We had the good fortune of connecting with Amanda Wicks and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Amanda, is there a quote or affirmation that’s meaningful to you?
My favorite quote at the moment is from a paper that Audre Lorde presented in 1977. She says, “I have come to believe over and over again that what is most important to me must be spoken, made verbal and shared, even at the risk of having it bruised or misunderstood.” This resonates with me because I feel like I spent most of my life being too afraid to share my talents, my ideas, my work with the world. Nobody wants a bruised ego, so keeping my work to myself serves as a defense mechanism. It took me a while, but I realized that hoarding my ideas is a form of self-harm. While I thought I was protecting myself from outside scrutiny, the inner turmoil from withholding it all was much more dangerous. So when Audre Lorde tells us to get it out no matter what the consequence may be, I fully understand how speaking my soul is much more valuable than settling for silence.Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
My art is how I amplify voices, including my own. My work typically centers Black women and Black life because that’s where my heart is. My art is my social commentary. It took me years to get the nerve to share my work and even longer to feel like it was worth selling. It takes a certain level of confidence to put a price tag on what you create and getting to that point required me to start realizing that people value my perspective. I still struggle with this but I get past it by leaning into all the support I’ve received over the years. Every time I doubt myself, there are people ready to remind me of the power of my voice. Who am I to silence it when the world needs more transparency and more media that speaks directly to those relegated to the margins? I want people to know that my work is how I free myself and my aim is to inspire other people to free themselves, too.Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
We’d start the day at Kaffeine Coffee. Then, I’d take them to all the vintage stores in Montrose and swing by the Houston Museum of African American Culture. We’d eat lunch and dinner at some of the Black-owned spots around the city such as Twisted Grilled Cheese, Mikki’s Cafe, or The Stuffed Baked Potato Factory. Hopefully, we’d be able to enjoy a night of poetry at Alley Kat or a movie at Rooftop Cinema Club. On a chill day, taking a walk around Buffalo Bayou and taking some pictures at Eleanor Tinsley Park is a good way to enjoy the scenery. A visit to Graffiti Park is a must and we’d stop at one of the unique restaurants around there like Truck Yard or 8th Wonder Brewery.Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My life partner, William Ford Jr., deserves so much credit for inspiring and motivating my creative journey. As an artist himself, he is my favorite collaborator. He sees my vision and does everything in his power to make sure I fulfill it. Without a doubt, he’s the reason I’m more confident in my artistry. (IG: @willfordjunior)