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OAK: How long have you been illustrating?
AMY WILDE: My father was my inspiration to start drawing at a young age. He would work long hours and weekends when I was a child so days would go by without me seeing him. Our only form of communication would be drawings we would leave one another by our beds. I was a tomboy and constantly outside in nature, so I mainly drew birds I saw and insects I would find. As I grew and developed, so did my subject matter.

OAK: What inspired you to begin exploring this particular medium?
AW: My ex partner is an artist and works an art supply store. He we constantly introducing me to new mediums that helped me express what I was craving to get out of my head. I prefer mediums that I can touch and feel. By creating with my hands, I found that it calmed my head. So through trial and error, I developed a flow of painting with the tools that felt right.

OAK: You are the subject of a lot of your work. What was behind this decision? How do you think this affects the outcome of your pieces?
AW: When I decided to explore sexuality and gender in my work, it was a reflection of my own inner exploration. As I liberated my work and was able to rid myself of the fear of criticism for my subjects of choice, I was able to liberate myself. It seemed only natural to make myself the subject. This way I find I’m able to share deeper and more intimately as my work is more of a diary and hopefully connect on a deeper level.

OAK: What’s the strangest/best/funniest reaction you’ve received from your work?
AW: Because of the personal nature of my work, I am amazed by how open people feel with me. I couldn’t be more grateful but sometimes I’m less than prepared. Recently, while at a club, I had a girl start describing the unusual shape of her vagina, suggesting that I draw her some time. She invited me to come to the bathroom with her so I could see for myself. The best reactions are when I have women include me in the personal growth and self exploration. Having my neighbor asked me to draw her after having gone through chemo to help reignite her feminity was one of the most touching experiences I’ve ever had. I also receive unsolicited nudes on the daily!

OAK: What’s been the best part of 2015 so far?
AW: Good sex and Champs opening closer to my house.

OAK: What is your favorite item of clothing you own?
AW: I was gifted a pair of R13 leather sweatpants a few years ago that I will be forever grateful for.

OAK: Tell us an embarrassing story about yourself.
AW: It’s a good thing I’m hard to embarrass. It’s a tie between having my bag searched at the airport when my vibrator went off and getting locked out of my apartment in underwear when I ran to take the trash out.

OAK: What’s your favorite YouTube video of all time?
AW: Any Bjork video!

OAK: Pick any image that’s currently inspiring to you.
AW: I have the softest spot in my heart for Man Ray’s “Electro-Maggie”. Every time I revisit this seemingly simple image, I’m able to identify with it on so many levels. I’m inspired that one image can evoke thoughts of sexuality, unity, strength through femininity as well as solidary, uniform culture and uncertainty.


OAK: What’s something artistically that you haven’t done yet that you want to experiment with?
AW: I think it’s important for any artist to collaborate. Through creating relationships and exploring with other people, it’s opened me up to so many projects and mediums I never thought I would use and subsequently fueled new ideas. I want to translate my work into live performance and sculpture pieces as I like the idea of creating temporary art that leaves lingering emotions.

OAK: What’s your favorite thing to do in NYC in winter?
AW: Throw on a giant coat, grab a hot coffee and go explore! I try not to let to temptation of Netflix and Seamless keep me indoors. I love spending my days off wondering through parks and museums, eating all the soups and curry I can handle and visiting my friends all over the city. At night I live for transforming myself with my drag ladies and nightlife creatures and running through the snow to get to the clubs.