Season One, Episode Eight: A Live Event Artist Talks Changing Lives with Her Art (& a Long Gilmore Girls Chat and the Weirdest Question She’s Gotten) with Amanda Hawthorne of Live Well Paint Often
Amanda Hawthorne of Live Well Paint Often is a live event artist who travels to weddings and events to paint them on-site: think, painting your first dance as you twirl around in the ballroom, or painting your wedding ceremony as you recite your vows.
Amanda is also an art instructor, public speaker, and all of the superlatives: warm, kind, smart, funny, and extraordinarily talented. She's dedicated to a number of charities supporting youth in the foster care system, children with serious illnesses, and adults living with Alzheimers and dementia; she teaches free art classes to these populations and donates a percentage of her profits to support them.
In this episode, we talk about how Amanda built a successful creative business, her day-to-day, how she prices her work, and what it's like to work in the wedding industry and work on over 40 weddings per year. We also go deep: we talk about eating disorders, work pressure and anxiety, and why Amanda's work is so much more than just "painting weddings" - it's giving people a lifelong heirloom of their happiest moments.
We also have a lot of fun and talk about the time Amanda was on a popular reality TV show and what it taught her about reading contracts and the entertainment industry in general, the weirdest things wedding guests have said to her on the job, and a LOT about the Gilmore Girls.
00:02:42: About Amanda: what does she do? What was her last job before being a full time artist? How did breaking her foot change her life? Did she go to school for art?
00:12:15: Amanda's origin story: How did she get into live event painting (hint: totally by chance!!)
00:21:24: What's her favorite painting style? How does she prep for each wedding? What does she wear to weddings? How does each painting start? What's her favorite wedding tradition? How does she know which family members to include in the painting? Is it weird when guests watch her paint - does she get nervous?
00:45:00: The weirdest, most inappropriate thing a drunken wedding guest has ever said to her... and how she dealt with it in the moment.
00:49:30: How does she make teaching art classes profitable?
00:54:22: We talk about Amanda's philanthropy work for charities like the Hope gala, Hope for Youth, and Katie's Art Project.
01:14:00: We talk business: raising prices, giving discounts, non-wedding events, and more.
01:33:00: We get deep while talking about whether or not Amanda gets wedding fatigue as she paints over forty weddings a year. Amanda tells a beautiful story about a bride that touched her heart forever, and how this experience keeps her going.
01:43:00: We get deep again: Amanda opens up to us about her past work experience and her challenges with eating disorders and the pressure of her past career in the entertainment industry.
01:55:00: Time for "The Celebrity Apprentice" story! Amanda tells a WILD story about when she worked as a set designer and agreed to appear on camera on a reality TV show... and what it taught her about contracts, trusting people, and herself.
02:19:00: A Day in the Life: what her day to day is like on a non-wedding day.
02:25:00: Listener Questions: what's her favorite part of the job? Did business come naturally to her? When did she realize she could make a living with her artwork?
02:43:00: Our Quick Answer segment, my favorite part. We talk about the Gilmore Girls and Golden Girls A LOT.