Amanda Charchian is a Los Angeles based, internationally exhibiting fine artist and photographer who has graduated with an BFA at Otis College of Art and Design. As a daughter of Iranian parents, who have escaped the oppresive regime of their home country in the late 1970’s, she purely enjoys the freedom of pursuing her passion as an artist, creating magical pictures that fuel our imagination beyond known reality. Rather than a documenter, she considers herself as a surrealist, trying to express the subconscious sphere and mystical experiences into our physical world. In her youthful spirit, she also experiments with sculpture and painting, never failing to add a certain touch of mystery into her artwork. She has exhibited in a number of galleries worldwide, including the Cob Gallery in London, the Kasher Potamin Gallery in New York, the Cultural Center Parobrod in Belgrade, Serbia and the Gajah Gallery in Singapore etc. For more information visit www.amandacharchian.com.
Whom do you look up to?
Right now I am very interested in contemporary philosopher’s of consciousness like Rupert Sheldrake and Lynn McTaggart.
Who or what has been the biggest influence on your way of thinking?
Going to art school had a huge influence on the way I think and my diligence and sense of workmanship. But in a broader sense, the surrealists on the early 20th century have always had an influence on my way of thinking. Letting my subconscious run the show.
What made you want to become a photographer?
Since my first cameras at 14, I was incessantly documenting my friends and my world. It became a natural part of my existence and response. I went to school as a painter and sculptor but it wasn’t until a teacher at college Soo Kim encouraged me to take the Fashion Photography class, did I see its potential. I was creating these really elaborate sets with models that I would then paint on slabs of marble. It became evident to me that I should just show the photographs.
What was the biggest challenge you’ve faced during your career as a photographer?
The biggest challenge I face at the moment is knowing which projects to get involved in and which to stay away from. Initially most opportunities sound exciting but I have been learning how not to stretch myself too far in every direction. As a fine art photographer, sculptor, film maker, and fashion photographer all the ideas come from the same place but the world doesn’t interpret them the same way, so I have to be sure to protect the truth of the work in the various contexts these works end up.
Quotes and Wisdoms
Do you have a favourite quote that describes what you truly believe in?
“As above, so below.” Meaning that what happens on one level of reality, also happens on every other level. The microcosm (us)- and the macrocosm (the universe) are mirrors of each other. This is an ancient Hermetic saying – first written in the Vedas.
If you had one advice for someone seeking to live a creative life, what would you tell him?
A creative life is a life fully lived.
What do you know now that you wish you knew at the age of 21?
At 21, I was creating art all day everyday. Everything happened as it should have then.
Is there anything for which you would be ready to give up your passion for photography?
All images © Amanda Charchian
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