We had the good fortune of connecting with Amanda Lynn Johnson and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Amanda Lynn, do you disagree with some advice that is more or less universally accepted?
Immediately, the advice “practice makes perfect” comes to mind. Most of us have been told this at some point in life. Maybe it was when we were a child practicing our ABC’s or as an adult learning to play an instrument. Some of us have been told more than others, but I disagree with that advice. Who defines perfection to begin with? Perfection is a subjective social construct that varies in definition from person to person. The concept of perfection creates pressure. We feel as though we may never be able to live up to these standards. This saying is intended to encourage us, however, it can make us feel vulnerable towards something that we may have been excited about before. The pressure to live up to perfection can be so daunting for both children and adults alike.

Rather than teaching “practice makes perfect,” I’d love to share and spread the message that perfection is just an opinion. Continuously nurturing and pursuing our passions in life offers more fulfillment. Remember that it’s okay to take breaks. Seeking knowledge and striving towards growth is what feeds our minds and shapes our personalities.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I have always found myself drawn to and inspired by the natural world. I paint and sculpt as a means of escape from reality. Whether I realized it or not in the beginning, I have always used creating art as my own form of meditation. With that being said, it takes time and effort. It isn’t always easy. However, creating is one of the few activities in my life when being in the moment can truly come naturally. So much so, that I lose track of time. I often find that my favorite part of painting is not the end result, but the trance that it puts me in—often referred to as a flow state. The flow state is what I crave. Textures are what excite me. Rich, deep earth tones and pastels allure me back to the canvas. My color choices and application of paint aim to capture my mood and feelings about the subject.

I’ve recently realized that sometimes we are our own biggest obstacle and our obstacles are as difficult to tackle as we allow them to be. Fully believing this has brought me one step closer towards being the artist I envision myself as. I have decided to stop standing in my own way and pursue my passion. Recognizing that I AM an artist and that not all art or artists are the alike. I encourage others to do the same! Stop feeling guilty for the times I didn’t create and focus on the present.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
My top 3 Arizona places to visit are Sedona, Prescott, and Bisbee. Each of these destinations top my list because they feed my love for nature and art alike. I often ponder retiring in one of these towns.

The first place I would take my best friend would be Sedona. There is no where else in the world like Sedona. We would spend time hiking around the beautiful Red Rock State Park exploring trails like Cathedral Rock and Seven Sacred Pools. In the afternoon, we would relax with a few drinks at Sedona Beer Company, followed by a walk around town enjoying the vibrant arts community.

From Sedona, we would head to Prescott and do a tour at Thumb Butte Distillery. You will learn so much about the distilling process and possibly find a new love for Gin (like I did! haha), followed by a tasting flight that will make you want to drink your liquor neat. We would stay the night in a Treehouse for a fun experience. Yes, a treehouse! If you don’t believe me, look it up.

Upon passing through Phoenix, I’d be sure to take them to look at all the amazing murals using the Mural Map provided by the Phoenix Mural Project. But not without stopping at Novel Ice Cream first– a must stop destination. We would enjoy dinner at Ocotillo and spend the evening bar hopping and hanging out at Valley Bar, Cornish Pasty Co, and Hanny’s.

Bisbee would be the last stop in Arizona and we would simply explore. Walking through the town makes you feel like you are on a movie set, especially in the evening. The city itself has a rich and interesting history unique from other towns in Arizona. We would end our trip together with the Old Bisbee Ghost Tour a unique culinary dining experience at Cafe Roka.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
A special thank you to my sister and brother. Through thick and thin they have been there for me since day one. These two have mentored me through all my tough decision making in life and have always encouraged me to trust my instincts, without compromising my values. Thank you to my friends and family for the continued love and support in whatever shenanigans I may be up to. Thank you to my boyfriend Cameron, for always being able to make me laugh and see the light in any dark situation. Thank you to Allie, one of my best friends and now business partner. You have always inspired me with your sheer motivation and constant pursuit of artistry. I am excited to see where our small business Dye For it Goods takes us in the future.

Last, but not least, thank you to ANY and ALL public libraries. Libraries will always be one of my favorite places to spend my time and find inspiration. One of my favorite things to do when I visit a city is explore their public library. They don’t only contain books about history, but are rich in history themselves. From the architecture, to the contents inside–I always feel the presence of community in these spaces.

Website: https://amandasartspace.weebly.com/

Instagram: @amandasartspace & @dyeforitgoods

Other: Etsy: https://www.etsy.com/shop/DyeForItGoods Tik Tok: DyeForItGoods

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