Our campus celebrity this week is sophomore Rachel Amos who is majoring in the Fine Arts and has recently created a line of propaganda-style paintings. The majority of them display a short line of text comparable to what you’d find inside of a fortune cookie (only deeper, a little bit darker, and much more applicable to the life of an undergrad) that noticeably obscures a woman’s vision. In the following interview, Amos explains the ways in which they pertain to her journey of becoming an artist and how it has to do with much more than what, if you will, meets the eye.
“I’m an art major and I enjoy painting the most.” said Amos. Her most recent work came about when she was prompted by her teacher to do a “fun piece” which quickly turned into an outlet for personal thoughts. According to Amos, the figure is based loosely off of singer/actress Brigitte Bardot.
“I used it to express exactly what I wanted people to think,” said Amos. Phrases include, “It’s okay to be happy,” “It’s okay to cry,” “Stop second guessing yourself,” and my personal favorite, “Finished being socially acceptable.”
Amos believes that the eyes are one of the very first features people notice, and she wanted her words to be piercing and prominent.
“I’ve loved drawing and doing art ever since I was little; nothing else fit as well as art did in my life.” She admits that she wasn’t “exceptionally good” at sports, and that the passion bloomed as a result. Apart from it being her favorite subject in school, Amos credits her mother for her interest in art.
“When I was little and she was working, she’d give me paint and crayons to stay busy. It’s stuck with me ever since!”
“Anyone can get involved in making art – it can be a really therapeutic process.” She explained that when you’re creating something you’re truly passionate about, every part of you is focused. This was especially important for Amos earlier this year when everything around her seemed to be OUT of focus. The messages seen in the pictures were actually taken from real conversations that she had with close friends. Each one was a turn-around point for her, and now she wants to share them in the way she knows best – through art.
“…You won’t even notice how much time [is going] by. It’s a great stress relief.”
For those of us who weren’t born #artsy with a mind like Picasso, Amos says it’s okay. “You don’t have to be an extraordinary painter or artist to do art, you just have to give yourself up to whatever you want to create.” Ambition is the key here.
Any tips for those of us who can barely stay inside the lines of a picture in a coloring book?
“I’d say just go out and buy supplies. When I was first starting out I would get books of cartoons and draw them over and over because I couldn’t always think of ideas by myself. Draw something you know or like, or if you have an idea, go for it!”
Amos says that she has made some of her closest friends through the major. “These people are some of the most talented artists I’ve ever met; they inspire me all the time.” She mentions that her art professors are also a major source of inspiration, as they continue to make art outside of the classroom. When it comes to giving advice and helping students choose a career path, it’s this familiarity with the art scene that makes these teachers credible to Amos.
“I’m not yet positive where I want to be in five years.” The 19 year old, often seen in her signature 70’s garb at the CFA carrying her art portfolio with hands that are marked with X’s from the other night’s concert, likes to live in the moment. However, Amos does know that she wants to remain an art major and plans to take up a minor in museum studies.
“I would love to work in a museum as a curator,” said Amos. “I would also want to work at a gallery, maybe organizing shows.” Amos has given art therapy a thought as well.
What do you want people to take away from this interview?
“I would want people to know that you should and can follow what you love to do. Senior year of high school, I constantly doubted myself and my abilities.”
After coming to Towson University and fully committing to her major, Amos’ way of thinking changed. She realized it was in the art world that she belonged. She adds that while it may not be the most glamorous lifestyle, (in no way does it scream “financially secure!”), Amos will be doing what she loves the most and that is of far more worth to her.
“It doesn’t scare me like it used to,” She says. “You shouldn’t let anyone hold you back from what you really want to do in life, especially yourself.”