Lookin like the black Audrey Hepburn...
One of my biggest joys as an artist has always been working with and celebrating my fellow creatives. I've missed interviewing artists I admire and decided to pick it back up today on National Black Love Day. I saw no better way to support my community than by spreading around some adulation. Often we artists are perceived as narsicists and few would ever go through the trouble to promote other artists on their own site. Artists see each other as competition and will do whatever it takes to shove the next one down, steal ideas and self-promote. At least those are the rumors, I don't know if that's true or not, I only know how I operate. And personally my fellow artists are the ones that help me stay afloat. Seeing my creative peers produce and fall and get back up and produce some more is often times the only thing that keeps me going. In this day and age of social media many things are for show and everything is about fame and external validation but for a genuine artist we have no choice in the matter. Pay attention to us or don't, it's your choice. We will create silently in a closet if we have to otherwise we can not breathe. When you've been creating from within for most of your life you don't do it for the attention on social media or some promise of fame. You do it to keep the metal diseases at bay.
There seemed no better way to start this series than by shedding a little light on a woman I worked with in Chicago years ago. We boss ass Chicagoans are walking around with a little extra pep in their step today enjoying the triumph of Chance the Rapper winning at the Grammy's last night and that's exaclty where I met "FurdgeCakes". Amanda and I both love Chicago and consider it home yet were both raised in southern Mississippi, so we are bonded in black girl revolutionary sistahood twice over. She is living my dream life with two beautiful sons and her talent over the past years since becoming a mother seems to only have gotten richer.
In addition to ten solid years and counting as a nationally and internationally known spoken word poet and author, Amanda Furdge is known for possessing a wide array of talents, as well as being highly respected as a mother, community leader, writer and cultural/social influencer. Born and raised in Jackson, Mississippi, she began her own journey into creativity as a necessity. Featured on numerous websites, blogs, stages, projects and records in many artistic capacities ranging from writing to producing; she aspires to write and record organic material with tremendous depth that will inspire listeners and readers to empower change. Always giving all credit to the Highest God, she believes that the spirits of our ancestors walk with us every day and is determined to share her personal legend with the world.
CP: What inspires you the most?
AF: I’m inspired most by my hope. My hope that my contributions to our culture and society will add value and be sustained with and by the loving spaces they are created in. I’m in spired by my beautiful children.
CP: Is your studio in your home or in a different location?
My studio is in my heart so it is wherever I am at any given moment. One day, I hope that I will have a space to create on a beach or in some mountains…
CP: What do you do to keep yourself healthy?
AF: Love. Believe. Focus. Contribute. These are things I do to keep myself healthy.
CP: Was there ever a time when you almost gave up on creating and if so why?
AF: After I had my children, I was overwhelmed. I felt defeated and I could not see how to balance motherhood and my artistry. I almost gave up. Motherhood is hard. Without certain support(s) in place, it’s harder. But that’s not all that it is. It’s incredible. And at some point, incredible things (can) seem impossible and defeating.
CP: What is your creative process?
AF: My creative process is 90% observation. After I observed I just let my thoughts, stories and ideas spill out in whatever ways they choose to.
CP: How has social media affected your creation process?
AF: Social media drives me to be and remain consistent. To share my thoughts, stories and ideas and trust that they will be embraced, respected and valuable.
CP: How has social media affected your sales?
AF: Social media has helped to grow my fan base and house new relationships. If I’m selling inspiration, I think my sales have increased.
CP: Where is the most inspirational place you’ve traveled and how did that trip affect your work?
AF: The most inspirational place I’ve traveled to is my own backyard. The state of Mississippi is incredibly beautiful. There are so many stories to tell and that have been told. So many narratives to explore.
CP: What’s the biggest compliment you’ve ever gotten about your work?
AF: Any of them. All of them. They are all equally magnificent to me. However, to hear from my toddlers that they like something I’ve said or done (creatively) brings me the greatest joy.
CP: Do you have a muse and if so how does that person inspire you?
AF: My dear friend Cokebumaye (a fellow artist/creative) inspires me. His drive. His mind. Then there is my goddess sister Dee Anaya. She is incredible on every level that you could imagine. Her story is one of magic. I adore her. She keeps me ready to be my best self.
CP: What is the one thing that most people assume about you that’s not at all accurate?
AF: That I am so “strong”. I’m not so “strong”. I just know when to bend and when to break.