q+a with amanda o'brien


Where are you from? I was born in New York (Long Island, not the city), raised in Connecticut, and came to Nashville to attend Vanderbilt University. I've been here ever since.

Why did you decide to stay in Nashville? I love this city. It's where I became an adult and figured out who I am. It's where I met my husband. It's where my boys were born. And the community of East Nashville where we now live is one of the most creative, oddball, artistic and awesome places on earth. We have the best, most talented friends--and our kids are thriving here. I can't imagine ever leaving. 

How would you describe your art and illustration? Quirky and colorful. I love vibrant, pretty palettes and injecting humor into my work whenever possible. I have some pretty strong opinions about politics and culture, so a lot of my personal work is inspired by the things I believe in and want to see happen in the world.  

You haven't always been an artist and illustrator ... what else have you been up to work-wise all these years? I actually have 20 years of marketing and advertising agency experience under my belt, as both a writer and account director. As a result, I know my way around a creative brief, I'm accustomed to tight turnarounds, and I'm very easy to work and communicate with on art and illustration projects. 

You've done a lot of writing, too - and sometimes that talent plays into your artwork. Totally. I wrote a humor column for Her Magazine for over two years and published a personal humor blog called Blabbermouse for almost a decade. Lately I’ve been trying my hand at poetry, and this year I finished ghost writing a really fun book that was just published by Harper Collins.