Artist Feature: Amara Strand

Aura Featured Artist: Amara Strand - urban sketch artist taking inspiration from Aura Howlite bracelet to do a watercolor of crystals and rocks

Amara Strand is a Toronto Canadian watercolor and sketch artist. We fell in love with the urban sketches and gorgeous watercolors that she posts on Instagram. We got a closer look at her detailed work when we recently shared space at The Nooks for a pop-up shop market where we were both vendors. We picked up her Toronto Heritage Buildings postcards to add to the Aura studio and are loving how they look framed up on the wall. We caught up Amara to learn more about her work.

Amara, we love your art! Clearly, you have been doing this for some time. Can you tell us more about your artistic journey?

As a child, I loved to draw and paint and thought about being an artist. It became a passion of mine when I got older. Later, I was trained from an Interior Design school in Thailand where I had a chance to explore my interests and discovered a true passion of art. After more than 6 years practicing as an Interior designer, I fell in love with watercolour. 

I moved to Toronto in 2010. When I was exploring the city, I started urban sketching in 2014. That brought out my creativity and my passion for art and now  I have my own freelance business called Amara Strand Studio. 

We love your urban sketching and framed some of your postcards. We know that you are a member of the Toronto Urban Sketchers and your work is done on location, rather than from a photo. Why is this your preference?

I really enjoy going out to paint! Urban sketching is kind of spontaneous painting and It allows me to connect with people and embrace myself to the surroundings. 

We love all your food pictures - many times your drawing looks better than the real thing! Your 2016 series on Heritage Buildings from around Toronto has also been widely popular and you're working on a new Heritage Building series for 2017. What draws you to these things and where do you get your inspiration from?

My inspiration is from my curiosity of my new home - Toronto. I wanted to know more about the city I am living in. Historic Buildings in Toronto is a project that allows me to learn the history of the city through my paintings.

At the pop-up shop, you got an Aura bracelet in white Howlite. How have you found wearing it?

It has been great! Howlite stone is said to help reduce anxiety and stress. I use it with the suggested affirmation that reminds me to calm myself.

    * You can now buy Amara's amazing 'Crystals & Rocks' print from her Etsy store! *

    Find out more about Amara Strand Studios: 

    Etsy: Amara Strand Studios

    Instagram: @a_strand

    Twitter: @amarastrand

    Facebook: @amarastrand

    Tumblr: @amarastrand

    Amara uses her Aura Howlite bracelet as inspiration and does a watercolor of crystals and rocks!