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Meet Amanda Whitworth of Sawdust and Soul in Encinitas

Today we’d like to introduce you to Amanda Whitworth.

Amanda, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
Technically, I made my first wood art piece in November of 2016 but this journey began many years ago. Growing up with a carpenter father, I would often go with him as he checked on the custom craftsman homes he was building. We’d cruise around from job to job in his old pickup truck that smelled of stale cigarettes and sawdust listening to Hank Williams Jr. and Randy Travis. I would walk around the newly framed slabs of concrete and my imagination would go wild. I’d go from room to room visualizing what I would do if I was building and creating the home.

Ironically, in later years, my mom an artist in her own right, started an interior design business and looking back I realize now I was always surrounded by a wildly creative and passionate energy. However, I avoided it for years. It was when I had my own house to play with that I tapped into this creativity with a new curiosity by using my home as a canvas and a creative playground.

At some point, I started to hear a little voice deep inside, that inner compass we all have, nudging me towards this direction. First, it was buying a wood burner then buy a certain saw and making a table. Ultimately, however, what I really wanted to create is exactly what I am creating now. And as they say, the rest is history.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Yes and no. Once I started creating pieces I never had to struggle to find interest in them. However, in March of 2017, just a few months after I began, I was diagnosed with cancer. All at once my life changed drastically. I was actively moving forward making art, got a new “pay your bills job” and simultaneously was dealing with this new diagnoses, surgery, and treatment.

Ultimately, I needed to take care of me and took a few months off from making art beginning in August while I went through treatment and gave myself permission to rest.

I started exploring my art again in the fall and now, a year and a half later, I”m trying to figure out what I want to do with it. I never really intended to do much other than create it as a hobby. My big dream is to do large, custom installation in restaurants, businesses, and homes. Recently, I had a gentlemen express interest in me adding my art as panels to his pop up top van. I’m very excited about that!

Sawdust and Soul – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
I create wood wall pieces, serving trays and furniture that is influenced by geometric shapes with a southwestern and tribal feel. I create more wall hangings then anything but I’d love to focus more on large-scale installations.

All of this comes very intuitively to me so I think I’m most proud of following my gut and making that first cut then putting it out there. I think any time we create something, it can feel a little vulnerable to put it out into the world. I’m the biggest critique of my stuff and so while other’s are admiring it, I’m always looking at it and seeing how I could have done it better. However, because this comes so naturally to me, I have to remind myself that it doesn’t to others and I was gifted with this specific talent.

I think one of the things that set me apart from others is my message behind my craft. I believe that creativity is the soul’s way of communicating with the world and that we all have been gifted with some creative talent except we can be very black and white about what that has to look like. So many people tell me they aren’t creative and I just don’t buy it. Your creativity may not look like mine but I guarantee you have a gift. You just have to tap in and listen to the little nudges. I love to help people discover what that is and it’s a huge part of my message as an individual person and within my art.

What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
Honestly, my proudest moment was accepting that I had to take care of my myself and put it all on hold while I did so. It’s easy to get scared of losing the momentum but I quickly realized that if I didn’t take care of me, it would show in my creativity and I didn’t want that.

Overall though, I’m really proud of the spirit of my work and the message behind it that I try and share as well. I’m not sure if this specific artwork will be a forever thing. It’s already evolving and feeling and looking different but I know the real purpose behind all of it is to inspire others to explore their own creative side. That message, how I truly feel called to serve, is what I’m most proud of.

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1 Comment

  1. Erica

    April 21, 2018 at 1:27 pm

    Amanda is the real deal- a ‘creative warrior’, this woman will make what ever she desires happen! It’s been a blessing watching her thrive through her journey and get grounded in who she is and the talents she shines. Keep climbing 👏🏻👏🏻!

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