KENT STATE UNIVERSITY
BIRTHPLACE: PHILADELPHIA, PA (currently in Pittsburgh)
Q: Would you consider yourself more of a model or an artist?
A: I would consider myself more of an artist than a model. I do not consider myself a legit model due to that being my original intention. My entire life I have been creating artwork that consisted of mostly drawing, mixed media, and a little bit of painting. I have participated in numerous art shows and competitions throughout my high school years. I always enjoyed taking pictures, but it wasn’t until the beginning of my freshman year of college that people would ask me to model for them.
Q: When did you realized you enjoy creating content?
A: I was in 1st or 2nd grade when I really started to realize that I had some real art skills, especially for someone my age. I used to color my coloring books by outlining them with marker and then light shading them in with a matching crayon or colored pencil. I would show what I did to other adults and they would be so amazed at how neat I was able to color. It might not seem so fascinating, but it shows how well I am able to control the pressure of any drawing utensil that I use, which is a good skill to have when it comes to rendering a drawing.
Q: What opportunities has art brought you?
A: In summer 2016, I participated in a hip-hop workshop that was created by a rap duo called Mother Nature. I designed a mural with an artist named Langston Alston, and it is still up to this day in the Independent Media Center in Urbana, Illinois. My fan art for Erykah Badu was recognized by Erykah Badu herself, she quoted tweeted the concert poster that I made saying “Coolest shit ever”. My senior year of high school consisted of the most opportunities that my artwork has brought me. I was featured in the Chicago Public Library’s art exhibit for black history month, and I was one of the youngest artists to ever be featured there. I won a billboard competition, my drawing was up on a electronic billboard for a year. I won an MLK Creative Expressions award for my drawing titled The Angry Black Woman. I was interviewed by local news station for their Kid To Know segment, they asked me about my art and fashion. I had my own fashion show scene in my school’s African American Culture Club talent show, where I made the clothing, picked out music, choregraphed/picked out the models, and helped with lighting. That fashion show is linked to art because, in graphic design class we learned how to silk screen shirts. I hand drew designs and scanned them so that I could edit them on photoshop. Then I would print it out, take vinyl sticker sheets so that I could trace my design on there, and cut out the design with an x-acto knife. I would put the cut-out design on a silk screen, put the silk screen on the shirt and spread the ink across while someone holds down the screen. Some of the garments had silk screen designs while other garments were sewn together by me.
Q: How does the summer have an affect on your artistic vision?
A: The summer before 8th grade was when I decided to take art more seriously in terms of drawing more realistically, before that I did a lot of abstract art. In more recent summers I haven’t really had the motivation to create new artwork, I have been more focused on creating garments. This summer has been good for the fashion side of me but hopefully this is the year that I start drawing again.
Q: What is the most creative thing you have ever done?
A: The mural that I collaborated on with Langston Allston. It was the first time that I have ever collaborated with someone on a piece of artwork. It was a fun experience, especially when there were a few people that came and helped paint and incorporate their own ideas on little details.
Q: Do you ever find it difficult to be both a student and an artist?
A: I find it very difficult to be a student and an artist. I feel like there isn’t enough time to create my own artwork when I have so much homework to do. The only time my school life and art life collide is when I’m in a class that involves the aesthetics of fashion such as fashion illustration.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: I’m not exactly sure how to describe my style, I wear a different style of clothing every day. I wear what I think is cute at the time, sometimes I like to follow trends because, I find them appealing but I always add my own personal spin on them.
Q: Name three things you love about modeling/creating.
A: My favorite part about creating would be the adrenaline rush. When I’m drawing or sewing I get a random boost of energy that keeps me up and working all throughout the day and night. My two favorite things about modeling are helping a designer or stylist bring their vision to life and working with talented photographers.
Q: Who or what inspires you the most?
A: I don’t think I have one specific source of inspiration, I find inspiration from people that I know or follow on social media who are successful in a creative field. I love surrounding myself with people who are doing what they love. They remind me that the struggles that I face when it comes to fashion and art are normal and that they are only temporary. When it comes to having a successful creative career it is important to know that it will take time, and that is something that my creative peers remind me to do.
Q: What are some of your greatest goals/dreams?
A: One of my major goals is to be apart of a major clothing company’s design team. I feel like I would be a perfect candidate to work for someone else instead of having my own clothing company. I do see myself making custom garments for different celebrities but, that’s the closest thing to working for myself I could realistically see myself doing. Another major goal is to have a period in my life where I’m living in a fashion capital such as London or New York.
Q: What is your go-to summer hairstyle?
A: My go-to hairstyle for the summer is a slick back bun and a slick top knot bun. I like to make my own hair gel with flaxseeds and peppermint oil. Flaxseed gel has good hold and it’s really moisturizing for my natural hair. When it’s not too hot, I like to put on a wig to give my hair a break.
Q: If you could collaborate with anyone, who would it be?
A:I would love to collaborate with 3 people; Solange, Rico Nasty, and Rihanna. It would be cool if I could make clothing for them. I feel like my design aesthetic is a little bit on the edgier side and they all have an edge when it comes to their sense of style. I want my clothing to make them feel the same way that I feel when I’m listening to their music, which is confident and good.
LinkedIn: Amani Congleton