We had the good fortune of connecting with Amanda Baris and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Amanda, we’d love to start by asking you about lessons learned. Is there a lesson you can share with us?

The most important lesson that I have learned in my business is to go after my dream and not to be controlled by fear. I’ve been creating art since I’ve been able to hold a pencil and up until 2 years ago, I was afraid to show my art to the public for fear of rejection, criticism or not being liked. Majority of my art would sit in my closet to not be appreciated. Taking the first step into starting my business has taught me that it’s okay to be afraid but not to let it control my decisions.

One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned was to not let fear hold me back from pursuing my dream. When I first decided to start my art career, I wrote down everything I needed to accomplish to make this dream into a reality. I took the list and completed one step at a time until my business was off the ground. It’s still a work in progress as I work full time, and I have my art business on the side. My next goal is to be a full-time artist! It’s a big step to get to, and I know I’ll get there soon.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?

One of the things I’m most proud of is the fact that there are plenty of wood workers and pyrographer artists in the field, and I was able to combine my two favorite creative outlets into one business. I love the fact I can take both ideas and create functional art that is handmade and can be customizable for my customers. This brings people together in the kitchen. Whether it’s a conversation starter piece with a gravity wine holder, or where people can gather surrounding a handmade charcuterie board. People gathering around and having a good time is what I try to convey with my creations.

It’s been a long journey for me to get to where I am now professionally. I’ve been creating art since I was a child, and within the last two years I finally feel like I have found my calling in art. I always wanted a career in art, but never thought it could be a reality until I started thinking differently and building up my confidence in my work. Before I took up pyrography, I received a degree in graphic design and I realized this was not the path for me. I prefer working with my hands and making something tangible. After college I only created art for myself and for family, and it would usually end up in the closet to never be admired again. It took me many years to come back to the idea that I could have a career in art. When I started my business about 2 years ago, I was only focusing on acrylic paintings. I had my first art show and I was so terrified and nervous, but afterwards I couldn’t wait to sign up for my next one. During this time my husband took up woodworking which intrigued me because I had never dabbled in woodworking before. I found my pyrography pen that I hadn’t used in years and created my first wood burning piece. This reignited my passion for wood burning and I decided to learn the craft of woodworking. I found I love the process of making my own blank canvases that I can wood burn on.

Art has never really been a challenge for me. It’s always been a passion all my life, but one of my biggest challenges was getting comfortable with being uncomfortable. Just talking about my art to others is not my ideal situation, but the more I did it the easier it became. One of my first pieces I sold I went to a local postal annex to ship out a gravity wine holder and one of the owners saw my piece and we sparked up a conversation. Even though I was nervous I stepped out of my comfort zone and got to know Debbie and Heidi and it was a relaxing environment for me to learn how to talk about my art to others. Over a year later Heidi and Debbie have become some of my biggest cheerleaders! Every time I go into the store, they’re ordering another piece or showing off my work to their customers and handing out my business cards. If I shied away from them, I would have missed out on getting to know some amazing people that are very supportive.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
That’s a great question cause there are so many great things to do in San Diego and to eat! The question is what we wouldn’t do! First up we would get some tasty coffee from one of my favorite coffee shops like Seven Seas or Dark Horse. For Food we would check out Liberty Station for the variety of food and I’d get some amazing Hawaiian food from Ono Grinds. If we were in the GasLamp district The Field Irish Pub is a must. Basically, I would give a tour of the best food you can get here. For sightseeing I’d take them to the Safari Park because it is such a cool concept for a zoo. We would also check out Old Town, spend some time in Balboa Park, Hillcrest Farmers Market and La Jolla to see all the wildlife or go whale watching. If they are up for it, we could take a day trip up to Julian for a hike and get some pie!

And if we have time, we can spend a day at the beach or relax at my house and watch some good movies.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I dedicate my shoutout to my amazingly supportive husband who has encouraged me to pursue a career in art.

Website: https://www.helnartcreations.com/

Instagram: @helnartcreations

Facebook: helnartcreations

Image Credits
Pictures taken by my husband and myself.

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutSocal is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.