“My dream has always been to find a mix between science, art, design and entrepreneurship. I believe that fashion and textiles have a versatile balance of these characteristics.” – Amelia Boys
Before she’s even left home for college, Mallard Creek High School senior, Amelia Boys, has enjoyed experiences in her creative career that many artists spend a lifetime trying to attain.
A few weeks ago, she received a Gold Key award for her portfolio work in the Mid-Carolinas Region Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, overseen by UNC Charlotte’s College of Arts + Architecture. That’s how we at The Biscuit got to know her.
But, that’s just the latest in what looks to be a long, artistic journey for Boys, who has already worked with established organizations such as the Charlotte Art League and Upcycle Arts and been an intern for sculptor and illumination artist, Meredith Connelly. For her award-winning body of work, Boys tapped into a wide array of artistic disciplines she’s been learning for as long as she can remember: crocheting, knitting, illustrating, making duct tape wallets and designing sketchbook pages and mood boards.
Boys is headed to N.C. State University in the fall with plans to study fashion and textile design. But, before she packs up for Raleigh, we caught up with her to delve into what’s already an impressive creative career.
What are your greatest inspirations?
My mom inspires me every day to be both kind and confident. As an artist and designer herself, I feel that she has impacted my mindset in a positive way by teaching me to advocate for myself and my work, while staying grounded.
Finding symbolic connections between my emotions and the physical forms in nature is something that came natural to me when investigating (my portfolio) “Stages of Revival.”
What made you gravitate toward three-dimensional art and fiber-based work?
During 2020, I picked up crocheting again and fell in love with the versatility and organic qualities that fiber has. Making 3-D art is an emotional process for me, as I feel more in touch with the materials when I use my hands and make forms from scratch.
I love that three-dimensional art can be seen from multiple different angles and therefore perceived in multiple different ways. The viewer plays a gigantic role …
What kind of materials did you use in your portfolio and your award-winning solo piece?
In my “Stages of Revival” portfolio, I flowed from work that is familiar to me such as crochet and macrame to structured sculptures where I discovered new techniques. The use of red yarn is consistent in every piece as a metaphor for a common thread or a lifeline. I learned how to create lanterns by applying tissue papier-mache over hand-manipulated wire bases in order to convey the emotions I was feeling during each stage of revival.
Every piece required multiple steps of planning from sketching with pencil and paper to making diagrams of how I wanted to insert lighting. Incorporating nature and discovering light as a medium helped develop cohesion and portray my story about revival accurately.
In “Mending,” (my individual Gold Key winning piece), I used wood, wood stain, wire, rice paper, recycled packaging, tissue paper, Mod Podge, yarn, moss and string lights.
Tell me about someone who has mentored you along the way, please.
My freshman year, I met my teacher and mentor, Viloki Patel. Now I see her every day, for AP 2-D Art and Craft and Design class. She is an incredible teacher.
Mrs. Patel has helped me grow as an artist while challenging me with every project to step out of my comfort zone. The guidance and unconditional support she has given me throughout my high school education is something I will be forever grateful for.
[EDITOR’S NOTE: The feeling here is mutual. Of Boys and her work, Patel said:
“When you look at a fresh patch of earth in the Spring, the wonders of possibilities come to mind. What will sprout up and show the world all the splendor of its existence?
“This is exactly how I felt the first time I saw Amelia Boys create her artwork in my class four years ago. I was in awe of all the passion, curiosity, conviction, meticulous technique and endless creative integrity this young lady had in her. As the years have passed, watching her create her own artistic molds and break them has been both difficult and breathtaking. To me, she is not a student, but a colleague in the field of art and design, and I am so proud of every milestone she has accomplished. “]
Any other mentors who have helped you along the way?
In 2021, I had the amazing opportunity to meet and intern with Meredith Connelly. Not only was her 3-D illuminated work a huge inspiration to me, but she taught me the value of knowing your worth as an artist along with letting yourself grow and fail…
What are your career ambitions? Is art a part of them?
My dream has always been to find a mix between science, art, design and entrepreneurship. I believe that fashion and textiles have a versatile balance of these characteristics. Long-term, I hope to be a creative director for my own brand that emphasizes the importance of sustainable business practices, diversity and inclusivity and passion for innovative art.
What do you think of the creative community in Charlotte?
I love the encouragement of creativity in Charlotte! I have been involved with the Charlotte Art League (CAL), Upcycle Arts and Craft Clt. The Green Recycled Runway show with CAL was a super cool opportunity to showcase my outfit made entirely out of grocery bags! I also enjoy visiting the Mint Museum, finding inspiration in city murals, attending fashion shows and going to craft markets to meet local like-minded entrepreneurial artists.
Can people hire you?
I generally do personal commissions for crochet clothes, accessories and stuffed animals. However, I am open to selling my artwork too! Feel free to reach out to me through Instagram.
Who are three Charlotte-area artists other people should be following?
[Each of these creatives] has been a great creative inspiration to me!
How can people see more of your work?
You can find my work @ameliafaith.art. I am in the process of posting my 3-D portfolio and will soon be posting more 2-D work.
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