Merging themes of femininity, fashion and luxury, Melbourne artist Amanda Johnstone has not only carved a niche for herself in the art world with her vibrant pop-art style, but within a short period of time she’s also developed a cult following of art-lovers who eagerly await her latest bold creation.
A mixed media virtuoso with roots in both design and fashion, Johnstone uses an array of techniques to breathe life into her original pieces. Digital layers, collage and a touch of luxury come together as she overlays 24k gold leaf, silver leaf, oil sticks, acrylic paints, and charcoal onto her canvas. The outcome is nothing short of spectacular – vibrant, spirited artworks that serve as striking focal points.
We caught up with Amanda who is as gorgeous as her artworks, to chat about her work and the inspiration behind them.
CH: You blend glamour and high fashion with bold colour, creating art that has a real edginess to it – do you always get it right the first time or is it an experimental process?
AJ: Oh definitely not! There are some pieces that just come together seamlessly and require very little editing, and then there is the folder of WIP’s (works in progress) which I constantly navigate back and fourth to, sometimes after photographing new flowers or accessories. And with all of my mixed media work I generally always print a small version of her first and experiment with paints, oils and gold leaf before finalising.
CH: Your art features a lot of very beautiful women, what does feminine energy mean to you? AJ: It is extremely important to me especially whilst raising my own super girl in today’s world. I feature a lot of 90:s super models as they were iconic to me growing up, and I think they are very powerful in todays world showing that they have gotten older, their may be grey an their size has changed however they are still embodying beauty and gracing covers of magazines. They were powerhouses.
CH: Was there a defining moment in your career where you thought ‘I AM an artist?’
AJ: Not yet hahaha. I’m always pushing myself to achieve more. I’m not sure when that feeling kicks in to be honest, but i know it’s coming.
CH: If you could collaborate with any interior designer who would that be?
AJ: Greg Natale – 100%!I absolutely adore his boldness. It’s a real talent to layer pattern upon pattern and use rich bold colour and still make it feel sophisticated and luxurious.
CH: What is your own personal art collection like and what artists inspire you?
AJ: My art collection is so varied, I have a lot David Bromley’s work from a long time friendship, I have a few prints by Nick Thomm and some sculptural pieces. Inspiration comes from a long list but a few i turn to regularly are Urs Fischer, Andy Warhol, Juri Trekow, Mert Alas and of course fashion photography!
CH: As owner of a luxury Italian furniture showroom, you’ve obviously had exposure to beautiful interiors, how does this influence your art?
AJ: Over the years we have sold many artists work through the showroom and that has enabled me to develop an eye for art that complements luxury furniture along with popular sizes and colour palettes. It’s also allowed me to work directly with a range of interior designers and provides me a luxury gallery space to display my work.
CH: How do you juggle, running a business with being both a mother and an artist too?
AJ: Juggle is definitely the word, hahaha, but I love it, my daughter Mila is incredibly creative so always loves travelling with me to all the art shows. She’s been brought up in the showroom so knows how to come along and be part of the process, I even let her paint some of the pieces sometimes!
CH: Where do you see yourself in 10 years from now?
AJ: I would like to have my own gallery with a cocktail bar, rotating all of the wonderful artist’s work that I have met through all the shows and art fairs. Somewhere for artists to showcase their art and put on great events.
Find out more about artist Amanda Johnstone and purchase her pop art prints at amandajohnstone.com.au