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An Interview with Amanda Schattie

Amanda Schattieby McKenna Britton

Amanda Schattie has been drawing since she was young, an artist since childhood, so many may find it surprising that she took only one art class before attending Florida State University and having her artwork shown on campus.

Her artworks, Worry, Love & Heartache, hang proudly on the third floor lounge of the Honors, Scholars, Fellows building on FSU’s campus, where studying students can look up and admire her work as they sit in the stuffed red chairs available in the lounge area.

I was one of these students. Perched on the cushion of my chair, my neck craned upward, I stared at Schattie’s artwork and an immediate desire to speak with her about the drawings fluttered in my mind, much like the prevalence of the butterflies in the Love image she created.

 

Q: What inspired the creation of the pieces Worry, Love and Heartache?

A: I had been thinking about the idea of nature intertwined with human anatomy for a while (I actually painted a preliminary version of Figure 2: Love a couple of summers before I drew the final version). I am currently studying Art Therapy at FSU and the idea of utilizing art to express emotions and sensations that are familiar to everyone was a concept that I began considering after I discovered the field of art therapy a few years ago. I was also inspired by vintage medical illustrations, and I wanted my drawings to look like they could have been pulled from an old human anatomy book.

 

As an Editing, Writing, and Media student, one of my personal curiosities was what Schattie would do if she were given the opportunity to remix her own artworks. What other medium would she claim in her art? What would she do to remodel the piece? Like she said before, she modeled her drawings to look reminiscent of vintage human anatomy book – if she were to remodel her artwork, she would make each drawing smaller and create more pieces to put together into a book, maybe with thoughts and descriptions included in the book as well.

I then asked a very difficult question for any artist, or bookworm, or any passionate individual: who is your favorite artist? Her answer, though claiming the impossibility of choosing one artist, was Alphonse Mucha and the Art Nouveau style.

When asked about her creative process, Amanda explained to me that she doesn’t plan out her art projects too much – rather, she gets a lot of ideas from dreams, writing down everything she remembers in her dream journal, and, from there, deciding on what medium would be best to create each piece. “I usually just go for it and start drawing or painting, then,” says Schattie. A true artist at heart; she dreams, she writes, she begins.

Schattie favors watercolors as her chosen materials for creating her artworks, though “I’ve started to use pen and colored pencil as well,” she says. “I think watercolors have an ability to create delicate and organic forms that a lot of other mediums don’t have, so I especially enjoy using watercolor when creating natural imagery.”

Schattie’s artwork was selected by the Art on Campus Initiative committee to be exemplified to her fellow students, and put up in the Honors, Scholars, Fellows building on FSU’s campus where it can be admired by all who pass through. I made sure to ask her opinion on Art on Campus: why does she think the initiative is important to our campus, why should we continue housing students’ artworks?

A: The Art on Campus Initiative recognizes the importance of art created by graduate and undergraduate students at FSU, which is significant at a university where there is such a heavy emphasis on research. I think many times students who are studying the sciences never experience the art and exhibits of their peers, and on the same token, art students rarely learn about the research of their peers. Art on Campus brings artwork to various areas outside of the College of Fine Arts, exposing students to art that they never would have viewed otherwise. Also, the artwork was presented at the Undergraduate Research Symposium, which brought art students (myself included) to an event showcasing student research that we may have never heard of. I think placing artwork in the same space as research acknowledges the importance of the arts and encouraging creativity.