With over one million followers on just Instagram, Amanda Oleander is the art queen of social media. Fascinated by what people do behind closed doors, Oleander illustrates the uncomfortable, day to day moments that resonate with everyone.

What inspired you to become an illustrator ?
I’ve always loved illustrating. My university counselor inspired me to concentrate in illustration vs. painting or graphic design. She told me to pick my absolute favourite type of art and concentrate on that. It was a close pick between painting and illustration. Now I do both!

What inspires you today when it comes to your illustrations?
My life. I create from ideas and experiences I have experienced.

What central message do you aim to give people through your illustrations? What do you think is the main reason you’ve gained such success?
I don’t aim to give people a message through my art. I feel like a vessel that translates my thoughts and feelings that come to me from the universe and mind based on the way I view and experience the world. I then make art out of it. Art is my way of defining and expressing these thoughts and experiences. Those that connect become the audience. I think I’ve gained success because I am consistent, and because I create from personal experience.

When and how did you know you had ‘made it` as an artist?
When it was being shared and written/talked about internationally and I was living comfortably off of my art.

What’s your biggest weakness when it comes to your work?
My wrist! I wear a brace at night, and it has been helping, but I have wrist pain that interferes with creating at times.

Who are your role models/influencers in the Art community?
Eric Molinsky who illustrated the original rugrats characters, Tim Burton, Shel Silverstein, Jenny Saville, Alice Neel to name a few.

How would you describe your illustrations in three words?
Contemporary, traditional (medium wise), and personal.

Are there any exciting projects happening soon that we should get excited for?
I collaborated on a fun poetry book with my creative husband, Joey Rudman. Every poem is accompanied by an illustration. That will be coming out within the next couple months. That and a lot of new paintings in the works in addition to my daily illustrations.

What is the funniest thing that has happened to you recently?
The other day Joey was dancing in the living room while I was making dinner. It was a bit dark already, when all of a sudden, he yelped and ran into the kitchen, freaked out that he stepped on a mouse and saw it scurry under the curtain. I turned the light on and went to investigate. I asked him if it was big and he said “Yes! It’s like the size of the remote control!” I lifted the curtain up to see a palmetto bug, and when I told him we both burst out laughing.

Can you tell us something about you that nobody knows ?
I’m not sure I can answer that because I’m such an open book.. hmm let’s see… yep, nothing comes to mind… sorry to end this so anticlimactic. ✤