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E291 – Amanda Parker – How to use art as a stepping stone to get your story started

In this episode, we get to speak with Amanda Parker. She is a business owner and abstract artist. She’s been passionate around composition photography, game design, coding, lighting, UI, UX, video editing and storyboarding. When I read her bio on LinkedIn, It felt like I was reading about myself. I got to connect with her through her artwork on Instagram. I was  blown away by the level of creativity that went into her drawings, so I reached out and asked her to be a guest on the podcast and share her journey as well as talk about her many talents.

Amanda introduced me to a few concepts that I absolutely loved, from the 90-day hack to the guy who introduced Inktober to the world 10 years ago. To learn more about Amanda follow or contact her through Instagram: @artistaparker, Facebook: or her website:

Our Guest

Amanda Parker

Hacks to Take Away

  • How she got into her passion for composition photography, game design, coding, lighting, UI, UX, video editing, storyboarding.
  • Finding out her level of creativity.
  • Physics is always something she really loved.
  • She experienced a lot of different techniques and materials.
  • How she gets into fulltime art lessons.
  • Started collecting art supplies kind of always loved cranz and all the different colors.
  • She was a kind of a natural leader.


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Read Full Transcript

Junaid Ahmed 0:10
Thank you for tuning in to hacks and hobbies with your host Junaid. In Season Two of hacks and hobbies were visited by our amazing guests coming from all walks of life, what to learn their story, their struggles and their journey on how they got to where they are today. So stick around.

In this episode, we get to speak with Amanda Parker. She is a business owner and abstract artist. And she has a crazy passion for composition photography, game design, coding, lighting, UI, UX, video editing, storyboarding. It's almost like I'm reading about myself. So um, I got to connect with her by following her artwork on Insta. And I was just blown away by the level of creativity that went into her drawings and I was like, you know, manda. I'm really loving what you're doing. Would you be interested in coming on to my podcast hacks and happy century said, Yes, I would love to. So no, thank you so much for coming on to the podcast. Absolutely. Happy to be here. Fantastic. So I see that you while you are attending the Art Institute, you learn a lot of skills. But what really got you into the arts?

Amanda Parker 1:48
So when I was about 12, I did my first perfect realism drawing. And from there I had an excellent art art teacher in high school and she Somehow I would take like all of her classes three hours a day, I would take the yearbook class just to be in her class and she set up an advanced art room in the back for us. So she really nurtured all of me and like fellow artists skills. So that really got me into art. And then when I went to college, I really learned a lot more about and she really kind of put us at a college level. So when I went to college, it was like really easy to get in. And I was very overly prepared for it. And I learned so much about you know, game design at that point, and lighting and perspective things that she hadn't gone over yet because she kind of gave us free rein in the art world. So I experienced a lot of different techniques and materials. You know, I worked with oil painting, acrylic painting, watercolor, she let us do everything we even would pick up album covers and draw those sometimes. So that really got me into art, but I didn't believe that artists could make money until I was older. I was a waitress for a long time. And then I did some other jobs in the healthcare industry. But I started really nurturing. I started painting and I sold some things and I was like, okay, maybe I maybe I can do this full time, you know. So that's how it kind of went for me. And then I really got into abstract work. I kind of evolved into that later. I used to think that abstract was not as skillful as realism, because realism is just you know, where the, you know, it took so much to make realism look perfect. But then I realized abstract is actually the harder work because making an abstract work. Interesting. That's very difficult.

Junaid Ahmed 3:39
That's really cool. It's all coming back to me now. Yes, beautiful. Love it.

Amanda Parker 3:45
And now I give the full time, like art lessons. I've actually only got two to private students now, but um, one's an abstract artist, and she just recently sold her first work. I'm very proud of her and the other artist is a real ism artists. So it's two very different things to be teaching but it's really fun to to watch them learn in advance.

Junaid Ahmed 4:07
Wow. So, so these artists, students, these both art students, are they drawing on paper on Canvas?

Amanda Parker 4:15
Um, they're both painters. So yeah, so they're both working with acrylic paint and oil is a little bit more complex. I love to use every time I love oil paint, I love acrylic paint, watercolor everything but they both are. They were both brand new painters when I met them, one of them has a little bit of a background and drawing that's why she can do the realism. But the other girl literally had never picked up a paintbrush in her life, which has been very interesting and she's the one that sold the painting recently and shipped it all the way to California. I'm so proud.

Junaid Ahmed 4:52
That is really cool. Awesome, dude. There's there's different types of inks or paints that you can use. Paint. That's really Yeah, yeah, and you really have

Amanda Parker 5:04
to stick with one or the other so

Junaid Ahmed 5:06
you don't really get sweet. So they don't mix well. But you can use one type of paint for one painting and do a different painting on it with a different paint.

Amanda Parker 5:15
Yeah, the difference really is like oil painting requires a lot of extra kind of effort, because you have to clean the brushes differently because you can't just wash it off with water because it's oil and you have to the additives that you have to use to get a perfect, perfectly layered painting is really important. So you have to have a bunch of different oils that are like clear oils. And then you also have to go through a curing process which which can actually take up to six months you have to layer thick paint over thin paint. So it's a little bit more complex with acrylic paint, you can just anything you if you screw something up, you can just put some paint over it and it's dry within 20 minutes. You know You can layer it quickly. But if you do that with oil paint, it'll crack. So you really have to be careful. It will

Junaid Ahmed 6:06
crack because it become part of the chemists.

Amanda Parker 6:10
Yeah, it goes through a curing process. So typically your curing process process should only take about a week at most, you know, for the paint to dry. But if you put thick paint underneath in paint, and you'll get that cracking from that and paint on top, because that thicker paint is still trying to try

Junaid Ahmed 6:30
Oh, that makes sense. It's just like your, your normal ground when you have so much water coming through and as the water evaporates, you'll see your ground cracking. Yeah, exactly like that. That's really cool. Like I'm just thinking about paint now.

Alright, alright, cool.

So what motivated you to be an artist. What really brought you into that world? I mean, you said you started when you were you were 1212 years old. But did you have any inclination towards this before this or I think

Amanda Parker 7:18
that, you know, when I was a kid, you know, just drawing like Disney cartoons and things like that I, I just, I knew that I liked art. And when I was really, really young, I started collecting art supplies kind of always loved cranz and all the different colors. Even though now the majority of my work is actually black and white, black, just it's very pretty, but they like just a variety of things that you could use always just kind of made me interested in. And I think I don't think that I'm like a completely creative. I don't think that like you know how some people they're basically all creativity. No math, no science, they just, they're all art. I don't think I'm like that person, I'm more of like a, an in between half and half. Like I can see the art, I can see anything and draw it verbatim. But I also have this kind of like business side to me or entrepreneur deep inside. So even though but at the same time, like art really always has been just an interest in general to me. And even now, like one of the things that I do is teach students in Nigeria.

Junaid Ahmed 8:31
Oh, wow,

Amanda Parker 8:32
who I've met through Facebook, I've got Well, I have one student that I've been teaching for a couple of years. And then and he's in his late 20s. So but it's hard there because they can't they don't have the same opportunities that we have here. Yes, education, and things like that. So I've I've just made him like videos on YouTube, and then he just goes back and I correct his work, kind of live in a video and then show it to him.

Junaid Ahmed 8:59
That's right. Really cool.

Amanda Parker 9:00
And he's, he's awesome at realism. You know, he's doing a perfect job on realism. So

Junaid Ahmed 9:07
really cool.

Amanda Parker 9:08
Yeah. So I like doing things like that to just kind of like giving back to people using kind of that business side a little bit too, just by running my own business and not kind of working for anyone, even though I wouldn't mind being like an art director. I think I'm just kind of a natural leader. Yeah. Anyway,

Junaid Ahmed 9:28
that's really cool. So I was thinking about, um, there's this one guy I follow on Twitter. Joseph Gordon Levitt, probably heard him He's an actor as well. But he started this company, this website with his brother called hit And, as it hit record, com can't remember. But hit record is all about, you know, just hit the record button. Just start shooting. So he they weren't to film They wanted to shoot some self study, like, you know what, let's create this community where I'm good. You know, look, for example, you're good, great illustrator, or, you know, you've got real talent in that area. But then somebody is, has written a really nice piece that could go with an art that you could draw. So there's a lot of color. There's a ton of collaboration going on over there. They've been around for a few years now. And, um, I recently started following, or, I mean, I've been following Joseph Gordon love it, Joe, but recently, I have the bell icon on so every time he has a tweet, I get a message. And he's constantly you know, sending, you know, go check out this project you have you have a black and white photo on your phone, go go here and posted here. So there's a ton of collaboration and what people will do is they'll Like people will post up audio, no audio voiceovers, they'll put up images, photos, something somebody has drawn, and music and then somebody will basically take all of those together and make a like a short film. Awesome. Really cool. So there's

Amanda Parker 11:20
that. Oh, yeah. right up my alley.

Junaid Ahmed 11:22
Yeah, it is. And there was this one post that he had posted recently where he's like, somebody had posted this image of a robot and then the person posted an image of a illustration of a little tweet bird or a bird. So this one dude, he goes on the side of a wall, he paints both of those images together. And the third person basically films the whole thing now it's like a little short video with music attached to it and all came out of this community.

Amanda Parker 11:58
Oh, that's such a great idea. Love

Junaid Ahmed 12:00
really cool. It's really cool. So I like that. Yeah, I tell people go check this out. And if you don't have story ideas, because a lot of time, like a videographer myself, I don't have story ideas, but I love to shoot. So I go there and I say, Okay, let's see what I can find if there's a script, if there's a short thing that I can shoot around and have these challenges going on, as well. It's really cool. It's really

Amanda Parker 12:25
awesome. I'll be checking that out right after this.

Junaid Ahmed 12:28
Yeah, I did.

Amanda Parker 12:29
I met some people on Instagram in the past and one was a photographer, and he knew my model. So I don't know if you seen this on my Instagram, but we collaborated. And the girl you know, we took a we did like a three hour session, photography shoot all on like Skype. And I later took her images and inked over them. So it's like a she's kind of like moving our hands through the ink and things like, yeah, it's a different type of thing. But the collaboration is a lot of fun.

Junaid Ahmed 13:08
Yeah, it's very, very important. And without collaboration, we just be sitting.

Amanda Parker 13:18
Doing nothing, I guess. Yeah, it's true. It definitely makes a lot more like you said, that's so cool with like the robot, the bird and then you know, putting in a little animation, music. That's such a great idea. So yeah, I think some people could definitely play with my art.

Junaid Ahmed 13:36
Yeah, you know, so. So a lot of a lot of your art. It looks like it could be expanded and have multiple. Like some of some of the things are like on it on one Canvas, but looks like you can expand it and have it on multiple campuses. And one thing that I keep thinking about is, you know, I have an empty space in my living room. It's it's this really wide wall and I don't want to put like a random photo there or random painting because a lot of the times the painting is, you know, four by three or, you know, they have specific sizes. I like I want it super wide and just haven't found that I mean I keep looking looking but lot of your artwork, it expands multiple art boards now it's like, what if I could take in a four of them and put the put them all together in such a way that far we can see this image but then it also fills out the wall nicely. Yeah, thinking of different ways of Yeah, you know, in my,

Amanda Parker 14:48
in my husband's office, and you see he's got just like a plethora of my inks on his walls, and they just, he just kind of arranged them in a different way that you know, Maybe a frame like up a little bit and then the other next one down a little bit, and then the one next one in the middle or something. And it just looks awesome. It looks like a really cool way to do it. But there's so many different ways that you can frame things and for that my other friend he, he takes photos, you know, he travels the world a lot. So he takes photos and he just puts them behind glass frame around it. Yeah, all you can see is like so there's just no edge and actually a really easy way to put it on the wall and also a lot less expensive way. Put them put them on your wall and make it look really cool.

Junaid Ahmed 15:37
Exactly. There's even this site I think I ran into, they'll print your photos on top of class. Oh, yeah, that's, that's cool. But I was like, looking at it looks like okay, this. This sounds pretty cool. So we'll have to collaborate with my wife and figure out what we want to put out there. Right because again, There is a space. Yeah, which he likes. his living room is a space we, you know, it's like okay, if if big companies coming, then you know, it's reserved for like adults and uncles and parents because but anytime like my friends and they come over you know, we're hanging out in the family room on the backyard. Right? My workshop. Awesome. Well, we talked about a lot of cool things and into illustration. And we talked about your motivation, your journey, how we came here. Is there something you know, I'm just blanking right now. So, um, you like video editing? That's something that we're we're always looking at video editors. And when when myself Diana and Chris we met yesterday. We're like, you know, we need to we need an editor and we need some Who can edit our videos? Because Chris was like, Yeah, I have a terabytes of footage to have.

Amanda Parker 17:07
Oh my goodness.

Junaid Ahmed 17:08
That's like, you know, I have like, a few terabytes myself just sitting around. I'll listen with random video that I shot. But you need you really need a story to go along those videos and I keep looking through all of my content. I'm like, this is really cool. How would I combine it and put it together?

Amanda Parker 17:31
Yeah, sounds like you need almost like a storyboard. Yes. of this or it not even like a full fledged storyboard. It could even be just something quick and sketchy. Yeah, show. You know. And you can even make that with a video that you have kind of almost like a trailer to that. But yeah, it's definitely something I like to do is edit a little bit. is like the Adobe Suite. I don't know if you use that. And I don't be Creative Cloud. Yeah, Adobe Premiere and. And then there's like after effects and you can do so much with it. Yeah, make it look really professional. So

Junaid Ahmed 18:13
Oh, yeah. Yeah. Like No, you're totally right. I just got to just go to storyboard it out. And make basically come up with a story that would use the the videos that I've shot. Right.

Amanda Parker 18:30
Yeah. And that takes, that takes a lot of mind power.

Yeah, it takes Yeah, exactly. You have to put the brainpower into it to make it happen. And that's kind of

kind of,

I feel like sometimes I get focused on one area. And that like I'll do a video for a while and then it will just sit on my computer and I'll just be letting it kind of, I don't know manifest into something. And then eventually I'll go back to it and edit the video and finally put it out there. I've got like, like three or four videos that I could just I could put out there at any point. It's just, I think about all those details and like what? And that's the important thing to like, how do you create that story? And how do you how do you make it good enough that people actually want to watch it?

Junaid Ahmed 19:17

Amanda Parker 19:18
And what do you want it to be about? And if you start making this one story, then what's your next story going to be? Are you going to be like an inspirational type person? Are you going to be? Are you just going to tell a drama or make a comedy, you know, and you have to kind of think about all that with even your first production. And I think I can change over time. It can evolve. You don't have to get too pigeonholed into one area you don't have to.

And it's good to stay open, I think. Yeah, I

Junaid Ahmed 19:48
think that's where I'm stuck at myself. Because I have so many different areas of interest and I keep coming along and I'm like okay, I keep sitting with the pencil and the paper and I write stuff down like okay, this makes sense. What's the next thing in a night? It's like squirrel effect. No. Yeah, go look at that squirrel. Right? Um, but yeah, definitely. You definitely need a quiet space so you can let your mind wander and then refocus it then you can. And I think it helps when you talk to other people who have gone through the process. definitely helps.

Amanda Parker 20:31
Yeah, have you heard of? Okay, two things. Have you heard of 90 day here? Have you heard of that strategy? Well, the idea behind that is you have for 90 day increments in a year. So if you just focus on one thing, whether it's building your YouTube channel, making a short film, you know, for me it might be making several paintings or something. Just see what you can do for 90 days and Let's see how you feel after those 90 days and you want to change it for the next 90 days, but literally focus on one thing like hardcore. I think that's like a really good strategy, even though I don't personally implement it in my life. I wish I did. I like like, I think about it and but I'm just like, you know, I have such a wide variety of interests. I can word, doing the same thing. And I think a lot of that is just kind of our modern technology in our modern society. Yeah, where we're at now. So we all kind of like to do different things. Absolutely. But I have another friend. His name is Cody, Ray Lucero on Instagram. And I've watched him over the past couple years and he has just focused on being a rap artist. And now he's got like over 10,000 fans, got over a million listens on Spotify. He has tons of songs that he just keeps, you know, he just keeps working on it hard, you know, and now he's doing shows and You know, he's, he's really like, I don't know, his big thing is like, just focus on one thing. And I would talk to him about, you know, he would say, Well, I kind of want to be maybe like a music producer, I don't know.

Junaid Ahmed 22:11

Amanda Parker 22:12
and stuff like that. But at the same time, he's still hitting it hard on the one thing that he wants to do, and he has grown his audience, you know, tenfold over these past two years. I mean, he started just where I did I only have like 800 followers on Instagram, but I don't really post that much and I assistant addiction like he does, and it really does show focus can do for you know, absolutely, there's a book called The one thing

Junaid Ahmed 22:40
if you've heard of it,

Amanda Parker 22:42
might have heard of, but your hand

Junaid Ahmed 22:46
so he not this is by the one thing. He basically talks about how you should just focus on one thing sometimes it's only The thing you do, but it's only the one thing that delivers extraordinary results. It's who's the author of this book? Or is it guy, Gary Keller and Jay Pappas, on there, the two authors for this book, and they have a 66 day challenge. And you basically focus on one thing for 66 days, and then that becomes your hobby, or your habit or hobby. The hobby then becomes a habit. So again, workflows and then focusing on that one thing, just like you said, 90 day year, you're focusing focusing on one thing only if you're able to get more out of it, because now people see you that you're the expert in that specific area. Right. And just like you've you, I think you focused pretty well on your Think addict from the future ability on Instagram because, you know, that's the main thing everybody gets from you that you've got really so you got that focus down already. And what's really cool is as you get that habit down, now you can add one more thing to this habit. It's like you're already brushing your teeth every day, twice a day. Just add a habit to you know, floss your teeth, maybe at night time, or before you go to bed instead of taking your phone, read five pages from book putting it put on your nightstand, your sleeps now you're building it, building habits in attach with something that you already do by default. So that's that's the one thing that he talks about in the book and it's really cool and I think it falls in line with the 90 day year.

Amanda Parker 24:58
Yeah, yeah. Really just it shows how important it is.

I think if if we can all find more of that focus and like we're saying, like I was saying earlier just that in a modern world Excuse me. I'm in a modern world, it's difficult to maintain that focus. And if

it is true that

Yeah, you just have one up in the game of life.

Junaid Ahmed 25:28
Yeah, it's I think it's, I think mainly it says squirrel effect that we all have. It's like, oh, let me go see what he's doing. Right shiny object getting bored the as the shiny object effect, right? And if you so Pat Flynn of Smart Passive Income says the riches are in the niches. Meaning when you niche down and you just focus on the one thing that you're great at. You can build that audience just like your friend He's like, I'm just gonna gonna focus on rap, and nothing else.

Amanda Parker 26:03
Right. And so he has that side dream of being a producer. Yeah, definitely. I mean, I feel like that will definitely be something that he gets out of his life in the future.

Junaid Ahmed 26:14
Exactly. So, really cool.

Amanda Parker 26:20
Oh, one more thing, Jake Parker, he does in October every year, and I read his website and he said, if you're an artist, and this is one of the best things, the best tips, I could even give an artist as well, which is turn your project projects into products. So, you know, I'm doing inks over. I've done that for the past two years. But um, you know, if I can turn that into a coloring book, then I'll be better off, you know, I can make money off of, you know what I've done, and I've made a coloring book before. So this would just be another coloring book. And it would also Fulfill my interest in doing things. Such if you don't know what it is, it's 30

days. Yeah.

Junaid Ahmed 27:09
Sorry. Yes, I've heard of the term October. In fact, there is a connection of mine on LinkedIn. He did the October and he's done some amazing illustration. I was like, Wow, dude, that's amazing, amazing illustrations. Can't remember his name, but um, when I do find him, I will let you know his name.

Amanda Parker 27:36
Okay. Yeah, that's cool. Yeah, it's become such a movement and for Jake Parker, that's, you know, he's the kind of the go to now for inked over he does the annual prop prompt lyst. And he, you know, inspire so many people. So that's really cool.

Junaid Ahmed 27:54
That's really cool.

Amanda Parker 27:57
That's something I don't know if I'm You wanted to talk about but who inspires me?

Junaid Ahmed 28:03
Yeah, yeah, absolutely. Your inspiration.

Amanda Parker 28:08
Yeah. So there's a guy on YouTube, his name is Peter draws, and he does ink drawings and he just does kind of like Nelly willy nilly ink drawings. And he's been doing it for years. And he's done some glow ink episodes and he makes videos. And he's added songs to his little videos now and he just talks over the top of it about, you know, whatever he feels like talking about Yeah. Um, but he's very encouraging to other artists. And I wasn't really doing much with ink until I saw his YouTube videos and was like, you know, I'm actually interested in picking up ink again, because I've always thought it was a really interesting medium to work with. And literally since 2017, I've been thinking because of that guy.

Junaid Ahmed 28:53

Amanda Parker 28:54
this little props to Peter draws there.

Junaid Ahmed 28:57
He smokes. He's amazing.

Amanda Parker 29:01
Yeah, yeah, he's really cool. He's really developed his style over the years. And he kind of goes through, like a period of time where he he's sticking with kind of one thing. Right now he's doing more straight line projects, and he used to do all he would never really do many straight lines. So it's cool. And sometimes he does these little dioramas where he draws lines out from his artwork, and he, he writes what it is, and he makes just really funny statements about art. So but he, he's really cool. definitely want to check out and also draw with jazz, I think it's called something like that. He's got like 4 million plus followers on YouTube. Yeah. And he he just kind of, he does characters all day like cartoon characters. Well, I watched one of his videos where he tried to draw realism again, and he was like, This is so bad. You know, he was like, just drawing this little pencil sharp writer and he was like, Oh man, I just haven't done realism in so long. And it's funny because his characters are like realistic characters, you know what I mean? So, it's interesting how everyone kind of goes down their own path. But you do start with realism. No matter who you are as an artist. If you master realism, kind of gain that respect from everyone. It's like if you go far enough back on my Instagram page, you can see some realism. Nice, but you have to go all the way back to the beginning.

Junaid Ahmed 30:33
So Kim, I'm on the computer so I can go Louie.

Amanda Parker 30:37

Junaid Ahmed 30:39
Nice that that's really cool. Um, I, so you probably heard of Adam Scott through Dilbert comics. Okay, right. So he loves to draw also and he, he's got a really cool book and where he talks about, you know, his little journey and how he grew his company or his He got back into comics. And for the longest time he he was working for the man. He was, you know, working for somebody else at a bank. And he was like, every time I tried to quit, I would get a promotion.

Amanda Parker 31:18
That's funny. That's, that's a good thing.

Junaid Ahmed 31:20
It's a good thing, right? So he's like, Okay, and then the one time that he did quit his job, he found another job much better. And right after he quit, like a month later, that company went under. Oh, wow. So like he like avoided all these calamities for just when you one reason or another. Anyhow, anyhow, he talks about how he got into drawing Dilbert. And he's like, I'm just going to draw what happens in corporate culture because he spent years and years in corporate culture. He was able to pull that You know, start drawing this comics. And I was really fascinated by that. And then I think I picked up this one book that teaches you how to draw characters or how to draw comics and the level of details you need to have versus when it when it's too much detail because you're already fitting in it and you know, in a two by three inch area, so how much detail you need to provide versus so that was really cool. But yeah,

Amanda Parker 32:30
that is a good point, using what you've learned in your life or whatever you can take from real life. Yeah. And put it into your work. I did that with like, like with improv, which I do on the side. You know, it's a lot about just taking who you already are as a person. Yeah. And emphasizing that.

Junaid Ahmed 32:50
That's really cool.

Amanda Parker 32:52
One of the artists that I met when I was I went to three colleges. I didn't mention that but i When I was really young, I went to a college in my hometown. And I saw this guy, his name is Rick hurt herder I think, or something like that. Don't Don't quote me on that. But I know his first name is Rick. But when 911 happened, they actually sent they gave him he was a he was a guy who drew airplanes. And he did it perfectly. And they found him. The government found him and paid him half the sum of money to put a couple of paintings in the Pentagon that show the 911 attacks. And so he got all the confidential files and things like photos from those ways. And he was able to put them together to draw a completely accurate photo of basically New York City, you know, the layout at the time. And then, or it was a huge painting, not just a drawing. Yeah, but um, one of the things he said For these realistic artists draw for the 1% of people that will critique you, not for the 99% of people that will tell you great job. Exactly.

Junaid Ahmed 34:10
And I think that's a really important thing to remember to. Very important. Yeah, you're not doing it for everyone you want it. And that that shows you the mission down right? near as much as you can, because you're focusing on that one person that's going to tell you, you know, honestly, what's wrong with your stuff? Right, and help you get better, rather than everybody's like, oh, great job. We can do this. There's two Bry hero.

Amanda Parker 34:40
Right? You're amazing. I can't believe what you've done. It's like, and for the artist, you get tired of hearing things like that. You just want someone to give you an honest critique. It's how you know, I can only hear that for so long. Like just tell me what I'm doing that I could do better or what you would like to see. And sometimes it takes someone to actually be get angry with you and tell you off and they say, well, your art looks all the same. Anyway, everything looks exactly the same. And I'm like it anymore. Okay, thank you. I needed that.

Junaid Ahmed 35:14
So, so, so true. Because we all need criticism, even though as much as we don't want it, but we need it.

Amanda Parker 35:24
Yeah. That can be hard to take sometimes. I remember one time in college, where I've always been good at taking criticism again, because of my art teacher when I was in high school. She Yeah, he made us all stand up, put up our drawings and critique each other. And in high school, everyone is ruthless. So they'll tell you the truth about what they think so I got I got hard skin early on from that. But then when I went to college, we had done these self portraits, and I had taken these really accurate measurements. And my teacher was like, you know, this isn't correct proportion. There's no way it could be this way. I was like, Yes, it is. And I was like, you know, I, I was so stubborn at that time to see that my my teacher was actually right about that. And it's it's not healthy to be that way. I think that was the last time I took a bad critique and I or a good critique, and I thought it was bad for me. It's really, I think it's, it's a learning curve to accept the criticism and just get over it. Another thing you have to do is learn to get rid of your artwork, a lot of you know people, they, they start painting I've got one of my students, she's, she's painting these realistic paintings. And she said, Amanda, I really don't want to part with this one. You know, it's my first time drawing a human and I've done it so well and I don't want to give it up. And I thought you know, your house can only for one thing, your house can only have so many paintings and she's filling up her walls now. And not only that, when I was younger, I used to feel the same way. So I had all of my artwork from high school, like, you know, four years of work laying on my bed because I had my I had just had my graduation party, and the, and there was a leak in my ceiling that night. So all of my artwork was kind of ruined from my school. And that really taught me in that moment. It took me years to realize I actually stopped stopped working on art for about six years after that I'm so depressed.

Junaid Ahmed 37:28
Yeah, but,

Amanda Parker 37:30
and I like cried for two days straight. Because it was all my work that I had ever done. And it was it was gone. And that made me realize that you just kind of get rid of this stuff. Your art is there to share with the world. It's not for you to dislike hoard and keep in your house, you know, you really got to find a way to part with it. And I think that's important for artists to know as well.

Junaid Ahmed 37:52
No, that's that's that's what Marie Kondo is teaching us right? Who Marina Kind of. She's all about declaring.

Amanda Parker 38:05
Oh, really? I like that. It's It's,

Junaid Ahmed 38:07
um, she's she's got a show on Netflix. Okay, all about de cluttering.

Amanda Parker 38:13
Okay. Yeah. So I should check that out. Yeah, it's

Junaid Ahmed 38:18
she's like, you need to make three piles one pile for things that really move you on Paula doesn't do anything for you. And then that way you can eliminate all the junk in your house and you know, live a peaceful life because essentially all these things that are in our home and I'm looking around my office, it's, it's a burden on your head.

Amanda Parker 38:41
It is that is such a good point. I actually, my husband and I were we're thinking about moving to a bigger space a two bedroom apartments that have a one bedroom. And you know, it's just the two of us. We don't, we don't necessarily need that much more space. I was thinking I needed an office and whatever. But we have a pretty big one bedroom apartment and I have a Two art spaces in this apartment one in my bedroom and then one in like the kind of what would be the dining area and it's really plenty of space. So we just decided to paint our walls and kind of give it a facelift. We got new appliances from our from the people we ran from which was great. But um, we got rid of I kid you not maybe like 500 pounds of stuff out of our apartment in the last few months we've just been slowly working on it in our living room used to have a bookshelf like this Martha Stewart been with like nine shelves on it and then like a whole shelving unit for shoes when we walked in and things like that and we also collect Fine fine minerals.

And we so the minerals are kind of

there in like glass cases. So there you can see a lot of different things going on in there once so we took out Everything, we took out everything except for the minerals, and we painted our wall, a dark color, and now there's nothing. There's like nothing distracting from my work day. And he was. And I had no idea the impact of all that stuff and what it was really doing to my mind, and how much it was distracting me from what's important. So now it's like everything is focused on my art. And

Junaid Ahmed 40:23
that's, that's really powerful. Because every time I come to my office, in my basement, I'm looking around, and there's piles of paper dying to go through this clothes that need to be posted online. There's shelves, you know, we are full of stuff and they are not arranged. And I was like, you know, I just need to focus on what I need to do right now. And then I'm going to leave this room and I go to my workshop, and there's things everywhere. There's like 10 different projects that are waiting to be finished. And I'm like, I need to get this under control. Because if I died tomorrow, all of this is trash. Mm hmm. Right? So,

Amanda Parker 41:00
right, all the unfinished projects. Yes. All the books we wrote in our head how the movies were filmed in our mind.

Junaid Ahmed 41:07

Amanda Parker 41:08
They're all just, they go with us. So it's important to just get out there and

Junaid Ahmed 41:13

Amanda Parker 41:14
And do all that. And also, yeah, just like you said, it's all I never really thought about it that way. But it is just garbage fear. Yeah.

Junaid Ahmed 41:23
Exactly. Um, there's there's a book I recently read. By just awesome gentlemen.

Todd Henry, he writes a book called die empty. Unleash your best work every day. And he says, you know, so he started with the thing with a question. He's like, you know, what's the most expensive land in the world? And people start naming all these, you know, Manhattan, Paris, blah, blah. Like, no, it's the graveyard because all the people that died that didn't envision their plans. And on the last day of, of your you know, before you die, you're not going to be like, Oh, I wish I spent one more day at work. No. You would say I wish I had shot that phone. I wish I'd written that book. And do you know, do that thing that's really in your head? So yeah, yeah, if you just want the money, do all those things that come to you as they

Amanda Parker 42:32
happen, then it won't become like a snowball of items. You haven't done a huge list of things you haven't done. It'll just become the one thing or the many things that you have done. Yes, that's a really good way to look at it. Especially. I don't know about you, but for me, it's like, I don't have I'm not forced to do anything. I just, I can run my own business. I can make money or I cannot make money. It doesn't matter too much because you know, my husband provides a lot for me. So

It's inner commitment that I need and inner motivation and things like that.

Junaid Ahmed 43:06
Yeah. But

it takes a lot of effort.

Amanda Parker 43:10
not real. You have to just force yourself to do things.

Junaid Ahmed 43:14
Yes, exactly. It takes a lot of effort. I spoke with this gentleman today, Tyler Christensen, and he talks. He's a teacher, author. And, you know, his in his journey, he talks about how he was just a student, and he was talking to me, he's a teacher, he's a teacher. And he's talking to his to his students about importance of blogging. And so the kids, you know, when a kid says, like, do you have a blog, and he's like, well, I used to write and written in the wild. So he, he really loved football. So he started writing a blog on football. And so he's able to grow each of this each of his little blogs. something substantial and then move on to the next one. So I was like, you know, that's a really cool idea and when I was at a website and I was like he's got all these things that he does he said he looks just like me based on you know what he's doing with his mind, I need to do something. So my wife my website looks like this and I have some place that I can send people go check this guy out. Because right now if you just go to my website, super Junaid calm. It's just blog post about random things. There's no introduction you don't know who you're talking to. So thing you need to revamp and do that for myself as well.

Amanda Parker 44:43
Yeah, I feel like I keep even like for the website, I'll do like even 70% of it and then I'll just focus on it.

Junaid Ahmed 44:51
Yes, and then

Amanda Parker 44:52
it's like, I just want someone to do this for me just sell all my art for me because I don't like the sales aspect of things. This one, I don't like the website building as much anymore. I'll build websites. You know, sometimes a friend will ask me to do a side project and help them with their website, build a blog, whatever, whatever they need, you know.

Junaid Ahmed 45:11
Yeah. But if you do it for somebody else because you're not attached to it.

Amanda Parker 45:17
Exactly. Yeah, that's that's definitely where I'm at. And that's why it's good to get side projects because you know, working for others is a lot easier. Even I guess just met them or whatever.

Junaid Ahmed 45:29
Yeah, it is it ladies here. All right. We've talked about a lot of amazing things. We've gone into your mind and pull some really awesome stuff out. really passionate, lots of lots of learning experiences. lyst Let's ask some of the questions that I asked my guests. Okay. What is one hobby that you wish you got into?

Amanda Parker 45:55
Oh, so the main thing is stand up comedy. I always wanted to be a stand up comedian, but And I do improv now I've been doing it like 1.5 years. And you can see me do the improv. I do like maybe four shows a month now, but I still haven't gained the stamina, the strength to go out and do do the stand up. So, I think, unfortunately, I've been letting fear guide my life a little bit in that regard. But hopefully, I'll be doing that. In the next six months. I've talked to a couple other girls and we're all going to go to an open mic together so it's not as hard and we're going to take our first shot at it. So that's for me, that's definitely the one thing that the final frontier for me that I haven't, you know, done so nice.

Junaid Ahmed 46:45
I like it. I've wanted to be a stand up comedian for a while as well. It's, it's been pretty it's been pretty fun. It's been pretty fun. So far, I've got into the video area, video production and whatnot. But it's been not the comedy part yet.

Amanda Parker 47:09
Yes, that's where I think like, maybe I could implement the comedy a little bit more into my art videos. I know in a couple of them. I did put a little comedy in there, like just like subtle humor. And people who actually listen to it, watch the whole video. When they caught that part, they're like, Oh, that's really funny. You know that? That's good. It's like, I just need to actually maybe go for it and make a funny video. You know, like, just actually focused on that. Because Yeah, that would be fun to do. And now I've got this full time group we practice every Sunday and then we do the shows. So there's no reason not to.

Junaid Ahmed 47:46
Yeah, exactly. You're, you're already have an audience that's interested in what you're talking about. So might as well. Yeah. As will bring it out. Awesome. What is your favorite movie or TV show?

Amanda Parker 48:03
Mine is the prestige from a long time ago. I like that one. Yeah, I really like it just because it really was one of the last movies I watched that kind of surprised me halfway through. And then it surprised me a couple more times until the ending, which was rather striking. And if a movie can do that, I'm pretty happy about it. The problem is, after that movie, I think it was after that movie, I went to game art and design school. And so now like, I know how, what to expect with movies and story like because I took all the advanced creative writing courses that I could I maxed out my creative writing. Yeah, so I learned a lot about, you know, when you watch a movie or read a book, this is how it's going to happen, or this is how it should happen. So now I feel like I'm ready for every twist. And I'm always predicting things and my husband will be like, Oh, yeah, you predicted that in that show, like six episodes ago, and I was like, Yeah, well

The writer just follows the rules of writing then it.

Junaid Ahmed 49:06
But that was, have you ever thought of writing? Like, for, like a short film or

Amanda Parker 49:12
Yeah, actually, I have a really awesome book idea that I've written two full chapters, and I've written the premise for 22 chapters, it's a full it's the full thing. But then I think about it, because it would be a very good story to tell it'd be a very good movie. Nice. And it would be and it's something that I still haven't seen out there yet. So I would love to do that. I have a couple ideas like that and I write some short stories on the side. I just don't do anything with them.

None of those other things that I do

Junaid Ahmed 49:47
know it's important to have something because as tutors and as cinematographers we're all looking, always looking for those stories and just talking to my friend Diana, and She's like, you know, I want to enter a film festival next year. So she's like, I'm gonna write a story. And I think he's written some really cool things. pretty dark ones as well. And we'll see what what happens next.

Amanda Parker 50:16
Sounds awesome. I would love if you ever if you ever want to, like collaborate on something like that, and you will I would love to have local anyways. Yeah, totally. And I have a cool, I have a really cool story. I've told it to people and they really think it's a cool story that you know, they're always asking like, how did you come up with that? That's such a different premise or whatever. And I think that it it's not like totally crazy out there innovative because like, you know, you can you can get a little too weird and like people don't accept it. But it just, it's just a unique story. It's just a good story. I would love to share it.

Junaid Ahmed 50:50
Awesome. We'd love to talk more about it.

Amanda Parker 50:54
Yeah, sounds like we're going to collaborate in the future.

Junaid Ahmed 50:58
Oh, yes. Oh, yes. You're okay. What? So we talked about your favorite movie? What movie would you choose? If you got to play a character in it? Would it be the prestige?

Amanda Parker 51:12
I don't think it would be the prestige.

I think I would do a movie based on time travel.

What's that one? It's like one of my favorites.

I think it's like something about the time traveler. I think that's what it's called the time travel. Okay. Where he goes back. This guy goes back in time. And he keeps trying to save his wife for a while. And then it doesn't work for him the time machine.

Oh, that's what it is time machine. With Guy Ritchie.

Yeah, that's it. Yeah, that's one so I would be him and that movie would be a guy.

I'm okay with that.

But yeah, I would just travel through time. I love that movie. No, it's really good. They depicted time travel

Everything and how he went to a totally different time and the future is like our school.

And they accepted that life was the way it was the people that he met and then he saved them. Like by thinking outside the box. I love that element of it.

Junaid Ahmed 52:15
Yeah, go peers. Okay, Richie. Yeah, you got it. Awesome. All right. So, Amanda's gonna be guy, Richie. scientist and inventor. That's right. Time Travel

Amanda Parker 52:32
major physicists.

Physics is always something I really loved. So physics was amazing. Yeah, it's funny because I wasn't really that big into math. But as soon as I took physics, I was like, man, like, this is so interesting.

Junaid Ahmed 52:47
Yeah. It's the application of mathematics, not just plus minus.

Amanda Parker 52:51
Yeah, how does the curve work how hard it is, and that plays into animation quite a bit because you squash squashing a ball. Stretching a ball and making a perfect arc and timing and how it goes faster and then slower and you know, it's very interesting. It is.

Junaid Ahmed 53:09
It is. It is. It's really cool. Alright, so who's your favorite superhero?

Amanda Parker 53:16
superhero? Man, I'm gonna go with Deadpool.

Actually, it's not even Deadpool is probably like that girl who's in the latest Deadpool movie, and she has the skill of luck because he keeps telling her luck is not a skill, but she has like the craziest luck. It makes her survive and everything and so she's my favorite. I don't know who she

Junaid Ahmed 53:40
but Lucky Strike. Is it?

Amanda Parker 53:43
Oh, is that her name? Something? Yeah,

she's awesome.

She's awesome. She's got that. That awesome skill.

Junaid Ahmed 53:52
Nice. I like it. All right. Last question. If you were a board game, what would it be?

Amanda Parker 54:00
board game.

I like

kind of like more complex board games like

which one would I actually be?

I think I'm going to pick a card game, which is flux is actually created by a couple people who I think live in DC or the DC metro region at least okay? And they quit their jobs I think it NASA to do this or at least one of them work there something to make games and they've become wildly successful but flux I choose that because it's an ever evolving game. That's cool. And, you know, change the rules change as you play the game. So that's what I really like.

Junaid Ahmed 54:44
Nice. Is it FLUXX? Yep. Nice. Yeah, they look very cool.

Amanda Parker 54:53
Yeah, it's a fun little family game.

Junaid Ahmed 54:56
There is one with Marvel. Marvel sucks came

Amanda Parker 54:59
out Okay,

at one time as a gift someone gave me my flux for pirate like pirates.

One of the rules was you had to like say are

and I was like, I don't know about this one.

And stick to the regular one. Go.

Junaid Ahmed 55:19
Love to check it out. Awesome. Well, the last question is Where can my audience find you?

Amanda Parker 55:26
Okay, so I'm artists a Parker on Instagram, which is RT style Parker. I actually get a lot of Spanish followers because of that. didn't even realize at the time I was just putting artists a Parker. No, I'm also on artist Amanda Parker. com. Okay. And you can follow me on Facebook at artist. facebook. com slash artist Amanda Parker.

Junaid Ahmed 55:53

Amanda Parker 55:55
And I think on Twitter as at artists, a Parker, but mostly I'm on Facebook and Instagram, I don't really. And then I'm on YouTube as well as artists, a Parker.

Junaid Ahmed 56:05
Awesome. I'll be sure to include all of these cool links to the show notes so people can get to you and look at your drawings and all the crazy stuff you're doing on there.

Amanda Parker 56:18
Okay, great. Can I have one last question for you, Lily? So what do you think about Instagram as far as like on my Instagram page, I have ink drawings and things like that. But we were talking about this kind of lack of focus. And sometimes in my story, you get like comedy and stuff like that. You get like the fun side of me. But do you use a story is that Instagram story Instagram stories? Yeah. Do you prefer personally do you think I should add more of that personal side of me to my Instagram page? Or just kind of keep going with just the ink drawings and not really anything

Junaid Ahmed 56:54
about myself? Well, there's two things you could do. Right? So on your Instagram, you're bringing people in, based on what you're doing and what you're offering. So if you're if you're converting these ink drawings into artwork that people can buy So focus on you know bringing those and then in your HGTV is where you can have your comedy. Yeah, well that's why

Amanda Parker 57:22
Yeah, that's what I'm thinking. So I'm going to just implement more video because I think people are really going toward the video lately The

Junaid Ahmed 57:30
video is

Amanda Parker 57:32
slow. Oh yeah, for sure.

And we're kind of on the cutting edge of that I mean, we are in the past like few years that's really started they've really started hitting video hard and if you make a video on Instagram, it's going to get a lot more views than just a

Junaid Ahmed 57:47
static photo. This is static photo

cuz there's motion there's, it's more than one photo, right thousand photo and wait till we have 30 seconds. They give you a 30 seconds Video, right? 30 seconds and in 30 seconds, you can have 30 in one second, you can have 30 frames. So that's 30 times 30. That's That's a lot of photos. Yeah, it's true. It's like 1000 photos in one in one video. Yeah, so that's really good. And just, just yesterday, Apple announced a new iPhone 11 Pro. And with it, Filmic Pro, which is a film shooting app for the iPhone mentioned that you can now shoot with all four video cameras at the same time. Oh, that's cool on their phone. So if you're doing like a video, like like, you have to be playing instruments you can like if you're doing an interview, you can just set your phone in the middle. Both look at a camera. And voila. You don't need two cameras anymore. That is blowing up. everybody's mind right now. everybody's like, Holy smokes. Well, yeah,

Amanda Parker 59:04
we definitely have to, like, take advantage of these advancements as they happen if you can actually. First people gives you an edge. Yeah. So you think that for the Instagram page, like, as long as I personalize the video, like the IG TV videos,

Junaid Ahmed 59:21
and like, yes, and that would, yeah, that would be enough. And then what would they also also notice that that you can have the HGTV video playing? Like they let you make a post of the IGVIZTV? Right. So then we'll take you to the Add to do that, too.

Amanda Parker 59:43

Junaid Ahmed 59:43
Yeah. Because it's because you have pink photos, then you have ink drawings as you're drawing. So that becomes the focus point that everybody's looking at. Yeah. Okay, cool. I'm glad

Amanda Parker 59:57
to hear your

take on that. I like to ask you Like what they think you know about that. I appreciate it.

Junaid Ahmed 1:00:03
All right. Well, thank you. I need to get better on that myself.

Amanda Parker 1:00:07
Yeah, I just need to get better consistency. You know, just sticking with the focus I've had a kind of a rough summer. So now that I'm like more back into it, I have more time. I can really focus on everything again. I need just Just do it.

Junaid Ahmed 1:00:22
Awesome. Well, Amanda, this was really nice talking to you think thank you so much for your time.

Amanda Parker 1:00:28
And thank you again.

Junaid Ahmed 1:00:34
graduations you made it to the end of the episode. Thanks so much for listening to our guests on this episode. Please send me an email at Junaid at hats and hobbies. com to tell me what you loved about our guests today. You could find links mentioned in this episode of the hacks and hobbies. com website.

Transcribed by

Junaid Ahmed has been a user experience designer for over 15 years. As a UX professional, he uses the user-centered design philosophy to come up with solutions. Trust the system, it works!

“People say that we only live once, but I believe in living every day!”

Junaid has been interviewing people from all walks of life on his podcast Hacks and Hobbies.