The search for greater meaning in life can often be a catalyst to change. This is the case for Amanda Jolley, and the change was radical, from accountant to artist. The inspiration for her work comes from a observation of the patterns found in every day life, and how they complement and often mirror the connections in the brain and processing of the subconscious.
Amanda was raised in a rural environment in the Midwest, her father a farmer from a line of farmers. She felt a profound draw to the earth and the prairie, to the cycles of nature. Her creativity was nurtured through an emphasis in music. She was also able to express herself through writing and dance. Approaching the age for college, she chose a career in accounting due to her appreciation and interest in numbers and patterns. After obtaining a BBA with a major in accounting, she quickly obtained a CPA certificate. It took less than a decade as an accountant for Amanda to acknowledge her career choice left her drained and empty. This void compelled her to search for fulfillment which was discovered through creative expression. The more time she spent in artistic process, the closer to true self she felt. At the point Amanda declared herself an artist, she finally felt at home within herself.
While working through the process of discovering her true self, a distinct pattern emerged, symbols began revealing themselves in her work. Upon further pushing into the symbology, she began to notice other distinct designs mirrored in nature and the brain. Her work reflects the patterns emerging from the subconscious both in her encaustic painting and in her paper folding. She appreciates the ability to create marks concealed and revealed in the layers of the encaustic wax, and found an inner language of the subconscious emerged in the form of landscape. Layer upon layer of seeming chaos settled to translatable and recognizable form. The study of patterns is further examined by the folding of tessellations on paper and encaustic monotypes, incorporating these fold patterns and folded papers into her paintings and as standalone works.
Amanda’s studio, aptly named, Studio Joy, is a dream come to fruition in 2014. Physically located in the heart of Kansas City, MO, Studio Joy was once a repair shop for Greenlease Cadillac in the 1930-50s. The expansive 5000 square foot space is shared with Scott Jolley Production Services, a video production business owned and operated by Amanda and her husband Scott. Both of creative minds, their dreams work well side by side, and they have the fortune of living in the home attached to the old auto body shop.
Prior to moving into Studio Joy, her studio space was carved from a room of their home at the time. The dimensions of the room were limiting to both size and scope of work, but she found that the limits also were a catalyst for creative thinking prompting her to scale her work and concepts to a workable size.
At Studio Joy, Amanda now has the freedom to work large. She also utilizes the studio space by teaching encaustic workshops and inviting guest artists to instruct at her studio location.
Without formal education in art, Amanda’s artistic training has been intentional; finding artists whose work compels her and then studying under them through workshops and personal instruction. She also regularly meets and works with other artists to propel process, ideas, and larger artistic vision. She is a member of the Kansas City Artists Coalition, the International Encaustic Artists, and Origami USA, all organizations the nurture and support her path as an artist. In the past 8 years, Amanda’s paintings are regularly shown both in solo and group exhibits. She has a large-scale (12×6′) commissioned encaustic painting in the University of Kansas Medical Hospital. She is also published in Encaustic Revelation by Patricia Baldwin Seggebruch, North Light Books, and was the 2014 Jan-Feb Featured Artist for Enkaustikos.
Outside of art, Amanda spends her time reading, writing, and discussing philosophy. She has a passion for sharing the healing properties of art with a distinct segment of the Kansas City population, exploited women, and spends much of her time planning projects to promote healing. Amanda also continues to use her business degree to run the studio, her travel company, and video production business. She enjoys the challenge of balancing the two very different parts of her life, art and business and finds that she pulls skills from each area to strengthen the other.