About the artists
Artist Q&A: Amanda Pratt
Vancouver & New York City
Why do you live where you do?
We moved to Vancouver during covid. It seemed a good time to have a chapter with my family as I'm Canadian. Things in the city were a little crazy with all the homeschooling and social restrictions, and I wanted to be closer to my parents who are getting older and for them to hang out properly with their grandkids.…plus it's a super beautiful part of the world. After raising 4 kids in the city and living there myself for 20 years, this seemed like a perfect opportunity to experience the northwest. I actually love going back and forth between Vancouver and New York as I appreciate both places for all their beauty and energy.
Tell us about the work you create?
I love creating images that feel original for whatever reason and have a certain harmony or energy in terms of composition.
Usually, there is something specific about the color palette and a certain femininity to my imagery. I feel I have a strong yet uniquely feminine perspective.
I work with photography and digital photography. I usually have a team of people with me photo assistants, a digital tech, stylists, hair, and makeup. I started originally in analog photography, and of course, now everything is digital. It has been interesting to have been involved with both processes and witness and be a part of this digital revolution.
What’s your current day-to-day like?
My day-to-day varies every day! When working, I'm usually in NYC or LA in a studio or on location, so I'm not with my family. When I'm home in Vancouver, I'm a soccer mom and doing a lot of driving and being a mom to my four kids.
How did you get started making art?
I went to university (UBC) for art history and then went into styling and makeup for film and then the photography industry. At that point, I would say I knew what I liked in a photograph and had a certain aesthetic. One day I decided to pick up a camera and start shooting…after building a portfolio, I soon started to work more and more doing commercial photography and continued my personal work.
Where do you find your inspiration?
From everything; art, fairy tales, other photographs, stories, and especially old films, even moments from my day that might strike me visually or get me thinking.
Most rewarding — or surprising! — part of the job?
I love working with and collaborating with other people. I also love working alone and quietly. I love building up the idea and inspiration behind a story with a storyboard and concept and then making that vision manifest. It's always interesting to see how the photos turn out differently or as similar to the original plan.
Best behind-the-scenes story?
I was once on a shoot on a catamaran sailboat, and we were all done for the day, relaxing and laughing as the sun was setting. On the way back to port, the people that we rented the boat from crashed into a coral reef, and we had a very memorable dramatic exit getting off the boat before it sank. The next morning from the hotel we could see the boat's tip poking out of the water into the skyline. It had not sunk completely because it was still sitting on top of part of the reef.
With the furry valentine images, we were inspired by Dr. Suess’ thing one and thing two but a playful sexy naughty version with sheer tights, a bow, and some lipstick.
Most memorable thing someone has said to you about your art?
That it made them smile.
I try to breathe continuously and say less as I get older. I probably still talk too much… but i think less is more.
Do you have a signature color or palette?
I love pastels mixed with bright colors, even neons. I especially love tertiary colors that are unexpected.
How do you want people to feel when they see it?
I want them to love it! Love the colors, the composition, and the feeling they get from it. Whether it is a smile, a giggle, or a nostalgic memory, as long as it conjures up something, I feel the piece must speak somehow.