• Top

    Introducing: Amanda Greenberg’s studio

Art

Introducing: Meet Amanda Greenberg, illustrator of the becoming and the beguiling

Posted by Maisie Skidmore,

Amanda Greenberg is something of a rare gem. Residing and working in Brooklyn, NY, she creates digitally refined pencil and ink drawings which seem to resist being pinned down to any clear category. Executed in black on white and peaches and cream pastel shades, the characters she conceives are as original as they are beguiling. Repeated in series to create whole crowds of cool-looking girls, or clad in ethereal leaves and deep in thought – this is desktop screensaver candy if ever I saw it! We caught up with Amanda to talk about autumn in New York, balcony gardens and to find out how she goes about her working day.

  • 4

    Amanda Greenberg: Indecision

  • 5

    Amanda Greenberg: Neighbors

  • 3

    Amanda Greenberg: Hideaway

Where do you work?

You will find me most early mornings and evenings in the tiny corner in my apartment at a tiny desk nestled between a large bookshelf and a red drum repurposed as a side table. I’m very fortunate to have a balcony with lots of plants overlooking a relatively quiet street in Brooklyn with remnants of an un-gentrified view of the Manhattan skyline. What I’m trying to say is that I can’t complain about the modest space I use to make work, however I do miss the shared studio experience. I consider the “work I do” my illustrations, but the “work I do” that pays for a majority of my tiny corner space is to assist other artists in their own practice – usually very large spaces.

How does your working day start?

I start my day with a cup of tea and a look through emails. If I’m working from home I’ll make a big breakfast. I usually thumb through what I’ve started the night prior in my sketchbook – decide if it’s worth executing fully. Whatever I leave open on my desktop or methodically arranged on my table space is generally the starting point for whatever get’s first dibs. I make a lot of lists on multiple platforms – constant reminders and check ins with myself. I find a lot of surface imagery throughout my day so I like to gather these collections and make folders. A typical day will start anew, as I tend to make the most headway with projects late at night and am too stubborn to take overnight breaks. Sorting, rearranging and manipulating takes up most of my morning routine. 

  • 2

    Amanda Greenberg: Follow

  • 10

    Amanda Greenberg: Wrestle

How do you work and how has that changed?

I had a really interesting past six months as I’ve been going through a lot of changes, both in my personal life and work. It’s been a few years since carrying the RISD Illustration degree and am finally feeling ready to endorse my own practice. What I mean is that it’s been a curious struggle sorting through the work I’ve made and experiencing it’s metamorphosis – transitioning into a reconstructed routine with new goals. For example, three years ago I couldn’t say I’d feel most comfortable restricting myself to a 3′ × 4′ desk and chair inside my living space. A solitary space without tangible encouragement from neighboring bodies can feel intimidating. Art school spoils you with a limitless formula to create work and it just so happens that my desired medium was the least cost effective with a reliance on machinery and large spaces. 

I’d say my work has changed drastically in process but the starting point is the same. I work with pencil and refine lines with ink then modify and compose in photoshop. Right now I like working with re-appropriated elements that are mostly hidden by the magic of digital draughtsmanship. 

I think I’ve adapted to change at my own pace which I’m learning to feel comfortable with – as long as the slow and steady trajectory evades stagnancy. Also, the immediacy of digital exposure that we have control over (however questionable ownership) i.e social media, is really important for an illustrator. 

Where would we find you when you’re not at work?

My favorite season to be out in New York is autumn so you’d probably see me gracelessly biking around humming to The Bee Gees.

Would you intern for yourself?

Yes. As my own intern, I would probably see everything I’m doing wrong really clearly and see what needs to change. As myself, I would particularly enjoy handing off all the boring admin jobs and trips to the post office. Also, I sometimes forget to water my plants. 

  • 7

    Amanda Greenberg:

  • 1

    Amanda Greenberg: Family

  • 6

    Amanda Greenberg:

  • 9

    Amanda Greenberg: Workout

Ms-300

Posted by Maisie Skidmore

Assistant Editor Maisie joined It’s Nice That fresh out of university in the summer of 2013 and has stayed with us ever since. She has a particular interest in art, fashion and photography and is a regular on our Studio Audience podcast.

Most Recent: Art View Archive

  1. London-is-changing-intlist

    Public art project London is Changing makes Londoners uncomfortably aware of the truths we’re perhaps trying to ignore: that our city is morphing beyond recognition, that creativity is at risk, and that for many people, it’s simply becoming unaffordable.

  2. Bensanders-potdealer-3-int_copy

    While keeping himself busy with postmodern Howard Hodgkin-esque painting and collage work, Ben Sanders is somehow finding the time to paint funny faces on ceramics. Cutting through the “worthy lifestyle” pottery trend with googly eyes, zigzag nostrils and creepy grins, Ben has stamped his sense of humour and aesthetic all over these thriving succulents’ homes.

  3. Olafur-eliasson_little-sun-int-1

    A “giddy joy” was described as the feeling evoked by the artwork of Olafur Eliasson when we interviewed him for last year’s Autumn edition of Printed Pages, and with his monumental, often participatory pieces, it’s not hard to see why. From his incredible 2003 Weather Project at Tate Modern to its portable, socially-conscious, tiny counterpart Little Sun(which “produces clean, affordable, and portable solar-powered lamps to areas of the world without reliable access to electricity”), his work is a glorious, utterly original ray of light shining on the sometimes impenetrable art world.

  4. Christian-marclay-vinyl-factory-int-1

    In another brilliant feat of creative engineering that bridges the gap between music, art and design, a project at the White Cube gallery in London’s Bermondsey sees musicians including Sonic Youth frontman Thurston Moore perform a composition for Christian Marclay, which is recorded and pressed on site by The Vinyl Factory Press. The press is housed in a shipping container, and the artwork for the record – also created on site – is designed by Christian and printed by Coriander Press, in a series that feels like cottage industry, DIY ideas brought into a slick, art-world setting.

  5. Lynda-benglis-int11

    “Think of bayous…crawfish…sea creatures…metal…tieing shoelaces…not knowing what to do sometimes and just doing it.” This is Lynda Benglis’ bizarre monologue, with which she ends the introduction to her new show.

  6. Brechtvandenbroucke-the-fame-main-int

    Brecht, after five years of admiring your work I can happily say that I can spell your name without looking. And I can tell you that even though I’ve spent years admiring the skill of your painting, I can finally say that I think I actually get it. Over time, Brecht’s erratic artworks have become increasingly crowded with characters, pop culture references, logos, and his trademark long-limbed creatures.

  7. Antoinecorbineau-6-int

    It’s my personal opinion that some of the most exciting creative work starts life as a side project to distract from commercial jobs. Such is definitely the case for Antoine Corbineau, a French illustrator and designer who has worked on a plethora of projects for commercial clients, drawing up large-scale, intricate scenes of characters interacting in an enormous, often map-like style. Potentially even more alluring, however, is Antoine’s painting work. It’s distinctly less bright, almost realist in its approach, depicting familiar domestic scenes and landscapes interspersed with small but resonant human activity. His attention to minute detail – the foliage of a plant, a picture frame, the icons on a computer screen – and his accuracy in creating scenes that you could swear you’d seen before makes this body of work oddly enchanting.

  8. Sethbogart-ceramics-home

    Seth Bogart is quite the Renaissance man. The frontman of San Francisco-based band Hunx & His Punx is also an artist, producing paintings, drawings and ceramics; a video director; a photographer and a fashion designer. He has collaborated with Yves Saint Laurent and has his own store, Wacky Wacko, for which he also designs installations. Seriously, this guy.

  9. Ellakru-painting-7home-int

    Latvia-born Ella Kruglyanskaya now lives and works in New York, depicting cartoon-like friends and “frienemies” out-and-about in large-scale oil paintings and murals. Ella’s work is packed with bawdy humour, exaggerated forms, exuberant mark-making and interactions. She describes her intention as “pictorial events… [that] aspire to an unspoken punch line” – the content, references and line-work all filtered through comedy.

  10. Anniedescarteaux-collage-7home-int

    Annie Descôteaux’s work is confident, engaging and straight-forwardly slapstick. The Montreal-based artist works with installation, drawing and collage and has seen her work exhibited and discussed at conferences on colour theory. In equally impressive outings, it’s also appeared in Bloomberg and Pica magazines, among other publications. Annie’s collage work is well-balanced with clean lines, sharp colours and discreet humour; each piece littered with raw steak, fried eggs and shuttlecocks.

  11. Oliviervrancken-untitled-1-inthome

    Olivier Vrancken is a graphic designer and artist based in Holland. Painting and drawing his way through commissions and personal work, he is inspired by everything from primitive art to the great lyricists that are Black Sabbath. Olivier has exhibited all over Europe, his Cubist aesthetic and visual references laden with nods to cut-outs, still life, architecture and the human form. There’s a great colour palette to his work and some nice titles like Bad Hair Day and Wanderlust. Olivier’s work reminds me of the prints that appeared all over the T-shirts of the 1980s, in a good way.

  12. Menutnutnut-drawing-4-int

    Me nut nut nut was one of Jason Murphy’s daughter’s first utterances, and is now the name for his drawings of awkward stories of fear and incompetence. Inspired by the physical comedy of The Young Ones and The Ren & Stimpy Show, Jason’s drawings rely on comic intuition and references to real-life moments, like dropping a potato on his cat.

  13. Seamus_murhpy_pj-harvey_-recording-in-progress_-2015.-an-artangel-commission.-_1_int

    While we wait to take our turn to become a sort of strangely sanctioned voyeur as PJ Harvey records her ninth album, thinking about what’s ahead feels peculiar. Essentially, we’re going to see PJ (Polly Jean) Harvey, her band, producers Flood and John Parish, a photographer and two engineers making an album in a Something & Son-designed box, formed of glass that allows visitors to see in, while the musicians can’t see out.