I had the pleasure of meeting artist Amara Skye on a rainy morning in New York last May, at Studio Exhibit photography studio in SOHO. Everyone was bustling around in preparation for our photo shoot with Whoopi Goldberg and family for her new cannabis brand Emma and Clyde, as well as her California partner Gloria Govan, and Arizona partner Adriana Kittrell. I was there to assist with the interview but also needed to stay out of the way of everyone who *actually* knew what they were doing, so I ended up hanging out on a couch in the green room with a table full of snacks and a mimosa. I was introduced to Amara and immediately just loved her easy going energy and welcoming confidence. We started talking about making art right away… her work and her goals, how hard it sometimes is to actually get down to business and create. I mentioned how that got away from me in my own life, and how I’m not sure how to get started again, and she was extremely encouraging and just so genuine. Amara is Whoopi’s granddaughter and also a part of the Emma and Clyde brand, but she is also an incredible abstract artist, business person, and public figure in her own right.
Amara Skye was born and raised in California, but is currently based in and working out of New Jersey, with frequent trips to the west coast. She shares her birthday of November 13th with her grandmother, and also looks a great deal like her. She has her own daughter named Charli Rose, who is about to turn ten. She made her reality show debut last year on Claim to Fame, in which 12 relatives of celebrities move into a house together, and try to deduce each other’s famous families while trying to keep their own a secret. She also loves bowling.
I was excited to do this interview with her to showcase her work, her involvement with Emma and Clyde, how cannabis has influenced her life and her craft, and because I find her artwork both immensely vulnerable and beautiful.
I was thrilled to learn that you are an artist, and loved seeing your work, both in photos and on a shirt that Whoopi was wearing during the shoot. How would you describe your work, and what does it mean to you?
I describe my artwork to be abstract, vibrant, vivid, and loud. I enjoy using bright colors to engage an audience, and I want to make people take a double look because my art also expresses what I’m thinking or going through, and a lot of people can relate to the writings on the canvas.
When did you start making art, and when did you start consuming cannabis?
I always liked to draw and paint when I was younger, but I started to take painting more seriously when I had my daughter Charli. I used it as a therapeutic expression for the postpartum depression I was going through. I started consuming cannabis at 16 or 17, but I didn’t really care for it at the time. Being an abstract painter, cannabis has changed my creative process by allowing me to be calm and really tap into what it is that I want to paint… there’s more of a creative flow going on for me. I also feel like it inspires me to want to push the limits with my craft not only with painting but with other mediums as well like tie-dye, rosin, spray paint, even dabbling in tattoos.
What is your favorite way to consume?
My favorite way to consume is to roll a J with some grabba or fronto, but to be honest I enjoy smoking in general as long as its rolled. Edibles are a whole other level of high… I always pass out.
What is Grabba & Fronto??? Grabba & Fronto are all natural loose leaf tobacco products. Grabba is usually cured longer and then ground up for use in pipes while Fronto is sold in whole leaf form to be used as a cigar or blunt wrap. Fronto/grabba leaves come in a variety of tobacco strains as well as curing styles ranging from light, blonde colored leaves to darker, chocolate colored. The flavors and effects of each strain and cure are distinct.
You recently starred on the reality show Claim to Fame. What was that experience like, and are there any other interesting projects you’re currently working on?
It was one of the best opportunities I could experience… I met so many amazing people and made long-lasting friends, and it helped get my name out there. I got to learn things about myself along the way as well, especially living with 12 people you don’t know. At the moment I’m continuing to paint, I’m in the process of producing a cannabis show, and am working on some custom rolling papers.,
Where can people find you and your artwork?
Makeup by @VickiRobinsonMUAH
Born and raised in NJ, Vicki has been in the beauty industry for over ten years, starting as a volunteer for the Carma Foundation, giving makeovers to women in shelters. She has worked with the #Whoopfam, providing makeup services as well as hairstyling and onset assistance; Amara Skye has been her muse since 2018. She has demonstrated her abilities working with talent for editorial shoots, bridal parties, special effects, commercial and television. Vicki is a freelance artist who is currently working with @knocking._ an e-commerce company that provides marketing segments for CBS and Fox. @VickiRobinsonMUAH