If you use Instagram and like clean images with pops of color, minimal interior design, fun family moments and honest words we are sure you are already following this wonderful lady called Amanda Jane Jones.
Amanda is an amazing designer and creative mind, Kinfolk's founding art director and designer of issues 1-12, and without any doubt one of our major inspirations from the other side of the planet thanks to the internet.
Let's meet Amanda, shall we?
Ahoy Amanda! Welcome to our journal, we are so, so happy of having you here today! Could you tell us a bit of your story? Who are you, what do you do…?
Of course! thank you for having me. I'm a trained graphic designer (I do books, logos, printed material, patterns, etc), but along they way have started product design, illustration and writing! I have two children's books out and one on the way this fall. I also do freelance photography on the side when needed.
I love graphic design - organizing type is one of my favorite jobs. Illustration has become such an essential creative outlet as well. It's something fun I can do with my kids that's much more playful and organic than my standard design jobs.
Product design came out of a desire for things not on the market....I wanted a simple nativity, so I made one—and so forth! It just kind of snowballed from there. I work part-time so I can play and cuddle my kids. I adore my job and love being a part of the creative world.
We’ve been following you for years, first on your blog (we loved your “My better half” series!) and then on your Instagram account. Do you think your online presence has been key to your career as graphic designer?
Oh thank you!! and Yes actually! The blog introduced me to some of my first collaborators and then pinterest, then instagram. I'm so grateful for the social media community—I know it gets a bad wrap and I understand why (there are days I want to throw in the towel!), but It has been such a great resource for new friends and travel and inspiration and support. For me, it's been a huge boost to my career in many ways.
We love your new facet as a children’s author! Have you always wanted to illustrate children’s books? Can you tell us about your upcoming titles?
Yes! It was a dream of mine to be a children's book author. I felt like an imposter with my first book—wondering if anyone would take me seriously. The love and support for our first book gave me the bravery to keep going. It's fun being a mom to young kids and seeing what kind of books they gravitate towards and then being able to create something tailor made for them!
My husband and I wrote Yum Yummy Yuck
together. Then I wrote The Hair Book
with LaTonya Yvette
, and I have Fuzzy Furry Ouch
coming out in the fall which is a follw up to Yum Yummy Yuck - and it's available for preorder! It has fun touch and feel elements that make the book all the more engaging. When my youngest son Wesley saw the first printed mock of the book, he hugged it for 30 minutes and kept saying, "I wuff it. It's mine." Always a good sign!! We wrote it while he was a little baby and dedicated it to him, so he must sense the connection.
Let’s talk about motherhood. Do you find it difficult to find the perfect balance between motherhood and work?
Always! It's an on going struggle. It's what I'm asked for advice on the most. The thing is, I love motherhood. I didn't know if I would— in fact, I never saw myself as a mother. The night before Jane was born, I cried and cried—I was terrified. But then she came, and yes it was hard, but being her mom was also the most wonderful thing I could have ever imagined. My heart grew four sizes and continues to do so.
I'm so grateful however that I'd built up my career before I had her which enabled me to work part-time and still do to this day! I love my work and I LOVE spending time with my kids. I had no idea just how fun they would be. The time away I take to be creative is essential to my mental health and my spiritual well being, and honestly makes me a better mother....and being a mother has made me a better designer. My kids are a constant inspiration, as well as motivation. I've learned to structure my time in a better way to be more efficient so my work time is focused and then I can just be with my kids and my family and clean and do laundry during the rest of my time. Both fuel the other —my work fuels my goals as a mother and being a mother inspires and fuels my work. Another reason I have a home office- so that I can be as close to my kids as possible....and I wouldn't have it any other way!
However, it should also be noted, that I have to be an advocate for myself constantly. I'm married to a wonderful man who values what I do and also values his time with the kids—we trade off and try to balance our time and support one another equally, but many times it does become out of balance and I have to advocate up for myself and my work, which I've learned to be better at over the years instead of letting it fester under the surface. We recently moved and most people simply ask what my husband does. I politely say, he is a law professor, but in my head I mumble, "This is his first real job actually. I've been supporting him with my work from my home office since day one, making a six figure salary while doing so." Ok, I'll hop off my soap box now. ;)
Seeing you wearing our Small Pompano bag was such a nice and unexpected surprise! We are so thrilled you like our Bonitos. What do you like the most about them?
Ah yes! I saw it at Mochi Kids
and knew I had to have it. They are designed so beautifully. I love adding quirky pieces to my wardrobe, and this was top of my want list. My kids love them too and we often "bicker" about who gets to wear the fish purse. I usually surrender—but sometimes I keep it just for me depending on my mood. It's fun for the whole family.
Thank you so much for being here with us, Amanda! It's been such a pleasure getting to know you a bit more!
If you don't do it already, you can follow Amanda on Instagram and get lots of inspiration from her beautiful posts. You can also check her portfolio if you need a top notch designer!