Today we’d like to introduce you to Amanda Rivera.
So, before we jump into specific questions about what you do, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I lived in a world of pure creativity. My mother was a graphic designer and my father was a photographer. And being that I followed my dad around a lot, I made photography my first love at the age of eight. I learned basic skills through my first mentor named Greg Wigfall at a production camp called “Comin’ To The Stage”. And through that camp, I learned so much about myself that I didn’t even know existed, like my love for writing.
In high school, I learned a lot through my church that one usually wouldn’t learn like marketing skills, sound engineering, light engineering, and videography. And even though I had all these skills on my tool belt, I was missing my first love: photography. So, I picked up the camera again and got back into the hang of taking pictures.
In the summer of 2018, I picked up the art of poetry and decided to become a writing major at Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD). By the time I was ready to attend, I was back in the hang of both writing and photography. So I did something I never did before which was putting the two together. I got the idea when I did my photography series called “Souled Out Beauty”. Ever since then, I kept growing my budding craft.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
It definitely hasn’t been a smooth road. I kept contradicting myself and putting myself down because I saw people better than me doing all these events and I wanted in on the action. I was very insecure about my art and protected it as if it was baby. I never published and refused to because I was, in all honesty, scared to show who I was through my work. But my friends talked me into publishing my work and that’s when I finally broke out of that insecurity shell.
To all the young women who are just starting out in their craft, don’t be selfish with the work that was meant for the world to see. You never know who will be inspired by your work.
What do you do, what do you specialize in, what are you known for, etc. What are you most proud of? What sets you apart from others?
As of right now, I write poetry and short stories. (I took a little break with my camera because I needed to focus on my major more. I still do photography when I have the time, but not as much as last year.) I mostly write about things that teens and young adults go through like depression, love, heartbreak, and sexual orientation.
I am most proud of the first photo poem I did called “Souled Out Beauty” which talked about beauty being more on what’s inside of you instead of what is on the outer layer. And I wouldn’t say that I’m the first person to come up with visuals to my words, but nobody has said the exact words I’m saying in my work.
Are there any apps, books, podcasts or other resources that you’ve benefited from using?
What really helps me do my best is seeing others do their best. It sounds cliche, I know, but I just love seeing others make it and gives me hope that I can make it also.
- Instagram: instagram.com/writtenbymandie