We had the good fortune of connecting with Amber Stidham and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Amber, how do you think about risk?
My success has come from taking risk and has made me a better artist in the process. Once you decide to do what you love doors seem to open and opportunities arise that didn’t seem to be there before. It is super important to take risks and push yourself. In doing so you often find new and exciting ways to expand your skills and creative reach. I am lucky to be married to an artist. He pushes me to go beyond my safe zone constantly. Becoming comfortable with the unknown is truly a struggle but is neccessary for growth.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I’ve been a graphic artist for over 20 years. When I was 19 I worked for a textile company called Mountville Mills where I learned vector graphics. I received a BA from West Georgia in 2006. While in college I was a freelance artist and continued to do so after college. All the while maintaining an art portfolio. Along with several juried exhibitions and joint shows, I served on the LaGrange Art Museum Executive Board of Directors 2010-2012. I volunteered as an art instructor at West Georgia Cancer Clinic 2010-2013 where I planned and implemented 2 community wide art projects “Body Works” and “Connections”. My current body of work is in mural work, mixed media and graphite. I was so driven by my passion to produce public art that I started Empire Murals Inc. in 2018. My work can be viewed here: http://www.amberleahart.com/ You can find my murals at Junction Lanes bowling alley in Newnan GA, Ashley Park shopping center in Newnan GA, on the side of the Trek Building in historic downtown Newnan GA., Bloom a non-profit in Fayetteville GA, on the side of the Phenix City court house in Phenix AL and numerous private residences throughout Georgia. All my experiences up to now have molded me into the artist that I am today and I will continue to evolve grow.

Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
Brunch at South City Kitchen in Midtown visit Atlanta Puppetry Art Museum! I love all of Jim Hensen’s work Lunch at Fox Bros. Walk through Krog street and view the surrounding murals That night maybe see a concert in East Atlanta Village and see the murals there also. Grab a drink at The Earl or The Graveyard Next day Decatur shops Maybe check out the latest murals on the way that have been installed and eat at: Iberian pig, Tiki or Victory Maybe have some drinks and play pinball at My Parents Basement in Decatur also…. I also like going to concerts at Aisle 5 in Little 5 and looking for Vinyl in Criminal records with my husband John.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My husband John Stidham is my biggest supporter and is also an artist. He understands the demands of being a full-time artist. I truly feel we lift each other up in so many ways and inspire each other to keep producing and growing in our creative endeavors. My family and friends are extremely supportive and have always believed in me and my decision to be a full-time artist/muralist. I feel extremely fortunate to have such and amazing family. I have such a wonderful relationship with all my siblings (Brother: Thomas Rice, Sister: Lacy Tumambing and Sister: Carly McGuffey). We are so proud of each other and how far we have come to do what we are each passionate about. I’m certain our parents are to thank for that. They gave us the freedom to make our own minds up about the world. They also taught us to respect others and their beliefs. My work ethic and determination grew from seeing them work through the years. My best friend Meg van der kruik always has words of encouragement and is always there for me. No matter what I know she has my back. I have also had numerous teachers and mentors through the years that have given me inspiration to stay on this art path. I am where I am today because of the people I’ve meet and them believing in me.

Website: http://www.amberleahart.com/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/leah.art.create/
Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/amber-stidham-5959812b/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/empiremurals/
Other: https://www.instagram.com/empiremuralsinc/

Image Credits
Taken by Amber Stidham