Mission: I DON’T HAVE A MISSION, ART IS JUST SOMETHING I ENJOY DOING
As I’ve said before in other Spiralling features, one of the things I’ve really enjoyed about this project is being introduced to talented people who I didn’t know previously. Ameio and I still haven’t met in person yet but have become well acquainted on Facebook. She is one of the artists taking part in The Spiralling Exhibition 001 after a recommendation from Jimmer Willmott who will also be participating in the show.
Ameio grew up in Bristol and her creativity was inspired by her parents. “My dad is a screen printer, he enjoys photography and used to paint with oils. My mum always used to give me pens and paper and sometimes modelling clay when I was younger.” In primary school she won competitions for drawing and “one of them sent me to an art college for the day. I left there wanting to study art but my own issues as a teenager growing up meant I never ended up taking it any further which I always regretted deeply.”
For Ameio this longing to go back to college or school and pursue art didn’t go away. “I couldn’t ever justify leaving jobs or moving out of my house as I left home quite young. One day a friend from work introduced me to an art group in Mivart Studios, and although I couldn’t gain certificates or grades from going to the group, I could still do the thing I loved most with advice whilst being around other creatives and still being able to keep my day job.”
Since she joined the group Ameio has made some great friends. “I have displayed my work in some exhibitions with them and selling some of my work in pop up shops and galleries has just been a bonus. Art is a form of relaxation and I have always painted for enjoyment and as a way of expressing myself, it’s not about making a profit.” She has donated some of the money she’s made from the sales to charities, “what’s important to me is being able to help and give back as and when I can to people that have either helped me, my family or friends.”
Her main style of art is bold bright colours with abstract images. “I use multimedia but prefer to use acrylic on canvas. I am inspired when I see images that catch my eye, out and about, travelling or just on the internet. Travelling and seeing new places is one of my favourite things next to art. I don’t really have a favourite artist, but I love paintings or pictures that make you feel something or have a deeper meaning or story behind them. I always listen to music while painting and I love to paint while listening to the native american flute.”
Ameio’s first exhibition was at a fair in Bawa Filton. “I was shaking, felt sick, and had no idea why I had chosen to do it! So many of my friends and family turned up to support me. Although none of the pictures sold, I did sell some prints and postcards. It was the kind words and the feeling of achievement that stayed with me though. Seeing the looks on peoples faces or hearing positive feedback helped my confidence to share my work.”
It wasn’t until she saw her ‘Buttery’ painting on the wall in a gallery that she felt proud. “My boyfriend Luke kind of pushed me in to asking about exhibiting as I didn’t really want to at the time. I was too afraid especially as I had a lack of success at the fairs and my confidence had dipped a bit. I wandered around and finally asked, he said my artwork was great and to bring it down. Walking in to that gallery and seeing my piece there made me feel proud of myself and my artwork and I felt like ‘yes I am supposed to be on that wall, yes I am worthy to be next to those other artists!'”
In the future Ameio has been offered an opportunity to work with some writers to illustrate a couple of book covers. As I mentioned before she is one of the featured artists in The Spiralling Exhibition 001. “I am excited about The Spiralling show, although extremely nervous and feeling unprepared. I have been so busy with work and trying to find a house, I got really down and couldn’t paint and I told my friends that I was going to drop out as my heart just wasn’t in it. Everyone pushed me to still do it though, even Jimmer Willmott said such kind words to me. This encouraged me to keep going. I wish I had a few more new paintings to put in but I have plenty to show and am sure it will be a success.”
If you’d like to come and see Ameio’s work, and maybe even buy some of it to take home with you then come down to the The Island, Bristol between the 19th – 24th October.