This week we’re joined by Chicago art & wardrobe artist, Amanda Tan!
(This interview was edited and condensed for clarity)
CA: Hey Amanda! Hit us with your bio.
AT: Hi there! I'm Amanda, but on social media, I go by Not Amanda Chan. I'm a filmmaker from Malaysia based in Chicago. And I work primarily in the art department and I'm slowly branching out into costumes and wardrobe department as well.
CA: What have you been doing to stay creative in lockdown?
AT: To be honest, I wasn't very proactive about making art or being productive. My brain was focused on coping and survival. As of lately, I've been really inspired by how the community around me and around the world have come together to be so passionate about like so much social and political change. It's been really inspiring just to see how united people really are. And it restores my faith in a time when I really need it.
CA: Do you have any projects coming up?
AT: Right before the pandemic started, I was working full-time. So I didn't have a lot of time and energy to be doing things I want to do. I want to keep practicing and shooting on film because I kind of fell out of it for a little bit. So I have a few photography projects coming up or that I have planned. It's taking a little longer than expected because I'm being a little bit ambitious. So we'll see.
CA: How would you define your design style?
AT: I think it's a little tricky for me to really define my design style because it's always changing and evolving if I really had to nail it down. I really gravitate towards like postmodern designs mixed in with like a little grungy vintage. At one point I was really obsessed with the Memphis Design Movement and the '80s, like Miami Vice interior design. And I used it as a major inspiration for a miniature room that I built that was like a love hotel.
CA: What's been your favorite project to work on?
AT: This is a little hard because I've been really lucky to be a part of a lot of amazing projects. There was a music video for a Chicago artist directed by Aliya Haq. I got to like really let loose and have fun and just like experiment with a lot of different things and materials for the set. It was also the first time I got to really contribute my creative input for wardrobe and costumes. Cause we had to DIY all the looks ourselves.
CA: What advice do you have for aspiring designers?
AT: Look for inspiration beyond film and TV shows; you know, like in fashion architecture, interior design, photography, art. Always trust your instincts. Work with people you can learn from and work on projects that you feel will challenge you in a good way that will help you grow as an artist.
CA: Thank you, Amanda!AT: Thank you so much... I want to thank Camera Ambassador for giving me the honor and opportunity to talk about design and filmmaking. And I hope to work with everyone [reading] this on future projects in the new normal soon.
Check out the video interview (and all our #filmmakerfriday videos on Youtube):