It was a sunny Saturday morning when I met Amanda in a small, corner coffee shop. I, of course, after being stuck in continuous little league traffic of walking children and adults alike,was running late. Yet I was greeted with a friendly smile and sense of eagerness. We bought our coffee and sat down to discuss the story of Amanda.
Tell us a little about yourself…
I have lived here (Northwest Indiana) for all of my life. I’m the youngest of 4 and the first to go to college. Two siblings did their thing and had a bunch of kids (laughs) but my last sibling is like me–no babies and figuring things out. So going to school is something that is kind of huge for me. I’m planning on going to Indiana University Bloomington next year for a Masters in Arts and Art Administration. I might become a curator and help out my friends who are artists themselves. I also tutor for photography and printmaking at Indiana University Northwest.
What kind of stuff are you currently working on?
I’m not going to have any photography classes in the Fall, so I’ve been working on a new project, to get me out of what I had been shooting previously, for a while. I shot with a wide angle all semester, so I’m switching up my lenses to a 50mm to change viewpoints. I’m going to be doing printmaking and ceramics in the summer as well. I’m not a great ceramicist, but I enjoy….the act of doing it (laughs).
What’s your favorite stuff to work on; or are you all over the board?
Photography is my thing mostly. I worked at a photo studio as soon as I turned 18 and it just pushed my love to do it. But portrait photography is definitely different from a lot of other types of photography. Getting kids to sit still isn’t always fun. But I did other things too, like I tried working for this real estate company – it was nice because houses don’t move (laughs). But I was at the studio for about 8 years.
What’s making you want to take the jump to curating?
I think I’m a type A personality. I like organizing , writing and putting things together. So as much as I like creating the work, I think I would like curating a lot more. I just like the idea of being behind the scenes. I like being precise about things. Doing a senior show in school kind of makes you see things differently. We had an art historian that made us write about the show and that kind of made me realize that I really had no idea what I wanted to do after the fall. After thinking about it, art curating sounded like something I’d really enjoy.
What other types of things do you do for fun creative-wise?
I like to go to ska shows. I like to hula hoop on my down time. I have a friend that got me into it and it actually helped me quit smoking cigarettes. I’m not amazing, but it gives me something to do in my down time.
So you worked for a while in a studio. Can you tell us a little more about that?
It was a photo studio in the mall. It wasn’t bad, but I can’t go to the mall anymore. Not like I’m banned (laughs)….I just physically can’t. I worked there with a really good friend and we just talk about how it was nice to get out of there. Don’t get me wrong, it was definitely fun. I think it was the sales aspect of it that wasn’t really great. Having to make people pay for things they can’t afford…It wasn’t for me. I’m done with studio stuff. Unless it’s out of my house or something.
If you had your choice, what would you want to do/shoot?
This is the cheesiest answer from my childhood, but I’d love to be a National Geographic photographer. I don’t know if their work is really described as “art” but it helps make change. It helps document these things happening around the world that people otherwise couldn’t see.
Where can people see some of your work?
My website is not up yet, but I plan on offering photographic services. My grandma passed away and I got this idea to digitally recreate these old photographs of her. I think it would be cool to offer that service to people. A lot of people don’t know what to do with all of that physical stuff. I have a huge chest of photos. So I’m turning that stuff into files instead. I’m not sure who some of the people in the photos are (laughs) but they look like they’re related to me so I’m going with it. They’re pretty old photos so I’m contacting all of this family, asking them who these people are. It’s a process, but it’s fun. I like organizing and taking care of these photos. But yeah, my website is coming soon!
Without a website, how exactly DO you show your work?
Well I’m an undergraduate, so most of the things I’m doing probably isn’t the BEST stuff I’m doing. Plus a lot of this work I’ve been doing is on social commentary and about this area. Everyone I know, family and friends, are from this area. It might be more negative for a lot of people than I would intend; I just don’t want to hurt or anger these people close to me. It’s still a process of deciding what I’m going to show.
Once the site is up, what’s going on it?
There will be a lot of portraits and weddings and fun stuff like that. I don’t do a lot of weddings, but I do have a few lined up and ready to go. I don’t have a solid second person to shoot with all of the time, so it would be a lot of work to do it all the time.
So what’s next for you?
Probably finding a job (laughs). Like I mentioned, I worked as a tutor in school, so I think I’ll be looking for some type of work along those lines. Then I pretty much need to figure out things in Bloomington with my boyfriend. After that, I’ll be on my way out there in Fall of 2017, ready to take things from there.
All art/photos included in this article is property of Amanda Hutchins. Portraits of Amanda were taken by Genuine Staff.