Amy Guidry (b. 1976, Jacksonville, N.C.) is an American artist residing in Lafayette, Louisiana. She grew up in Slidell, Louisiana, a suburb of New Orleans. Guidry comes from a family of artists including the late painter Eleanor Norcross. She studied at Loyola University of New Orleans where she received her Bachelor’s degree in Visual Arts in 1998. She was the recipient of the Loyola University Art Scholarship, which is awarded to only one student per graduating class.
Guidry’s work has been exhibited in galleries and museums nationwide including the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey, Aljira a Center for Contemporary Art, Brandeis University, the PhilaMOCA, the Paul & Lulu Hilliard Art Museum, and the Acadiana Center for the Arts. Her work is present in public and private collections throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, and Asia, including the Alexandria Museum of Art, The City of Slidell, and the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art. Guidry’s paintings have been featured in publications such as American Artist, Adbusters, and American Art Collector as well as online sites such as Hi-Fructose and the Huffington Post. Her work has also been featured on MTV’s The Real World, Season 20: Hollywood.
At what point in your life did you know that you wanted to become an artist? Did the realization emerge slowly?
At consciousness? Kidding, but I knew as a child that I wanted to be an artist. I had no idea how that worked, so I thought that all I would do was paint and then museums would pay me to put my work in there. If only that were true! It was while I was working as a jewelry designer for a major manufacturing company that I decided to pursue painting. I've always been working as an artist, different fields, of course, but it's something I've done almost my entire life.
How did you evolve your style and favorite mediums?
I've been fascinated by Surrealism since I was very young. I was struck by works by Dali and Magritte. I didn't know anything about the artists or the works themselves, but they resonated with me. I also had a natural curiosity for psychology, which was fitting. I was always drawing animals from an early age, and did go through a phase of drawing people, but over time, I was creating more surreal imagery. Occasionally I would paint, but the majority of my early work consisted of drawings with pencil, charcoal, and/or pastel. It wasn't until after college that I decided paint was going to be my medium. Specifically acrylics since I am always working right up until a show and need something that can dry quickly.
What are your time management techniques? Do you have regular working hours...or favorite times to work?
I'm used to having a "regular" schedule from previously working in jewelry design and graphic design, so I work full-time during the week. There are days I have to work overtime during the evenings and weekends, though. I work during most holidays, too. I guess I'm always working really. :)
Do you work on more than one piece at a time, or primarily just on one?
I usually work on one painting at a time, however my work is very time-consuming, and I may have to set a piece aside if I have something else with a deadline coming up.
What would you say is your biggest influence -- that which keeps you working, regardless of all else, your most steadfast motivation?
I think my biggest influence is nature. My love of animals and nature is greater than my love of art. That's what it really boils down to. I paint what I care about and that's what drives me. Given the state of the environment today, more than ever, I feel the need to keep painting. That's my way of helping and getting the word out, aside from just daily actions to shrink my carbon footprint.
Does trying something new and not knowing the rules -- the boundary pushing -- create anxiety or excitement in you? (Or both?)
A little of both, but that's part of the fun. If it wasn't getting a reaction out of me, whether good or bad, then it's probably not worth pursuing.
Do you enjoy having the "duality of both chaos and control" or are you happiest with a set plan?
I like having a plan. That's probably not the norm for artists, but I like having a daily objective to follow and it's satisfying to feel that I've accomplished something at the end of the day. That being said, my desk is riddled with lists and things to follow up on.
Do you have any projects or events forthcoming?
Right now I'm continuing to work on my "In Our Veins" series. There are many more paintings that I already have in mind to do and am anxiously awaiting the chance to work on them next. Also, I am represented by LeMieux Galleries in New Orleans, so I also have work over there on a regular basis.
acrylic on canvas, 6" x 6"
acrylic on canvas, 12" x 12"
acrylic on canvas, 12" x 12"