Milwaukee native Amanda Iglinski shares her experiences about Milwaukee and the art culture within it. As the previous Artbeat board curator and co-founder of Bubbler Studios, Amanda has a strong passion for growth within Milwaukee’s art community. With her recent project “MilRAWkee,” you can see just how deep her passion goes for painting and the Cream City.
Rocket Clicks: To begin, why don’t you tell us a little about yourself. How did you get into painting?
Amanda Iglinski: Well, my parents always tell me that ever since I could hold a crayon, drawing is all I ever wanted to do. In school growing up, I’d finish my classwork as fast as I could so I could draw the rest of the time. My mom always encouraged my art and signed me up for various youth painting events (like window painting on Mitchell Street) and painting and drawing classes.
I spent a summer in an art class taught by Sister Mary Thomasita, which is one of the most memorable classes because I really remember learning about line weight and how important lines are.
RC: Sounds like a passion that keeps growing.
AI: It definitely keeps growing! Sometimes I feel like I can’t stop.
RC: What then inspired you to create the MilRAWkee project?
AI: A few years ago, I moved out of Milwaukee for the first time. Not far, Hales Corners, but I missed being downtown and the hustle and bustle. So I started painting things I missed about being downtown and everything kind of grew from there.
RC: You use photos from Milwaukee Alt. as a base for the paintings, right? Do you use any other kinds of technology when creating art?
AI: I only use Milwaukee Alt. photos for our collaborative project. When creating art, I’m kind of a luddite. I draw, paint, cut everything by hand. I think the only other “technology” I use is my airbrush compressor and sometimes I take a photo of something I’m working on and play with it on my tablet before I paint the next layer.
Although I’ve recently been playing around with different printing methods and I may use Photoshop to prepare images for screen printing.
RC: When it comes to local art, your work and the work of Bubbler Studios shows up a lot. Moving in that direction, could you tell us about being on the ArtBeat board and what ArtBeat does?
AI: I was on the Artbeat board from 2009 until August of this year. Artbeat was originally formed on the vision of helping to bring various art forms to Milwaukee’s youth. Annie B. and Nick Ramsey started it in 2008 and I started curating their shows in 2009. We always partnered up with a local non-profit and donated half of whatever money we made to their cause.
RC: You must be a big supporter of Milwaukee’s art scene.
AI: Of course! There are so many great artists in this city that don’t get enough exposure.
RC: Why do you think local art is important for a community?
AI: Artists bring new ideas and promote creative problem solving. Having a presence of art and culture boost not only morale, but the local economy.
RC: What’s your vision for Milwaukee’s art scene?
AI: My vision for Milwaukee’s art scene is one of collaboration. There are so many artists organizing and working together right now, and it’s really inspiring.
RC: What about for your own work? Where would you like to go?
AI: That’s a really great question. I’m always thinking of where I want to go with my art. There are so many possibilities, but for the immediate future, my goal is to increase my online presence to be able to do art full time. I’ve been challenging myself to think more abstractly and have started a new series that incorporates fine art with the boldness and playfulness of street art.
RC: Well we look forward to seeing what you create next. As we wrap up, who do you think Rocket Clicks should interview next?
AI: Definitely the Have Goals organization. Jeff Redmon would be someone great, also.
Below are two paintings from Amanda’s series “MilRAWkee” in collaboration with Milwaukee Alt.
Check out Rocket Clicks’ other interviews with brilliant people! To see more of Amanda’s work, check out her bio at Bubbler Studios.