Interview with Amanda Lopez 11/15/2020
Amanda Lopez is a Bay Area native currently loving life in sunny San Diego. By day, she manages digital marketing for a top San Diego attraction and by night, she dives into all things creative including painting, collaging, learning to play ukulele, singing, and more.
What projects are you currently working on?
I have been part of the non-profit arts & culture space for many years. Professionally, it is a place that I have met amazing people and developed skills in Marketing. But, over the past few months and as a result of the pandemic, I have made more time for painting and expanding my art skills and techniques.
A project that I am working on now (and sooo excited about!!) is a Dia de los Muertos themed collection of paintings called “Eternal Celebration”. I recently launched the first batch of paintings from this collection on my Instagram account here: instagram.com/amanda.makes.art/ and the response has made my heart sing!!
The subject matter alone is special as it is a way for me to pay tribute to my Mexican heritage, but what has made the collection even more significant to me is that I am donating 50% of each purchase from the collection to Border Kindness, an organization that provides asylum-seekers, migrants, and refugees with the resources and services that they need. Their programs are designed most specifically to protect the most vulnerable – women, children, elderly, and families.
How has this pandemic affected or shifted your practice/changed your projects?
The pandemic has been a strange, emotionally draining, anxiety-inducing, weirdly wonderful time in my life. Because of all of the challenges that we as a community (and the world in general) have faced through the pandemic, it has caused us all to pause and take inventory of what is important to our survival, happiness, and overall well-being.
For me this has meant that I began to lean more heavily into my creative urges. I learned that creating, painting, collaging, and playing music are not just things I do for fun, but vital to my mental clarity and strength. Through the pandemic, I have learned to push myself out of my comfort zone (haven’t we all?!) and more specifically to push my creativity. I’ve learned to paint the things I said I could never paint, sing the songs I thought I could never sing, and share my creative expressions with people without fear of judgment.
What has your journey been like as an artist or creative person?
Growing up I always considered myself a creative person. I sang in the choir and did musicals. I saved magazine clippings, ticket stubs, and anything I thought I could use later to make weird collages or put in scrapbooks. I taped my bike with multi-color duck tape to give it some personality – but, I never knew how this would materialize as an adult. It has been an amazing journey discovering what outlets best allow me to express myself. I began painting 2.5 years ago after receiving painting classes from my brother for Christmas. Since then I have immersed myself in the wonderful world of painting through studying techniques online and in books, connecting with other artists, and endless trial and error. The journey continues…
Do you have any tips for up-and-coming, or rising artists/creatives?
COMMUNITY! Nothing has helped me learn and grow more than finding others who I share a common bond with to learn from and share ideas, struggles, and successes. While the pandemic makes it challenging to go to San Diego RAL events, art shows, and other in-person “networking” opportunities – social media is a powerful tool that (if used correctly, ha!) has the ability to connect and unite people from every walk of life. I have found groups on Facebook or community accounts on Instagram that have introduced me to amazing artists and creatives in San Diego and beyond!
Last but not least, someone said recently that it is brave to be an artist because sharing your art with others is (for many, including myself) incredibly personal and vulnerable. It resonated with me, so my last tip is something that I tell myself often. Try your best to push through self-doubt and continue to create (and share your progress!) even when the fear kicks in that “no one will like it” or it’s “not good enough.” If it makes you happy, create for yourself and avoid expectations.