Imagine you’re an artist, just doing your thing, and Anthropologie calls you, interested in your work. That happened to artist Amanda Hofmann back in 2011. This girl has “never met a medium (she) didn’t like,” and thank goodness for her lack of commitment to one type of art, otherwise we would never get to see her wide spectrum of creativity. When she’s not making art, she’s cooking in her modern minimalist kitchen, which will soon be featured here on SB. For now, though, allow us to introduce you to today’s FACES of Louisville profile, Amanda Hofmann!
You are someone who lives creatively. What are all of your different artistic mediums and endeavors?
I run a broad spectrum creatively. One week, I’ll be totally immersed in my metalsmithing studio, and then be illustrating the next. I work with metal and enamel, illustrate with pen and watercolor, do chalk installations and signage, custom typography and paint in acrylic and oil. I’ve really never met a medium I didn’t like.
When we first met, you were doing an installation at Anthropologie. How did you get that job?
I was creating garlands and home accessories with metal and mixed media. I had them on my website, and through there I was contacted by the Anthropologie home merchandising manager with interest in having me create pieces exclusively for Anthropologie.
Has your handwriting always been this good? Did you take formal calligraphy lessons?
I’ve never taken any formal lessons; I’ve just developed my own style organically. I’ve always loved lettering and creating my own fonts.
Where can we buy your things?
What’s next on the horizon for you?
I have various projects in the works. A few installation and sign commissions, I’m in the middle of a series of paintings for exhibition this summer and I’m currently illustrating a children’s book.
Who are your mentors, and what advice do you treasure?
My grandparents are my mentors. They raised me, instilling in me a strong work ethic and generosity of spirit. They taught me if you work hard and be kind, good things will happen. My childhood was immersed in art; my grandfather is a painter, and my grandmother was a seamstress, folk artist and piano teacher, so my creative interests were always nurtured. My grandfather taught me to paint and construct things, and he told me when I was a child, “Anything worth doing is worth doing well.” That always stuck with me and drives me to work with utmost attention to craftsmanship.
There’s so much advice I treasure from my husband, who continually inspires me. I have his voice in my head a lot when I work and have the mantra “create dangerously” hanging above my workbench. It drives me to take risks and be true to myself in my work. I feel the freedom to create without the fear of failure or aspiration for money, but with the concern for doing good work, and eventually the work becomes its own currency. And to always remember that mistakes are where learning takes place.
What does a typical day or week look like for you?
I work from a home studio with my 1-year-old, so it’s about balancing my work with being totally present for him. I’m up before 8 a.m., answering emails and doing any business tasks needing attention, then have breakfast and play with my son during the day. I can get a lot of sketching for a project or ideas down while he’s playing or we’re drawing together (he’s an emerging artist already!). We take long, daily nature walks where I construct a lot of ideas in my head and gather inspiration during this time. I make dinner every night, and we eat together as a family, then my husband will take over with my son while I get to work on the actual production of whatever endeavor is slated for that week, then off to bed. The daily regime is pretty routine, but the weeks can vary in terms of what project I’m working on, whether I’m in my metal studio or painting studio.
If you were not in your current job, what would you secretly love to do?
I attended the French Culinary Institute in New York with a focus on artisan bread baking, so owning a bakery has always been in the corner of my mind.
What is something people would be surprised to know about you?
I own a vintage ’63 Honda Benly motorcycle and Honda dirt bike that I ride and like to wrench around on.
Fill in the blank. You’ll never see me without my________. (Do not say phone.)
Sketchbook and wearing my great-grandmother’s wedding ring
What’s your bucket list travel destination?
Etihad Stadium in Manchester, England
Favorite thing to do in Louisville?
Night owl or early bird? What do you do during that “quiet time?”
Night owl. This is when I get uninterrupted work done after my son is asleep. I’ll usually be binge-watching something on Netflix or catching up on WNYC podcasts at the same time. I’m always multitasking!
Tell us some of your favorite local restaurants.
What’s on your personal reading list right now?
My nightstand standbys are Annie Dillard’s Pilgrim at Tinker Creek and both Woolgathering and Just Kids by Patti Smith. They’re dog-eared and annotated to death, because I reference them so much. I just finished The Craftsman by Richard Sennett. I’m also a voracious cookbook reader, if that counts. I’m currently into Prune by Gabrielle Hamilton and Mario Batali’s new Farm to Table cookbook.
Lightning Round! Give us your:
- Candy or junk food splurge: Reese’s Cups
- Guilty pleasure song: Nico, “These Days”
- Tearjerker movie pick: The Family Stone
- Standby nail polish color: Chanel’s Sky Line (Metallic Blue) (bonus: it’s a 5-free polish)
- Favorite cocktail: Sazerac
- Cartoon alter-ego: Merida from Brave
Watch Amanda draw an impromptu StyleBlueprint logo in this SB exclusive:
Thank you to Amanda for creating our custom piece of artwork! To see Amanda’s work, check out her website Amanda Hofmann Designs here.
Much gratitude to our FACES photographer, Adele Reding, who always captures the beauty — both inside and out — of all of our FACES of Louisville. Visit Adele online at adeleredingphotography.com.
Want to read about more inspiring women in the community? Click here to check out more FACES.