The Creative Unconscious: What's your name, age, and professional title? Where are you currently employed?
Amanda Sandlin: Amanda Sandlin, 27, Artist, Self-Employed
TCU: What hobbies do you have outside of your professional field that keep you inspired and motivated to generate personal work? How do they inspire you?
AS: I have a very special relationship with climbing. It’s one of the only things that gets me out of my head. As I feel my body getting stronger, it gives me an inner confidence. Going on climbing trips is almost never purely fun and easy, and that’s when the magic happens. It shakes me out of the calm routine of working, a comfy home, and being clean, put-together, and in (perceived) control. I return from those trips invigorated and see everything a little differently.
TCU: Do you have a hard time balancing being a creative professional and generating personal work that you're proud of?
AS: Not currently, but I absolutely have in the past, especially when I lived out of my van for six months traveling around North America. I don’t think we are meant to constantly be producing; it’s a cycle, like everything. Some seasons are meant for consuming, for being quiet, and just soaking it all in. I rest in these times assured that when I’m meant to create, I will. (Of course, I don’t have the luxury to do this professionally; in that respect I show up every day and do the work.)
TCU: What time of day do you feel the most creative? What about the most productive?
AS: My most productive comes in the morning. Sometimes I won’t even make breakfast until I’ve put in a couple hours of work. And most creative time.. there isn’t a typical hour. It can be at 3 in the morning or noon. I’ve found creativity has little to do with external circumstance and everything to do with internal landscape.
TCU: What are your creative goals for the future?
AS: I want to put together a collection of original #atwildwoman multi-media pieces. I’ve been working on three larger pieces for over a month now, and it’s finally clicking. I’m excited to show up every day and explore this type of art deeper. I also really want to write a book, but I’m struggling with major internal resistance.
TCU: Are you working on any personal projects right now? If so, can you share a little bit about your inspiration and your creative process?
AS: My big personal project right now is the #atwildwoman original works. So far my #atwildwoman pieces have all been drawn, scanned, and placed over photographs digitally. I’m really enjoying getting messy and using my hands while I try to recreate the feeling of a sweeping landscape in an abstract way. It’s been a long time coming, but I feel like I’m finally discovering my voice as an artist and I just want to dive into the process more intimately.
TCU: What scares you?
AS: Everything and nothing. Sometimes I am so aware of our physical fragility and it totally overtakes my mind with fear and questioning. The past year I’ve been surrounded by a decent amount of illness and death—two things I’ve been very fortunate not to experience much of in my life so far.
But I also have a very strong faith in the universe, and a belief that everything will always be okay, and nothing real can actually be taken away. So I go back in forth between these two states of being.
TCU: What does success mean to you?
AS: Never staying the same, constantly evolving as a human and becoming a better version of myself.
If you want to learn more about Amanda and her #atwildwoman work, head over to www.amandasandlin.com.