Introducing The Local Creative for July…
Located Shoalwater, Western Australia
Amanda is a writer, speaker, innovator, collector of green tea cups. She is a novice mum, knitter, sewer and crocheter. She is a friend, wife, lover, sister, daughter and a dork… She loves creativity, spirituality and cooking and often combines all three. She is passionate about social justice and working with children in the slums of Thailand and Indonesia. Husband of Charl and mum of Maximus and soon to be little miss Viviers. She lives a creative life, longing to see people lived inspired.
GC Tell us about yourself…
I am passionate about creativity and people finding who they are in the midst of our culture and its tirade against uniqueness and finding our brilliance.
As children we are transformed from young girls, who dance freely around the kitchen whenever music is played, to women who are uncomfortable that we might look silly or childish or fat.
As children, we play up to the camera, wanting someone, anyone to take our photo, we smile, we play, we react to the camera and then one day we become shy and worry about whether I am good looking enough, what I am wearing is okay, what others will think of my outfit.
As young children we cook with delight, making the most terrible breakfasts for our mums in bed, with cold toast and burnt coffee, but we are so proud, as we grow older we become afraid of inviting guests over for dinner, because my food isn’t up to master chef standard.
We draw, scribble, outside of the lines as a toddler and preschooler and then we hear negative word, one after another at school that we cant paint the sky purple, that girls must like butterflies and boys trucks and our creativity is year after year squashed into a place of perfection.
We are terrified at looking at a blank canvas, because what if I produce something that is not good enough and someone laughs at me.
The little girl who decorates her room with scarves and colours, dressing up her barbie dolls with bright colours, building teepees and forts out of scarves… who grows up afraid to invite anyone over to her house because it might not look like those amazing homes on Instagram and Pinterest.
Our creativity, goes from being so satisfying to a terrifying land of imperfection and drivenness to be amazing and over the top. We all have those stories.
Stories when we are satisfied, proud and excited about our creative pursuits, the meals we cooked, the new doona cover we bought and someone comes in and completely deflates us with criticism.
I believe that everyone is creative.
This is what I live for.
So I write, I crochet, I speak, I create, hoping to inspire another. Even just one and my heart is happy.
GC Tell us about your lot of crocheting & writing books…
Crochet is kind of like my muse. It’s not my first creative love. My first love is writing. Despite this though, I am quite addicted to my muse. I have just recently made up a pattern, which combines a wrap, a cardigan and a blanket together and called it a shwrap. I can’t wait to test it out on my little girl who is due in July.
Writing is what comes most naturally to me, I crochet as a form of meditation or thinking time in preparing to write. I am currently working on a book for women who are over 30 and single. It’s working title is ‘Yestember; single, over 30 and exhausted! I was single for ten years in my mid 20′s to mid 30′s and it was one of the most awakening periods of my life. I mean single, like no dates, no boyfriends, no nothing. Then one quiet Sunday night over Thai takeaway I met my body builder soon to be husband, who had arrived recently from New Zealand and my life was radically changed.
GC What inspires you to create?
Radical stories of overcoming
The more I travel, the more I meet new people and I experiences their uniqueness I believe that creativity and innovation is at the very core of our humanity.
The songs from foreign nations, the food served on platters that we have never tasted before. The clothing, the colours, the mountain ranges, the detail found in creation is breathtaking.
This is just the beginning of what inspires me to create.
I wrote all about this process in my first book Capture 30 days of inspiration.
GC What have you created that you’re most proud of, other than Max?
Can I say my next baby?
No really, one of my favourite creative achievements (if you can call it that) was the teams of creative people that I lead to go into Bangkok, Thailand and run creative arts day camps with children there. That is where I wrote my second book: Capture: 30 days of inspiration 2.
I recently wrote a post about this experience on my blog. It seriously changed the way I created. Realising that in the west we are so privileged, yet as creative artists we feel so hard done by. Here is the post that I wrote about this experience.
GC Your baby is almost here, what is the best thing about being a mum?
When they learn something new. Our current favourite is Maximus singing at the top of his lungs, galloping around our lounge room. It’s pretty special. Only a mother could love it though.
GC How do you decide on a baby name?
We have had two names right from the beginning of pregnancy one and it’s been hard to move away from them. Something just clicked, a boys name and a girls name and that’s it.
If we try overcomplicate it we get really stressed. The awareness that a name is for life is really full on. I am really passionate about the meaning of names more than its fashion status. We really believe as a couple that words have power and what we name things, speaks life into the future. So we have chosen strong names. It’s kinda how we roll.
GC Do you & Charl have some of those ‘I kind of like it but it’s too strange’ names on your list? What do you think of Mink, Paloma, Snow or Khaleesi..? Saw them on a blog recently.. Just in case you’re looking for ideas ;)
Ahh, no. We have Maximus and name number 2 nothing else.
GC What advice would you give to budding Local Creatives?
My advice would be just make. Keep making. I believe in the power of creativity to bring life and colour into the darkest places. So no matter what you love doing…whether it be cooking, crochet, painting, writing, gardening… Keep doing it. Keep learning. Stop comparing yourself to others and just have a go.
I grew up in an environment where there was no question ever if I was creative or not. I just assumed everyone lived the way that we did. My Nanna taught me to crochet whilst I was in primary school, my Granma was an amazing seamstress and knitter who would sell her clothes to be in the photos on the front of the pattern books.
My mum, was an actor, she was a children’s entertainer as a clown, she also would play an electric red guitar in the catholic church we went to every weekend. I would wake to the smell of sponge cakes cooking at 3 and 4 am, as my mum baked for the cafe she owned and later when I got to highschool she owned a fabric warehouse and we would sew and make things every afternoon.
The thought that some people thought of themselves as not creative never occurred to me.
So if you are a parent, my encouragement is that you create an environment, free of expectation and perfection and just get your children to make. The best way we can do this is by modelling it ourselves. Free of comparison and competition.
Just having a go.
Feeling the fear of imperfection and doing it anyway.
Interview – Kate Smithson Images – Amanda’s
How inspiring is that! If you would like to hear more from Amanda you can follow her blog. She is also one of 3 women who started an online network for women called Kinwomen which is also worth checking out. Green Couture is very pleased to offer you some of her lovely crocheted pieces for purchase in our online store which are available now – don’t miss out, they are VERY reasonably priced! If there are any left we will have them in our new store later this month so you can see their crocheted gorgeousness in person!
Hope you’ve enjoyed hearing from Amanda, have a great July! Kate