How Amber Kingi Transitioned From an Office Job to a Full-Time Artist
Those who have recognised the greatest joy in life comes when they ignite their artistic flame know there are obstacles that need to be overcome to become a professional artist. It’s often fear that holds them back – how do you set your own art career goals? How do you establish a name in a highly competitive industry? How long does it take for success to happen? And is it actually worth giving up a stable job that pays the bills to pursue a hobby?
However, if we’ve learnt anything from previously sharing the career advice of 15 successful artists, it’s that the biggest challenges can be turned into positives - and one creative who is living proof of this is Gold Coast-based artist Amber Kingi.
Once working an office job, Amber followed her intuition to turn her true passion to paint into a full-time job. Now, the self-taught artist spends every day experimenting and drawing inspiration from her surroundings to create bold and beautiful artworks that bring just as much joy to others as it does to her.
To celebrate the launch of Amber’s exclusive Bed Threads print collection, we sat down with the inspirational creative to find out her best career advice, how she creates her lively artworks and what you need to know about starting the perfect art collection.
Hi Amber! When did you start creating art and painting?
I picked up a paintbrush about six years ago. As a self-taught artist, I see everything as a chance to learn. In the beginning, it was about giving it a go, not putting too much pressure on myself, and experimenting with media and techniques.
What inspired you to go down this route with your career?
Coming from an office background, painting started as something for me to express my creativity.
My career as a creative happened slowly and organically, but mostly through continuing to push myself to create work and better my skills. Even when I wasn’t making any sales, I still painted. About two years ago, I gained representation and in 2020 I finally took the plunge to become a full-time artist. Since then, I’ve become a lot more comfortable in myself, and that’s definitely reflected in my art.
Can you talk us through your creative process for your Bed Threads collection – where did you draw inspiration from?
I was really excited to collaborate with Bed Threads and being a brand that I adore, I wanted to produce work that was feminine and strong, and that I was proud of.
You gave me a lot of creative freedom, which I thrive on, only asking that I work with your colour palette. That was way too easy because the colours are gorgeous and complementary. I started with sketching various female forms until I settled on two whole-body pieces and two torso pieces.
What are the most important features in a piece of artwork for you?
Firstly… colour! Colour is key!
Secondly, composition and an interesting subject are not to be understated. However, if your colours don’t work then the whole artwork will be worthless (in my opinion, anyway!).
Do you have a single piece of advice you’d give to your younger self or someone looking to pursue a creative career?
Be insanely weird.
Make sure you do you, loudly and fiercely. I thought I was weird as a teenager and now I really know I am – and I love that about myself.
Do you have advice for someone looking to start an art collection?
Buy what you absolutely love. That’s all it takes.