Move LifeStyle

Move LifeStyle

Art of Balance: Amanda Smith

Hello again! Oh boy, it’s been a busy month {perhaps I need more work/life balance in my own life!}, but I’m so happy to be back on Move today! February is all about love, so it’s a perfect time to introduce you to an artist that I L.O.V.E .,  Ohio-based, ceramics artist Amanda Smith.  She creates intricate, delicate, and bizarre worlds with metallics and pastels, tiny flowers and girls in knee socks – strange narratives told beautifully using slabs of clay, and colorful glaze. But honestly, I’m not sure how she finds time to make these amazing pieces, because she’s also a full-time, at-home mom to her lovely two-year old, Gemma! ♥

JC: Your work is delicate, and quite breakable – is Gemma allowed in your studio? Does she ever get to play with your clay?

AS: No, Gemma is not allowed in my studio, more because it’s filled with toxic art supplies, chemicals, and silica particles than because the work is fragile. However, sometimes I bring small projects home and Gemma “helps” me work on them. She isn’t as excited about playing with clay as I am. I’ve even tried to get her more interested by buying her little stamps and her own mini rolling pin, but she is much more of a drawer and painter like her Dad.

JC: Do you ever feel “mom guilt” when you’re in the studio?

AS: No. The reason I don’t feel “mom guilt” in the studio is because I am a stay-at-home mom, and I’m with Gemma 24/7. My studio time is only around 10-15 hours a week at this point in my life, so I relish my time to be creative. I consider it my ultimate indulgence. I’d rather go to the studio than go to a movie, or out to dinner or almost anything else. The other reason I don’t feel guilty about my studio time is that Gemma is with her Dad when I’m in there and she’s a real daddy’s girl. She has so much fun with him.

JC: Is your work different now, than before your daughter was born?

AS: Oh yes. First of all, there’s exponentially less of it. Second, sometimes I don’t have the mental energy for more serious work and I use my time making simpler things. Now that Gemma’s a little older and less demanding I’m starting to get back into making more complex work, which I hope to have lots of for my next show in 2014.

JC: Do you see your life as an artist, and your life as a mother as two separate things, or do they go hand in hand?

AS: I see them as TOTALLY different. Although I absolutely love my life as a mother and I consider it more important than anything else I do, much of my time is filled with mundane repetitive tasks like making lunch, giving baths, shuttling to Dr.’s appointments or doing puzzles. On the other hand, I consider being an artist (and I hope all artists will forgive me) a pretty selfish endeavor in comparison. But for me, it’s a necessary selfish. When I’m making art I feel like I’m getting in touch with myself. When I’m being mom, it’s all about bonding with my little girl.

JC: How do find time to work on your, what I can only assume to be incredibly time-consuming, ceramic pieces, with a two-year old?

AS: I am so lucky! I have the best husband in the world! He is an artist as well and understands that studio-time is essential to my well-being and sanity. He makes lots of sacrifices to provide me with as much time in the studio as he can in. He teaches drawing at Bowling Green State University and we make a schedule at the beginning of each semester dividing his available time into studio-time for the both of us. Essentially, we trade off with Gemma to make our art careers possible.

Thank you so much Amanda! xo

ps. This is some new work that Amanda has for sale in her ridiculously affordable Etsy shop! Love, love, love!

February is the month of love. We see it as an opportunity to create deeper connections with your loved ones and with anything that ignites a passion in your soul. We see it as a moment to appreciate the little everyday things that put a smile on your face. We see it as the chance to show yourself that hey, you’re pretty lovable and you deserve a little TLC, too. (And that’s always a good thing, no matter what month it is!)

Author Description

Danielle Krysa

Danielle Krysa has a BFA, and a post-grad in Design. After years of looking at beautiful contemporary art and thinking "Damn, I wish I thought of that", she decided to say it out loud, and in 2009 The Jealous Curator. was born. She writes daily posts showcasing artwork from around the world, and is currently writing two books to be published by Chronicle Books in 2014. The Jealous Curator has been featured by Sunset Magazine, Frankie Magazine, Apartment Therapy and Glamour Paris.

  • Anya Zhukova
    These pieces are amazing! Beautiful artwork)
  • AshleyFauset
    Danielle, what a great choice! Amanda’s work is exquisite and alluring. I want to reach out and trace the lines of the ceramic elements. So lovely.
  • the jealous curator
    oh, thanks ashley! not hard to choose amanda… i have a major crush on pretty much everything she does ; )
  • Autumn Reeser
    These are so beautiful! I’m so glad to get an introduction to Amanda’s work (and learn how she manages a toddler behind-the-scenes!) — thanks, Danielle!
    • the jealous curator
  • Jenn Wong
    I wish I could touch these pieces – they’re so beautiful.
  • the jealous curator
    oh good! i’m so glad it struck a cord with you! i loved this interview… so refreshingly honest!

Move LifeStyle is an e-zine for the modern working woman created by Autumn Reeser, Jenn Wong and Ashley Fauset.

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