- Sophie &Friends
One of the things I love about my job is that fact that I get to meet and work with so many interesting, talented, and artistic people. It never ceases to amaze me, the level of intense creativity out there. So, in homage to the wonderful people I meet, I’m starting a new installment to my blog which I’m calling “Fearlessly Creative!” In these blogs I’ll strive to find and interview someone doing something really unique and pursuing it with abandon...
The first up in the series is Amanda Hylton from Akron, Ohio! Amanda popped into my frame of reference about six months ago, when she entered a duct tape contest that I held through my YouTube channel. Part of the contest was to provide photos of your entry, and although the phone case Amanda entered was amazing, what really caught my eye was the photo she sent of herself wearing a duct tape skirt standing in front of a wall of her duct tape art. It blew me away!
I started corresponding with her a bit, and discovered that in between a very hectic schedule of raising her son, maintaining her household, and helping to take care of her grandpa-in-law, she runs her own business selling duct tape items and art canvases. The canvases are very graphic in nature with a sort of print quality to them. What makes them interesting though is that they are completely made out of duct tape!
I asked Amanda a few questions about her creative process...
Where do you find your inspiration?
I find inspiration from all around me and everyday life. It all just depends on the day really, which can make things quite interesting.
How did you learn to do what you do?
I was with my dad when I was 12 in the paint section at Wal-Mart and they had some red, black, and grey tape. I told him I wanted to make a purse and asked if i could buy some tape. Later that night I sat down and came up with the purse I wanted, and a few hours later I had my very first duct tape purse. After that my dad would take me to Wal-Mart up to five times a week to get new tape to come up with new purses. As years went by, new tapes would come out and I would sit and teach myself how to make new things.
Were you creative as a child?
Yes I was somewhat creative. I was 12 when I taught myself how to make duct tape purses and that idea was just on a whim. I don’t remember hearing or seeing duct tape things at the time, it hadn’t exploded into what it is today.
Who has influenced (or is influencing) your life and your art?
I would say growing up, my dad was a big influence in the creative and art aspect. He would always come up with a new crazy contraption to do or fix something. So I think I got my think-outside-the-box ideas from him. For my inspiration now I would say my son Justin and husband Christopher. Just like any mother or wife, you want to make your family proud. That's what I shoot for. I use them for inspiration in every aspect. I hardly ever post a new product before asking my husband if it looks okay. I always take his opinion into consideration in all I do. They both inspire ideas that I come up with, as well as come up with ideas of their own. I also have a great friend Amanda whom I met through my duct tape page. She is also a fellow taper and we share ideas and things throughout the day.
When you hear the words "fearlessly creative," what do they mean to you?
Fearlessly creative to me means someone who would create new things at any expense. They are not afraid to go beyond what others are doing to create something unique that others have never seen.