Today we’d like to introduce you to Amel Janae.
Amel, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
I’ve been artistic for as long as I can remember, and art was the only thing that interested me while I was in high school. Although, I didn’t take it too seriously until college. In fact, it wasn’t until my final year of college that I found my focus.
When I took my first oil painting class, our first assignment was a grisaille, where you start with a monochrome version of your image and add color in thin layers. This led me to believe that I could only paint in thin layers. However, as time went on, I got more of a feel for the paint and discovered new ways to apply it.
My favorite way to apply paint did not reveal itself until I found my favorite surface to apply it. When my second painting professor told us to paint on any surface we wanted to, I chose a mirror, in order for each viewer to be a part of the piece.
My third and final painting professor gave us much more free reign. We could paint on any surface and any subject matter we like. At first, having close to no direction caused me to draw a lot of blanks. Going through a lot of trial and error, however, led me to my final subject matter — skin.
I had been using mirrors to include viewers in my pieces, and I realized that the best way to do that effectively was to make the subject matter something everyone could relate to. This realization turned into the desire to help each viewer with self-reflection. I continue to find new ways to do this with every piece I create.
We’d love to hear more about your art. What do you do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
My most recent body of work focuses on the human form, as well as the depth and reflective nature of glass. Painting obscure figures on a reflective surface creates an intriguing piece, which compels the viewer to look closely and ask themselves why they are a part of the image. Oil paint allows for generous depth, as I am able to create a realistic texture and look of skin upon the glass surface. This realism allows me to make the figures more obscure; it is perceived as skin despite the uncertainty of the limbs and/or positions being presented.
The fact that I have presented these forms in a slightly abstract way requires the viewer to try harder to make a connection with the piece than they would if they were looking at a straightforward image. This results in a more meaningful connection to one’s self. I aspire to help at least one person with self-reflection.
Do current events, local or global, affect your work and what you are focused on?
Most definitely. Personally, the events and issues targeted against people of color and/or women have influenced me to create work that intentionally includes us. Many of my pieces are representative of people of color being secure within their own skin, despite how often we are told not to. People of color are widely underrepresented in the arts and are often misrepresented as well. My work is an attempt to be more inclusive of people of color in the arts, and the way that I have chosen to do so not only helps them connect to their own community, but helps those outside of it make a connection as well.
Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your artwork?
The main source of my artwork is my website, ameljanae.co. I update my exhibitions page with current and/or upcoming shows I am a part of. I also post a generous amount of work and updates on my Instagram. I also have a store, where I offer custom pieces, original artwork, and prints. Many pieces on my website are open for inquiries, and I am open to commissions in any medium.
- Website: ameljanae.co
- Phone: 6194906855
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/a.m.e.l/