Amara, of Amara Strand Studio, is an artist based in Toronto, originally from Bangkok, Thailand. Amara's aim is to awaken people with her art who get disconnected from the city and nature. Her goal is to inspire others to cherish the surroundings where they live through her art as well as to bring joy, happiness and positive energy out of them.
While her greeting cards, prints, and postcards stand out on their own, she also makes stickers, gift tags, and enamel pins! It’s safe to say she adores stationery and her craft reflects that. Her cheerful and charming watercolours are fun yet vibrant. She does beautiful renderings of food such as desserts, pastas, and around-the-world cuisine for everyday cards as well as images of distinctly Canadian fare, from a Toronto attractions map to a realistic portrait of the iconic St. Lawrence Market. We appreciate Amara’s love of positive vibes and making people smile, and are proud to call her the newest member of the Paper Hearts Pen Pal Family!
How did you get started with your business?
I always had a dream to be an artist when I was a child. When I first moved to Canada I had to make a decision to pursue a career in interior design or try and follow my dream as an artist. It wasn’t an easy decision to make.
One day I came upon the nookSTART competition. It really interested me because it focused on supporting local artists who were just starting out with their business programs. nookSTART was where I did my very first craft show. That experience is what really gave me the confidence to try and start my own business and create my own brand.
What is your favourite thing about stationery?
I absolutely love everything about stationery. I am obsessed with the smell, the colours, the different designs, and the feel of the materials. I could spend an entire day browsing through all the different stationery items.
Where do you find support in your creative endeavours?
My partner and his family have given me the support I need. When I faced some very difficult challenges with my business, I thought about giving up but my husband convinced me to keep going. Without them I couldn’t have made it to where I am today.
What’re five fun facts about you?
- My favourite type of movies are superhero and action movies.
- I am a foodie and a plant mom.
- My zodiac sign is Pisces.
- I was born in Bangkok, Thailand.
- I am the biggest Toronto Raptors fan.
What’re your favourite things to do in the summertime?
My favourite summer activities include good coffee, good food, and good friends. I love going out for walks on a beautiful summer day with a friend to explore the city and find a new café where we can sit and chat about anything and eat delicious food (which I will then also sketch).
Joyfully written by our friend Meaghan Steeves of Choice Words Editing.