We had the good fortune of connecting with Amanda Denkler and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Amanda, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
In the film industry, I work anywhere from 12 to 18+ hours a day. It can be brutal and exhausting and sometimes it feels like I have no way to balance anything in my life because of it. Ironically, the time of Covid has really helped me to understand balance a lot better. I came to the realization last year that while I may not be able to find balance in the day to day, I can at least find balance in the seasons. 2020 started off seeming like it was going to be a huge year for my career. I was working more consistently than ever before, almost to the point of exhaustion. And then Covid struck and quarantine began and suddenly I understood the “feast or famine” saying of the industry even more. I was terrified that the huge boom I had experienced would be fruitless. Then, only a few months later, I was back to working without relief. I had to change my mindset from the balance within my days to the balance of the big picture. I may have one month where I work myself to exhaustion, and I have learned to be grateful for those moments when they come, just as I have learned that I’ll have another month with no work in sight. In those months I am thankful for rest. This industry won’t change and I won’t ever have the normal work/life balance that I always thought was healthy, but instead I have changed my mindset and have become grateful for each day and the gifts that it brings. That mindset shift has helped my perspective of balance and helped me find much greater peace.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
At the moment I am most proud of a goal I spent the last year working towards: creating just for the love of art and not for the product. My career is art-driven; as a makeup artist in the film industry, I spend every day blending colors and amplifying the beauty of the person in my chair. After 5 years of working in the industry it started to seem like the magic was fading. I’ve seen the good and bad of the industry. But what I really started to remember last year was the beauty of the industry, and the beauty in so many things I had forgotten about. I made myself a promise last year, to paint when I wanted to paint, regardless of whether or not the canvas turns out how I wanted it to, and to dance when I wanted to dance, even if I look like a fool, and to sing and write and put on makeup and so on. It was my fearlessness in the early years of my career that helped me to find my success, and I’d be damned if I gave all that up because of a little lost magic. So I learned to create my own magic and to create art every day just for joy.
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.
First and foremost, I would take her to my favorite place in the city—the Atlanta Botanical Garden. There is a little spot near the orchid house that has the most perfect view of the Atlanta skyline blooming amidst the flowers. It is truly Heaven on Earth. As far as food and drinks and dancing, there are a couple of spots that we would have to go! Fado, 10th & Piedmont, and Café Intermezzo, just to name a few.
But one of my favorite parts of the city is not actually a destination at all. My favorite part of the city is when you drive down 85 at night, right before the 75/85 merge, and all the buildings downtown are lit up like Christmas lights. That simple moment in the car is always incredibly special and reminds me how much I love Atlanta!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I have so many amazing people in my life who have fostered my love for arts of all kinds, and who have given me the courage and the tools to take risks in my career. More than anything, I need to thank my amazing friend Crystal Broedel for her relentless encouragement and love. She has given me the fortitude to keep pushing on even during the hardest days and deepest doubts.
Instagram: @amandadenklerartistry & @acrylicdenkler
Model–Hannah Aslesen, Photographer– Iris Ray, Makeup– Erin Chaney Hair– myself BTS Photographer– Alyssa Surrano BTS Photographer — Kelly Lewis BTS Photographer– Nicole Cannon Self Portrait