Ai LIVE: Grad Amy Rader Makes Mark in Atlanta’s Mixed Media Art Scene
Visual Artist Amy Rader, a 1995 Associate of Arts in Visual Communications graduate of The Art Institute of Atlanta, is making a mark in Atlanta’s mixed media art scene. Her work is inspired by travel, nature, music, and fashion and she’s currently focused on two series: Animal Faces and Butterflies.
In this segment of Ai LIVE, Rader speaks to host E. Vincent Martinez about her time at The Art Institute of Atlanta, her path to becoming an independent artist, and how she came to choose butterflies and tigers as her latest focal points.
Rader also discusses fashion designer Alexander McQueen—whose intricate feathered masks and hats led Rader to create new and innovative pieces. In addition to fashion industry icons, Rader looks to friends and colleagues to spur her creativity. She mentions that her first large scale mural came about after a friend asked her for help decorating a club. While Rader had never made such a large piece before, she created the artwork digitally then had it printed in very large size. “I [had] no idea how to do that, but I [knew I had to] figure it out,” she says.
Her perseverance and love of art began as a child. Then in high school, her art teacher allowed her to take on projects beyond the scope of classwork—that same teacher encouraged Rader to apply to The Art Institute of Atlanta. With the help of a photographer friend, Rader put together a portfolio of work that earned her a tuition scholarship to start her creative studies.
“The Art Institute [of Atlanta] changed my life,” she says, adding that she still uses the skills she learned in school. Rader mentions that while she worked for agencies and tech companies in graphic and web design after graduation, she felt fully realized after going out on her own and pushing herself and her art. “I kicked it into gear and started to look at the art I was creating a little differently.”
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