Name

Amanda Kingsley

About

Bits & pieces: 


For the last twenty years I’ve been living out in the big woods on the Olympic Peninsula north and west of Seattle. Here I’ve found the perfect blend of sun, rain and blackberry vines.

I've worked for many years as a free-range illustrator and as an editorial cartoonist. I enjoy working with a variety of mediums and styles, which allows me to illustrate the wide range of projects that interest me.

One of my favorite things about graphic design is the psychological or hocus pocus element, whether the manipulations of the images are conscious or unconscious; (it always seems to be a little of both). I like the challenge of a mission, or a puzzle to solve, or a point to make, which is probably what draws me to graphics and illustration over fine art. I love the alchemy and concocting involved in mixing juuuust the right colors, lines and empty spaces to come up with an image that will do the job. I once was asked what drugs I took to do my drawing, but it’s the act of drawing that puts me in an altered state. Sometimes it’s very hard to come back up to the real world when it’s time to go pick up the kids from school.

I have a degree in anthropology from Princeton University and studied printmaking through the Tyler Art School in Rome. I like to travel and have collected visa stamps and exotic parasites from all over the world. There’s nothing like new territory for opening up one’s artistic eye.

Miscellaneous other credentials include work as a feature writer for the Miami Herald, cattle wrangler, carpenter’s apprentice, and movie theater projectionist. Teaching art to kids at schools and summer camp has been one of my favorite things. For five years I owned and operated a hip little restaurant and bakery in Seattle, the Hi-Spot Café. (Perhaps you’ve read about it in “Best Places to Kiss in the Northwest”). Eventually things became difficult with my business partner, so I married him and together we moved deep into the woods where we live now with our two rambunctious offspring.

The nearest town to us is Port Townsend, which first stole my heart when I was twelve and I still can’t believe I get to live here. After too many years in an Airstream trailer (on a 400 foot extension cord plugged into the neighbor’s electric pole), we finally live in a nearly-done home that we designed and built ourselves. (“We” mainly refers to my skilled craftsman husband). It’s certainly the best and biggest art project with which I’ve ever been involved. We’ve named our particular architectural style “Northwest Gothic”.

For the past year or two I’ve been working on illustrations for “Coiled”, a young-adult graphic novel by Seattle writer Peter Gruenbaum. When I first reviewed Peter’s script one of the biggest draw for me was the racial and cultural diversity of the characters that reminded me of the community where I grew up. (Much of the story is in fact set close to my old neighborhood in Seattle). The first 50 pages of Coiled can be viewed at coiledcomics.com. We are currently in the process of shopping the project around to agents and publishers.

Some favorite illustrators of mine:
Arthur Rackam, Winsor McCay, N.C. Wyeth, Kay Nielson, Wanda Gag, Lisbeth Zwerger, Maurice Sendak, Robert Crumb, Barry Moser, Frank Frazetta, Robert Lawson & Walt Kelly.

Specialties

  • Illustration
  • cartooning
  • watercolor
  • logo design
  • writing & editing. Proficient at Photoshop.