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Art & Life with Amanda Zappler

Today we’d like to introduce you to Amanda Zappler.

Amanda, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
Art is and has always been my key to the secret garden, my way down the rabbit hole, my looking glass. I began drawing and painting to illustrate stories that I wrote as a young child. My parents were very encouraging and “published” my stories to share with family members.

As a teenager, I attended a school for visual and performing arts in Chicago where I was fortunate enough to have very instrumental teachers who prioritized my creative growth. I escaped much of the turbulence of being an angst-ridden teenager through my art. I spent many hours at the Art Institute in Chicago gazing at the masterpieces on the walls, rather than attending my academic classes! I like to think that I absorbed some of the lessons in this craft by spending so much time in that awe-inspiring museum surrounded by the masters for countless hours. During high school, the only classes I really paid any attention to were art, dance, and theater. I simply wasn’t interested in anything else. After high school, I went to NYC and attended the Joffrey School of Ballet as an understudy.

I became a parent for the first time at an early age, and my visual and performing arts passions took a back seat to working, raising two spectacular daughters, and putting myself through school in order to achieve a doctorate in the allied health profession of audiology. I painted sparingly as a young mother, during kids’ naps and on rare weekends when there was downtime.

For the past 15 years, I have been able to recapture my passion for the arts and rekindle my interest in painting and illustration. I have attended classes at Laguna Gloria Art School, the University of Texas Informal Arts program and Austin Community College Arts Program.

Can you give our readers some background on your art?
I’m never far from a sketchbook or scrap paper, so I am constantly drawing or thinking about drawing. Sometimes these drawings are left in the sketchbook, the bottom of my purse or backpack, or remain in my imagination. At other times they develop into more in-depth ideas and detailed images that result in paintings. I primarily use gouache, pen, pastel, and acrylics on a variety of surfaces. I love the bright colors and rich textures that occur when mediums are combined.

I hope my art conveys a sense of hopefulness and joy. I experience so much pleasure from painting that it is my desire to pass a bit of this along to the viewer. If a piece of my artwork can bring a smile to someone as they pass by, then I have been successful!

What would you recommend to an artist new to the city, or to art, in terms of meeting and connecting with other artists and creatives?
I recommend joining artist collaboratives in your area. I belong to two in the central Texas region and find the artistic communion to be vastly rewarding. I have built relationships with other artists that foster creativity and growth in addition to excellent friendships!

What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
My artwork is available for viewing and purchase on my website; www.arteparalavida.info. I can also be found selling artwork at art pop-ups and farmers markets all over the Austin and Houston/Sugarland area.

I have art hanging in 9 local businesses in Austin at this time, and each month or two will rotate exhibits to other venues. My artwork is currently hanging at Urban Hair Salon, Orange Co-Working, Duo Works Co-operative Work Space, Magnolia Cafe, University of Texas Speech and Hearing Center, Magnolia ATX Salon, Bass Concert Hall, Cypress Grill Restaurant, and Cosmic Coffee and Beer Garden,

I participate in area art festivals and shows like the Sunset Valley ArtFest, Austin Flea, Round Rock Chalk Walk, and the City of Austin Arts Council’s Downtown Holiday Stroll

I paint commissioned portraits, children’s wall art, and murals, and I am nearly finished with illustrating my first children’s book that will publish in Spring 2019!

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Leland Isley

Getting in touch: VoyageHouston is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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