Amanda DeJarnett and her art

Amanda DeJarnett

Amanda DeJarnett is a talented artist who tough herself drawing and painting a few years ago. She also pursues her other passion, which is working with animals.

Some of her works are at DeJarnett

Interview by Stephen Thompson, Ph.D.

Welcome to OpenBeast. Tell us about yourself.

I’m a student at UMKC where I’m majoring in Environmental Science. I work at a sandwich shop and in my free time I draw and paint. I’m constantly working on developing my technical skills to imitate reality in my drawings, or to morph reality in my paintings.

How and why did you get into arts?

I got into art when I was about sixteen. I had a teacher named Zach Smithey, who is as eccentric as he is talented, for a drawing class in high school. I had always thought I was an awful artist because I had never really applied the time to improve my skill. After I invested a little effort, I became engulfed.

How do you get inspired?

Usually inspiration comes to me throughout the day, and I keep a small sketchbook in my book bag to collect my thoughts and ideas.

What’s your one best drawing thus far?

My best drawing is probably a bear skull that I just completed this summer. I used a .5 mechanical pencil and it took several hours.

What is your future plan?

I plan to always be creating artwork for myself, my friends, and my family. I share most of my art, or do artwork specifically for others, to show my appreciation and affection to the people who always support me. Right now I do commissions and donations, and will probably continue doing so after I graduate. Hopefully my art will continue positively affecting my life, as it has in the last five years.

Talk to us about you passion for animals.

My passion for animals began as a child, where I would beg to be brought to the zoo frequently. It became traditional. Then, in high school, I volunteered at an animal shelter ten or so hours a week. I was also in ecology club and many classes centered around biology. Mostly, my fascination stems from our tumultuous relationship as humans with the rest of the planet’s occupants.

What are your leisure time actives?

Lately, my leisure time activities are comprised mostly of sleep, but I always do find time to relax and unwind in my hammock with my sketchbook and some music. So, you could probably say that when I’m drawing, I’m in my happy place.

Thank you.