Art Talk | Amanda Shadforth
Contemporary Australian artist Amanda Shadforth has had a diverse career spanning over a decade working as a Photographer, Stylist and as a Creative Director for some of the world's most highly coveted brands. Most recently, Amanda has embarked on a brand new chapter, adding OF by Amanda Shadforth to her repertoire. The new collection of bespoke art prints and Australian made, sustainable organic cotton, personally designed t-shirts fuses Amanda's love of art and fashion, so that her wonderful two dimensional illustrations are translated into three dimensional wearable pieces of art. We caught up with Amanda to find out the importance of why staying small has proven a winning strategy, why organic products are a big passion and the best advice she's ever received.
Hi Amanda, can you tell us a little about the journey to where you are today? Before Oracle Fox I had my own boutique art gallery. I was a fine artist working mostly in acrylic and oils and was lucky enough to exhibit internationally. During days in my studio, when I wasn’t painting, I would spend my time searching the internet for inspiration and beautiful images. I needed an outlet for all the beautiful materials I was finding and started Oracle Fox as a personal mood board. Before long I started posting my own images and focusing on my social media platforms, everything has grown organically from this point.
Tell us about the use of organic and sustainable cotton in your OF by Amanda Shadforth clothing range – why is it so important? It may be hard to believe, but I’m definitely a minimalist. My personal ethos has always been to buy less and to treasure and care for the posessions you do have. My team and I are all very environmentally minded so I wanted this collection be a true representation of our beliefs and what we love.
The organic and sustainable cotton used for our t-shirts is not only incredibly soft and feels beautiful, but also allowed me to ensure that our manufacturing process adhered to strict ethical production standards. It really is a win-win as I'm able to to reduce our environmental impact, while creating something very special for our customers.
How do you feel that your two-dimensional illustrations translate onto a three-dimensional form, such as a person wearing your artwork as clothing? I love this question, this is what excites me about the power of connectivity in the world that we live in. The idea of someone on the other side of the world being able to wear one of my illustrations is one that makes me feel as though I’m sharing a little piece of art with them personally, everyday.
How do you challenge yourself? It would be fair to say that I'm quite competitive, but only with myself. As each new project of opportunity presents itself I’m always thinking how can I do this better than ever before? How can I create images that inspire and provoke emotions that make people feel something meaningful?
What is the best thing about working as an artist? I feel as though there is nothing more gluttonous and satisfying than being an artist.
What’s your absolute favourite medium to work with? My absolute favourite medium is to work in oils. I know it may sound like a cliche, but there is something magical about oil paints. From the textures that you create to the depth of colour and strangely for me, the smell of a studio filled with oils emits feelings of happiness. I just love the richness of oil paint.
What are you most passionate about? Oh my gosh this is such a difficult question! I’m a Libran so I’m passionate about so many things! I’m passionate about raising the bar when it comes to content creation in my industry, I’m passionate about travel and discovering new places, I’m passionate about True Crime podcasts, Finnish Lapphunds, garlic aoili and the future of our environment.
Where do you go for inspiration? I'm really inspired by nature. I grew up on a cane farm surrounded by trees and the wilderness. I love travelling and big cities but I find that when I’m in a peaceful, more natural environment my creativity has more room to breath and I create better work.
What are you looking forward to in 2018? We have a very exciting second half to our year. There will be a lot of travel and not just for fashion week, I’ll also be shooting content for some incredible brands in some magical places. And in terms of my illustrations stay tuned for a very exciting addition to the collection, there will be a new item added to our collection that I’ll be attaching my artwork to. I think it’s going to be a very useful and an exciting big hit!
I usually wake up at: The sound of magpies and the ocean, there is no place like Australia for this kind of wake up call.
My perfect day would involve: An early morning surf followed by a delicious breakfast, a morning spent painting and drawing and an afternoon spent working on my creative projects with Oracle Fox, followed by dinner with friends and family and a crisp Sav Blanc.
I am inspired by: Instagram, home cooking without a recipe, travelling to places with baron landscapes, my incredible team and my family.
Best advice I’ve ever received: ‘What you don’t know won’t hurt you’. I love this piece of advice, for me it’s about following your heart and marching to the beat of your own drum, not letting the opinions of others hold you back from expressing yourself with utter freedom.
I couldn’t live without: Vanilla cupcakes, Golden Barrel cactuses, Netflix, My Wacom drawing table, the ocean, my family and my wireless headphones.
My favourite daily ritual: Making banana smoothies every morning for breakfast with my family.
I recently discovered: A love for Grecian busts.
On my wish-list: A pair of Pierre Paulin Elysee chairs, a Floris Wubben ceramic vase, vintage crystal cut decanters, and anything Balenciaga.
I’m currently reading: The reviews of the Resort Collections on Vogue runway.com - I always love to read about what inspires each collection from the designers and the feedback from the industry, I love to devour every morsel about the direction of the season.
And listening to: The Teachers Pet podcast by journalist Hedley Thomas from The Australian.
My guilty pleasure: Beside vanilla cupcakes and beer battered fries with truffle parmesan.
My mantra is: My grade four teacher Mr McDonald once told me to, ‘Make your vocation your vacation’ - I’ve never forgotten it.