Meet

Amber Vittoria

Where are you from and where do you reside?
I grew up slightly north of New York City, in a town called Patterson, NY. It is a nice combination of suburban and rural, with a short train ride to the city. When I was younger, my parents took me to the museums in the city, so from an early age, I knew that at one point in my life I wanted to call NYC home. I now have for the last almost eight years!
What’s your favorite part of your neighborhood in New York?
My favorite part of my area is Madison Square Park - it’s open to the public (unlike a neighboring private park - parks need to be for everyone!), has space to sit and eat, walk around, and in non-pandemic times has beautiful installation art throughout the year. My husband and I were married there a month ago!
What necessities do you require when making your art (radio, specific paintbrushes)?
Living in a tiny apartment with my husband has helped me be flexible in how I work; I aim to keep everything organized in closet bins - each containing brushes. Liquitex paint, Montana spray paint, Prismacolor brush pens, and paper. I also use a printer for my digital and ink pieces.

Describe a typical day in the studio for you.
Because I work from home, I usually get up, doomscroll Twitter (which is unhealthy, but I’m working on it), exercise, eat oatmeal for breakfast, answer emails, work on client and personal projects, and aim to end in the early afternoon, if I can - then I go for my daily walk!
What is the most difficult part of the artistic process for you?
Working through a piece that I don’t immediately fall in love with - sometimes pieces take longer to start a conversation with me, and that is okay…at least that is what I tell myself!
Are there any aspects of your process that are left to chance?
The majority of my work allows for chance, natural errors, accidental marks - it leans into the idea of relatability and imperfection, which parallels the narrative of womanhood I aim to share.
Slant
The majority of my work allows for chance, natural errors, accidental marks - it leans into the idea of relatability and imperfection, which parallels the narrative of womanhood I aim to share. — Amber Vittoria
How do you start your work? How much planning is involved?
Client projects are a bit more heavy-handed with planning than my personal work. They involve rounds of brainstorming, sketching, works in progress, and editing - which is why I prefer to work digitally for many of my branded pieces, as it allows for flexibility. For my personal work, I go straight to creating the piece, which allows for more natural ‘errors’ and surprises to happen.
How has your work developed in the past few years, and how do you see it evolving in the future?
I’ve become more comfortable with not worrying too much on how others view my work; each person brings their own interpretation to the piece, which is something I have continually embraced as I slowly move into the realm of figurative abstraction.
Are you formally trained? Did you go to art school? Who trained you? Did you have a mentor?
I went to Boston University’s College of Fine Arts for Graphic Design - so even though my education was heavily rooted in fine art and design practices, I never studied as an illustrator.

How did you start illustrating / creating fine art?
I began both at a young age, but in regards to professional work, I found clients through Criagslist while in college (which in hindsight can be a bit risky), and evolved to creating a network of artists/illustrators/art directors to reach out to as I grew older.
Do you remember the first work of art that captured your attention?
I’m going to have to say Bob Ross, haha! How much he loved painting really resonated with me as a child, as I loved making art just as much as he did (at least that is how my younger self felt).
What are some themes you find recurring in your pieces, intentional or not?
The aim behind my work is to dismantle stereotypes set upon women; having gone to art school, museums, galleries, shows - and having worked in advertising prior to full time freelance life - I never found myself able to relate to the women depicted within artworks prominently shown. Moreover, it was difficult to envision myself or look up to too many living female artists, as most world-known artists were men. Because of this, I wanted to depict women in a way that I saw myself - more honest and deep than the troped religious/maternal/sexual depictions I was shown my entire life.
Slant
I wanted to depict women in a way that I saw myself - more honest and deep than the troped religious/maternal/sexual depictions I was shown my entire life. — Amber Vittoria
Where do you find your day-to-day inspiration?
It’s a little tougher now with the pandemic, but walking around the city (or wherever I may be…back in a world where traveling was safe!) and being inspired by how others carry themselves throughout the world is where a lot of my work draws form from.
What’s next for you?
To be frank, this is a tough question right now - living in America, especially during this poorly-handled health crisis, has put me more into survival mode versus planning mode. I feel some odd comfort knowing I’m not alone in this sentiment, but my goal is to continue to make the artwork I love to make, and to safely spend time with my family as much as I can.
What’s one of your favorite objects you own? What’s the story?
Oh goodness, so many - but my favorite is a pair of rulers, the folding out-hinged kind, that my grandmother made while working in a factory back in the day. My dad gave them to me recently, and whenever I see them, I think of her.
Is there any artwork on display in your home/studio? Whose is it?
Our apartment is so tiny, so majority of the work I’ve collected is small, on paper and stored, haha. With that said, I am lucky to have works from Efdot, Ana Leovy, CB Hoyo, Sabrena Khadija, Allison Bamcat, Jillian Adel, Amanda Cote, Gary John, and more.

More From Amber Vittoria

More from Meet

Browse Artist Interviews
5311722d 2e1b 48c9 8d78 5c6b06973720
Meet Paulina Ho

California-born, Texas-raised artist Paulina Ho discusses the dichotomy between art and design, and how balancing the two adds reflection and refinement.

More from the Journal

Browse Posts
10c54c02 6011 4504 b3be 02f41dc7f236
Meet Lukey Walden

Lukey Walden talks to us about the quiet moments in loose brushstrokes, conveying a desire for honesty and familiarity between the artist and the subject.