Skip to main content

Friday's Guest Artist Amber Leilani

New Orleans is filled with many fantastic artists.  So why not interview some of them once in a blue moon?  Lucky for me that my good friend and artist Amber of Amber Leilani Designs allowed me to interview her.
Amber
Amber is originally from Plains, GA and had visited New Orleans several times before deciding to make it her home in 1997.  Currently she sculpts paper clay into these fabulous dolls but before we get into that let us see how she got there.
Witches, dolls, and monsters oh my!
I met Amber at a gallery here in NOLA many, many, moons ago.  Back then she was designing and creating some incredible beaded jewelry.  My favorite are her beaded bracelets but she has also made some beautiful pendants.
Work in progress.
Picture by Amber Leilani
Amber had attend art school back in the day but decided it was not for her.  She is mainly self-taught and works part-time here in the city.

How does an artist function when they have to work AND do their art at the same time?
Amber's answer is, "I don't do it very well".  But if you ask me she does if VERY well.

What lead Amber to sculpting dolls?
Well, legend has it that one day while reaching for the remote control behind her sofa, Amber dislocated her wrist and tore a tendon.  This made it very difficult to work with tiny beads.  She turned to paper art.  Starting with rubber stamps and mixed media paintings to decorate her house but here is where the inspiration hit her.  She was meandering along the aisles of a book store where a magazine caught her eye.  It was Art Doll Quarterly.  She instantly became enamored! In her words, "I went out and bought my first block of paper clay and never looked back!"  Amber did not know how to sculpt but she learned quickly.
Amber's earlier work.
Picture by Amber Leilani
What and whom inspires you?
"Frida Kahlo, Day of the Dead, and just Creepy Stuff!"  I believe that this is why we connected.  We both LOVE Day of the Dead and Frida Kahlo.
Day of the Dead and Frida Kahlo doll.
What is next for Amber?  
Time for her to join the circus and head out of town!   

Her upcoming show will be held at Mariposa Gallery in Alburquerque, New Mexico on July 6, 2012, where she will be showing off a series of dolls.  Her inspiration for this show has been Grimm's Fairy tales
Little Red
Briar Rose
Those pictures were only teasers.  Visit Amber's blog to see the entire collection. You will not be disappointed.  

Her work can be found at Plum, Ragin' Daisy, Gogo, Poets Gallery (all located here in New Orleans) and at Mariposa Gallery in Albuquerque, NM.  She also has an Etsy store.

Talk about following your bliss! 
That is Amber in her Studio.
Congratulations Amber on your upcoming show!!! XO

Hope you enjoyed my guest artist.  Now it is time to go and create something, anything!  Have a great Friday and weekend!

Namaste
Kalaya

Comments

  1. thank you so much kalaya!! you really made me look less geeky and far more talented than i am!!

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

I would love to hear from you!

Popular posts from this blog

A Love Note To My Readers

Dear Friends,
My gallery has decided to move and it saddens me to say that I will not be going with them.  I have broken away from the herd.
So what now?
This is what I ask myself and to be honest I do not know.  
I turn to you.
The ones who come back to read...to listen to my failures, successes, and my angst.  I am grateful that you are still here.

The Society of North American Goldsmiths (SNAG) was here in New Orleans.  I was so thrilled.  I made new friends and visited with old friends and we had a blast!

Halstead held an exhibition along with SNAG at RHINO Contemporary Gallery.  200 kits went out and 30 pieces were selected for the Halstead Design Challenge.  My piece, What's Her Story? was selected to be among one of the 30.  I was so honored.
_/\_
Inspired by the women of Storyville and Bellocq's photography this brooch is the first in its series.
The story behind the story.
Every woman has a story, especially the women of Storyville (red-light district of New Orleans from 1897-19…

Mandalas

Mandalas have been on my mind a lot lately.  Struggling to find my truth.  I find making these in the studio calms me.
Even though I knew that hard solder melts at 1450 degrees I still had to try enameling the copper.  In theory the solder should not have run.  If I only took it out of the kiln a minute sooner this may not have happened. A total melt down but I love that color!  :) My intention for the above mandala was a ring.  The challenge was difficult but I managed to make it. I feel myself pivoting once again and feeling the need to create amulets and talismans but in sculpture form.

Each person's life is like a mandala - vast, limitless circle. We stand in the center of our own circle, and everything we see, hear and think forms the mandala of our life...everything that shows up in your mandala is a vehicle for your awakening.

~Pema Chodron

Namaste Kalaya

The Arrowmont Experience Pt. 1

I know from previous experience that I had to ask the driver to stop at a grocery store before dropping us off at Arrowmont.  I was feeling so good about having all my ducks in order and then this happened! I'm sure I screamed WTH because everyone was looking at me but I wasn't the only one in shock.
I was thinking...great!  Now I will have to walk to get my wine.  LOL!!!

Arrowmont for 2 entire weeks!  Yeah....Bring it on.  I can do this...roommate annd all.
I was in Anne Havel's All Fired Up: Who Knew a Torch Could Do All This?
My notebook for ALLLllllll the notes I'm going to take.
OMG!  I don't know where to begin.  I have so much to share.  Let's see...
I fell in love with a cup.
Annnd...then I bought a cup made by Jason B. Burnett.  He had me at the hexagons. Just an aside here.  I couldn't buy the cup I fell in love with.  Arrowmont has an assortment of ceramic cups in the mess hall to use.  I could post a cup a day on Insta but my friend did that.  …