Interview By Leslie Carvitto
Amanda Meyer was born and raised amongst the majestic beauty of the Pacific Northwest. It’s no surprise then, that her art reflects imagery from her childhood and time spent outdoors.
She still seeks out the beauty of her backyard and not just for art’s sake. Out in nature is where she feels the most joy and the most connected, where she experiences what she calls “tiny moments of heart-pounding happiness.”
We interviewed Amanda about how she unintentionally transitioned to a full-time artist, why she returns to the outdoors after a medical scare, and how she wants to inspire others to live wild through her art.
Find out more, in Amanda’s words:
Tell us about your path as an artist. When and why did you begin painting?
I have been painting for as long as I can remember. In my early teen years, I would lock myself in my room on the weekends and paint on EVERYTHING; old glass bottles, sunglasses, I even drew on the wall once. But I didn’t start to get serious about my art until last year.
The coffee shop I was managing closed down almost without notice and I unexpectedly lost my job. I was sitting at home with time on my hands that I didn’t know what to do with, so I decided to open an Etsy shop. Painting and creating had always been a hobby for me and I expected it to be just a hobby even after I opened up. I never thought my work would get a response, it was just something I knew I loved to do. I paint because it’s the part of my life that allows me to put my daydreams, all those thoughts floating in my head, into something tangible. Something I can hold in my hands and share with others as well.
I paint because it’s the part of my life that allows me to put my daydreams, all those thoughts floating in my head, into something tangible. Something I can hold in my hands and share with others as well.
What inspired the name, “With Wild Hearts Co.” for your art shop?
After much thought, I chose With Wild Hearts Co. because I’ve always wanted to be one of those wild-hearted women. It’s such a romantic notion to me. I want to be someone who runs in the flower fields and swims in the springs. I want to sit on the edge of the cliff and let my feet dangle into the nothingness below. My heart soars at those times. My goal is to inspire others to live wild with me through my art. So the name, albeit hard to say 5 times fast, perfectly fit what I’m trying to do.
Your art is heavily inspired by the landscapes and beauty of the Pacific Northwest. What is your personal connection to the area and how does it impact you?
I’ve lived in the PNW my entire life. I grew up climbing trees and running barefoot on all types of terrain. My cousins and I used to play in creeks and catch crawdads then go berry picking later on. I believe the moments that stick with you in childhood are the ones that end up shaping you as an adult.
Thanks to my parents, I have so many great memories as a child that were formed in the outdoors. I now search for those feeling again. You know that moment when your heart starts to race just a little faster for no reason? Your breath comes in quicker and you feel joy in your bones? That comes to me when I’m outside staring at a mountain range or watching the sun rise between the trees. And that is what I try to capture in my art. Those tiny moments of heart-pounding happiness.
You know that moment when your heart starts to race just a little faster for no reason? Your breath comes in quicker and you feel the joy in your bones? That comes to me when I’m outside staring at a mountain range or watching the sun rise between the trees. And that is what I try to capture in my art. Those tiny moments of heart-pounding happiness.
While spending time outdoors last summer, you had an experience that ended with you in the emergency room. What happened and has it changed your perspective on the outdoors?
I was out in Eastern Washington and sitting on the shore of a lake fishing when, unbeknownst to me, I was bitten by a tick. There were so many mosquito bites on me after we got home that I assumed it was just another bite. Until one day about a week later, I came down with a fever of 105°F. I was so sick I ended up staying at my parent’s house because I couldn’t take care of myself anymore.
This went on for 4 days until my mom took me to the doctor who referred us to the ER to get some fluids in me. By this time I had developed a rash all over my body. I thought I was just going in for fluids when a doctor comes in and says, “I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t worried about you.” They had run some tests and had no clue what was wrong with me or why I was so sick. But they had a hunch. Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.
It’s so rare that they didn’t even carry a test for it. The doctors started treating me on the 4th day of my illness. I didn’t know at the time but after 5 days of untreated symptoms, inflammation of the brain, kidney failure, gangrene, and even death can occur. It took a while to fully recover but now I’m healthy with no residual side effects.
They had run some tests and had no clue what was wrong with me or why I was so sick. But they had a hunch. Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.
Honestly, my feelings about the outdoors after the illness grew even stronger. I appreciate every opportunity I get to be outside and breathe in the sweet air. I don’t fear being outside because of the potential dangers. Those are always there no matter what. I choose to be thankful for the time I get to spend outdoors with the people I love and not fearful of what may or may not happen.
Tell us about your “Dream Series in Blue”. What inspired that collection?
My Dream Series in Blue collection was inspired by my love for minimalist images that tell a story. I’ve loved looking at the night sky for as long as I can remember. I used to sneak out on the roof after everyone went to bed and just stare at it. The moon really plays a feature role in most of my Dream Series. It’s such an enigmatic and beautifully untouchable fixture up there that I try to bring it closer to us through this series. It makes me so happy that others seem to love it just as much as I do.
What’s one of your favorite pieces you’ve created and why?
Oh boy… That’s such a tough question. I really start to form an emotional connection with each piece as it comes along. I actually have two! Can I have two? Is that allowed? I’m gonna have two because #SmallScaleRuleBreaking. I really love my coffee stain paintings. I have such a love for all things coffee so using it as a medium in my art just seemed to fit perfectly. I also have a spot in my heart for my Front Yard Series. It combines some of my favorite places with my imagination of the secret worlds that live without us noticing, such as trolls playing catch with boulders over the ridge or gnomes quietly going about their business at night while we sleep.
What’s next for you and your art?
I’d like to say I have a set plan for 5 years down the line with my art but I don’t. Rather, I like to set small goals for myself. I’d love to paint a mural one day. Or have my coffee paintings featured in a coffee shop. But I also think opportunities come your way when you least expect them. So for now, I will continue to love what I do and work on my skills with joy and thankfulness.
Photos courtesy of and artwork of Amanda Meyer.
Amanda is a 25-year-old artist with a wild heart and an unbounded love for the outdoors. You can find her in her overalls with paint in her hair, dirt on her feet, and a brush in her hand. Follow Amanda on Instagram. Her work is available for purchase here.
Leslie Carvitto is a freelance writer and photographer based in Seattle, WA. She is fueled by creativity, community, coffee and the great outdoors. Find more of her work at Forever Stoked and follow her travels on Instagram.