Today we’d like to introduce you to Amanda Proctor.
Amanda, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I was always a creative and imaginative child growing up. I would constantly make messes and try to find new materials to experiment with.
It wasn’t until high school that I was finally able to take an actual art class. My mom suggested I enroll in a painting course, but it wouldn’t work with my schedule. As an alternative, I signed up for ceramics, and that’s where I found my love for clay. The art teachers at my high school were so supportive and helpful, and if it weren’t for my mom, I wouldn’t be where I am today. She advised me to find something that I loved and make a career out of it.
I remember applying for colleges and having to choose an intended major. I looked over the list so many times without feeling passionate about anything except art. I was apprehensive about going to college for an art degree, but my parents were very encouraging. I started at the University of Georgia in 2009 with a full schedule of drawing, design, and art history.
In four years at Lamar Dodd School of Art, I learned and practiced every medium, but never wanted to paint and draw as much as I wanted to sculpt and carve the clay. I worked with two amazing artists in the Ceramics Department, Ted Saupe and Sunkoo Yuh, who helped me push myself every day.
After graduation, I started selling my pottery at artist markets and craft fairs around the Atlanta and Athens areas. Last year, I was finally able to quit my part-time job and fully devote my time to growing my pottery business!
Has it been a smooth road?
The most challenging obstacle I have faced while starting my own pottery business has been the actual business part of the process. Working for yourself as an artist means you become the accountant, the secretary, the sales rep, AND the artist! I struggle to devote time for the non-artistic sides of running my business.
But I’ve figured out a way to organize my tasks to make sure I stay on top of the boring jobs also. I look back on the past few years and notice how much I’ve accomplished on my own. I love my job and hope I can continue to share my art with the world.
We’d love to hear more about what you do.
I create one of a kind, hand-carved pottery on the pottery wheel with animal pottery mugs as my best selling item. I make sure I stock my booth at artists markets with a huge selection of different animal mugs for customers to choose.
I love hearing the stories behind why someone buys a particular animal for a friend or family member. I feel connected to my customers when they share how they use my mug every morning or how they were gifted my mug, and it became their new favorite.
I also make customized Pet Portrait pottery mugs. I accept pet photos via email to reference for my carving on the mug. These mugs make great gifts, and I become very busy during the holidays fulfilling so many orders!
Is our city a good place to do what you do?
Atlanta provides many opportunities for independent artists to sell their artwork in stores and at various artist markets. I have had great success starting my small business in the Atlanta area, but I hope to expand soon by selling at markets and stores in other states.
Although I travel to Atlanta almost every other weekend, I consider Athens, GA to be my home. The art community in Athens, especially the amazingly talented group of potters, working out of Athens, inspired me to pursue pottery making as a career.
- Hand-Carved Animal Pottery Mugs $38- $46
- Hand-Carved, Custom Pet Portrait Mug $46
- Website: www.amandaproctor.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/aproctorceramics
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/aproctorceramics
- Other: www.etsy.com/shop/aproctorceramics
KA Artist Shop