Today we’d like to introduce you to Amy E Harper.
Amy, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
I never knew my parents. I know that I was born in L.A. and after a while, a family in North Hollywood took me in. My childhood was spent as a child actress. Some children that grow up this way enjoy their childhood. Mine was quite the opposite. I worked for the Disney Channel, worked on movie sets and international ad campaigns. My adopted parents were more managers than parents, so my childhood was basically missing a childhood. I didn’t feel very comfortable or wanted in that house. So I spent the majority of my time in my room replicating every work I could find by Egon Schiele, Gustav Klimt, and a great deal of Brian Froud.
When I was 17, I had built up quite a portfolio and was accepted for a work/study program to a very prestigious art college in Florence, Italy. I bought a one-way plane ticket with no desire to return. I would love to say that my time in Italy was spent taking cooking classes and drinking wine, but honestly, all I did was work and I loved it. I felt very at home, for the first time. The community was starting to notice my work. I had exhibitions at National Galleries and salons throughout Paris, England, and China. After a solo show in a small salon at The Louvre, I got a call from the office of Jeff Koons. I had been offered a job in his sculpture studio in New York. I immediately packed my bags and moved to Harlem, NY.
While in New York, I spent the majority of my time working on Koons’ work. Even though my studio practice had been a bit neglected, my time with Koons really was what contributed to the refinement in my current series. After a while, I wanted to solely focus on my current work, so I left Koons. A short while later, while fine-tuning my new series, I met my husband, and we decided to leave New York and move back to California. Being back feels great. I am currently finishing up a very large, fabulous portrait and getting to know the art community around me.
We’d love to hear more about your art. What do you do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
My work is entirely honest. All of my subjects are interpretations of my own models. I don’t take anything from pop culture, photography, or anyone else’s work. My drawings and paintings are 100% born from my own mind. I really never had any message. When I don’t draw or paint, I start to fall apart. It’s something I have to do every day, like breathing. I guess my work is just my interpretation of how I see people.
What do you know now that you wished you had learned earlier?
Stop trying to make your drawing or painting be some preconceived idea you have in your head. Just let it happen. If you can learn to unfocus your eyes slightly, it helps to let go. Learn when to hold your tools with tension and when to hold your tools with fluid motions. Most importantly, learn when to stop. Understanding when a work is done and overworking it beyond help is a very fine line. Don’t overwork.
Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your artwork?
You can view my work on my website, www.aharperstudios.com. Beyond that, I am currently shopping around for a gallery for my next solo. My work is always for sale, and if anyone is interested, they can contact me through my website
- Website: www.aharperstudios.com
- Phone: (310) 422-2476
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @amyeharper