Friday, January 11, 2008
Amanda Gotsch- the Bag Lady
Hello everyone! I'm really excited to be a part of this group. A little bit about me...
Ever since I can remember, I've had a little craft business going. I started with gimp keychains. In middle school, I sold friendship bracelets and hair wraps at recess. Polymer clay beads were next. Then I moved on to real craft shows. I started "Amanda's Candle Company," and traveled around to local craft bazaars. I was the only 14 year old with a booth, and everyone would ask if my mom made the candles.
I took every art class offered at my high school. Painting: Whenever I had a big project due, my dad would stay up late and paint with me to keep me company. He has been such a great supporter of my creativity. We've made many trips to Jo-Ann fabrics together. He'd always say- get whatever supplies you need... and then he'd pick out a bunch of random stuff for me as well and say, "you might need this." Photography: I spent all my senior year lunches in the darkroom. Shooting and developing your own black and white images is one of the most amazing experiences I have had. Ceramics: Mixing my own clay and learning how to throw pots on the wheel. Sewing: I loved it! I would stay after class and make extra projects because I wanted to learn. I began experimenting @ home with bags. I would cut up old pants and dresses and make purses. That's when I knew I wanted to be a designer.
I moved to Chicago to attend the Illinois Institute of Art. There I learned professional sewing techniques, business and how to organize my thoughts into a collection. Chicago is such an amazing city, and those were some of the best years of my life. The city was so diverse and fast paced. It really energized me. There I grew so much as an artist and a person.
I had a summer job during college as "Crafty Lady" at a camp in Northern Michigan where I spent my days crimping beads, melting wax and running classes. That's also where I met my fiance! He was the cook :)
So as you can see I have dabbled in just about everything art. I've been making bags for 5 years now. It says something that I've stuck with it so long- normally I'd be onto my next craft by now. I've started making greeting cards when I don't feel like sewing. I just love to create! My 9-5 job is a clothing designer for Under Armour, which is why I moved to Baltimore in Nov. '07. It's cool to work at a company that's so recognizable. My cousins now think I'm super cool. The city has grown on me... I hated it at first. But there is so much to explore and such a supportive artist community. I discover something new about the city every day. My new favorite hobby: Bingo. I also recently discovered the fun of blogging.