is super supportive and works to figure out ways for me to store all of the supplies I constantly buy ad all of the paintings I finish 🙂
What are your favorite art tools to work with?
Blowing tools! I really like techniques in paint pouring that include blowing paint; hair dryers, air brushes and even blowing through a straw.
What’s your best time-saving painting shortcut or hack?
Pre-mixing and storing mixed paints can be a huge time saver! Each day that I paint, I can spend 3/4 of my time just getting my supplies ready and the last 1/4 of time actually doing the painting. If you pre-mix your paint, or buy pre-mixed paint, you can just dive right into painting!
What inspires your creativity?
Color! I don’t know what draws me to really bold and vibrant colors, but something about color itself that is extremely viscerally appealing to me. I enjoy painting with colors that I never have liked in life.
I wear a lot of black and gray clothing but when it comes to painting, I enjoy yellows, pinks, oranges, blues and greens. Colors themselves inspire me for so many paintings.
Even if I’m reusing the same color palette for a few paintings, each different technique blends the colors differently and they always turn out differently from each other with this style of painting.
Besides painting on canvas, are there other forms of art that you like to do?
I rarely do other forms of art, but I still enjoy dabbling in drawing and watercolors.
One thing, I have noticed it’s the beautiful color palettes that you use to create your artwork. How do you decide on what colors will compliment and provide a mesmerizing design for your artwork? How many colors are too many?
Sometimes I use a full rainbow of colors and as long as your paint is thick enough, it shouldn’t turn to mud. But sometimes my husband has to remind me that less is more 🙂 2-4 colors work well for me.
More then that and things just blend too much and results don’t look good. I try and mix it up so that I am not using the same colors over and over, but I stick with color palettes like blue and green with a metallic gold or silver, purple and white with gold or pewter, copper, red and black and one of my favorites, yellow, orange and magenta.
My husband also gives me suggestions on color palettes and I ask him for colors when I am drawing a blank on what I want to do.
You have an Etsy store, do you sell at craft shows or have your work displayed in galleries? What advice can you give to someone wanting to sell their art, but not sure where to start?
Before Covid, I was also selling at a local store but unfortunately they closed down.
I was being told by other people that I should look around for places to sell my work so I just started asking for suggestions from people who knew the area and knew of stores that sell handmade items.
I asked around at a couple of places and one store accepted my work. They also set up some craft fairs that I attended and sold at.
My suggestion would be to just start looking around for galleries and other stores that sell handmade goods in your area. Ask family and friends if they know of places, or start reaching out on social media to local groups in your area with people that might know.
Reach out to suggested business owners, show people what you make, work on prices depending on what percentage they take.
Do research on craft fairs, especially ones held around the holiday. I know where I live, you have to sign up at least 6 months in advance for some of the really popular craft fairs because of the demand.
A lot of it is just getting to know your community and what places are available for sales.
What was your most difficult creation you ever made?
I wouldn’t say that there is just one difficult creation. For me, learning a new technique is always a difficult creation because of everything that goes into it, products, paint, paint consistency, other tools you may need. Once I learn a technique and really get it down, it is enjoyable, but starting with a new technique that you haven’t done before is always difficult for me.
Do you have a favorite piece of artwork you’ve made recently?
Yes! I have started taking different art courses online by artists that I really like and one technique that I’ve learned is the Bloom Technique. These are some of my favorite pieces that I’ve made lately with that technique. (Photo Below)
Can you give beginners some advice on how to create simple paintings and find their own style?
A great way that I learned was from other artists. I joined a ton of Facebooks groups on paint pouring and also started watching videos that were available on YouTube. The very first technique I did was the dirty pour, where you pour all of your colors in a cup and then pour them from that cup onto the canvas. That seems to be one of the simplest and easiest techniques to do.
Pick some colors that you like, mix them up and try it out! I think the more practice, the better you’ll get at your painting and technique. It can take a long time, sometimes years, to find your own style, but the more techniques you try, the more you will be drawn to a certain one. Hone in on that, practice it, have your own unique color palette and you’ll be on your way to finding your own style!
What are the best tools for painting?
I think it totally depends on what kind of painting do you want to do. If you’re into pour painting, then acrylics paints, any kind of pouring medium and canvas are going to be the basics that you can start with.
What are your favorite techniques when it comes to paint pouring?
The Dutch Pour, The Bloom Technique and my own technique of just using an airbrush are my favorites. I love how each technique blends the colors and creates cells in my pieces.
Do you have favorite paint, tools or canvas brands that you always use?
I am a HUGE fan of DickBlick.com. The variety of paint and other supplies that you can get there is amazing and I always like to try out new brands of paint or pouring mediums to see if I like them and want to permanently add them into my supplies that I use.
Some of my favorite paint brands are: Amsterdam Acrylics, Matisse Fluid Acrylics, and Jo Sonja acrylic paints.
Is there anything else you’d like to add that might be interesting to readers & fans?
A piece of advice that has helped me, when you get stuck or come to a mind block, try something new! Try a different medium (watercolors if you only normally work with acrylics, drawing if you normally just paint) or try a different technique that you normally do. Sometimes you can get some really amazing inspiration from mixing things up and working outside of your comfort zone.
Where can people find your artwork?
If people want to learn from me, I have two books published available on Amazon here. Quarto Knows
And I am selling exclusively on Etsy right now: AmandasDoodles on Etsy
Do you have a family, and if so can you give any advice to other Moms who are trying to balance work and home life?
I don’t have kids but I do work full time. I think it is extremely important that everyone make time and take time for themselves throughout the week on any hobby that they want to partake in, whether it be art, other crafts, book clubs, sports or other activities. Mentally it is so important to have your own self-care with things that you enjoy.
Where are all the places people can follow you online?
Youtube: Amanda’s Designs
Amanda’s Doodles and Designs
Amanda VanEver (@_amandasdesigns_) is on Instagram
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