For Sweden’s Amara Por Dios, the past few years have been a crazy ride. From posting her favorite kicks on Sneakernews’ WDYWT blog, to designing t-shirts for world-famous producer Flying Lotus, and even on to her own exhibit with The Infamous Jean Claude, Amara has been doing big things — and everyone should take notice. This 23-year-old dancer turned artist and all around sneakerhead has caught the eye of the art and sneaker world with Nike Women taking a minute to recognize her and her amazing work. But don’t get it twisted, this is only the beginning for this artist who has big plans for her future — and maybe even a stop in the US.
The Ahoodie crew took some time to find out more about what makes Amara tick, and we’re here to let you know in our latest installment of Artists We Love.
How did you first get started making art?
I always been creative since I was a little girl. I grew up in a creative environment. My grandmother was an artist so I spend a lot of time in her studio growing up. We painted together and created sculptures and we also painted on glass. Ever since then I’ve been interested in the arts. When I was 9 years-old I knocked on doors trying to sell my drawings to get some money to buy candy. I also made crocodile keychains from beads that I sold to my classmates to get some cash. I’ve been a business woman since I was a little girl. Trying to spread my work.
How did you first get started dancing? Did you start making art first? or dancing?
I started dancing for real when I was 12. Everything that had something to do with hiphop I wanted to try it. So I started with breaking. I was a tom boy growing up. I was the only girl in my breaking class. I danced for a year, then I quit. I started again with breaking when I was 15. But after a year again I gave up. It was to hard and you have to practice almost everyday to get better. You need muscles and have to be flexible. I was tall and skinny. I began to take classes in popping instead, after that new style and house.
Between dancing and painting, etc. which is you favorite? How do you balance the two?
Painting most definitely. I want to succeed with my art. Dancing is more of a hobby, and a way to stay in shape. Years ago I wanted to become one of the best poppers. But now I know I want to spend my time on art instead. A year ago I danced a lot. But these past months I had so much with my company, art shows, and work so I couldn’t dance as much as I wanted to. There’s always something you’ve got to give up if you want everything you want. Just like Bone Thugs said
In the past year, your blog and art has gained quite a bit of fame. What has been your fondest moment?
When my design won the Flying Lotus t-shirt contest. My design sold on the Flying Lotus Japan tour, and are now available on online stores too. It’s an honor to do something for this amazing producer.
Who are some of the painters, dancers, musicians, etc. that inspire you?
Frida Kahlo Is most definitely my favorite artist. I admire her work so much. She was a very strong and brave woman. Living artists that inspire me are: Insa, Finsta, Bue, Jeremy Fish, Tony Concep, Blu, Banksy & Luke Pelletier.
You recently began to sell your stickers and t-shirts on your website, how has that been going for you?
I’ve got a lot of positive feedback. I almost only got international customers. (outside Sweden). I had my suspicions that I had more recognition in other countries but not this much. US, France, Germany, UK, knows what’s up. I’m very glad for this and I hope to get customers from all over the globe.
What do you see for yourself in the next five years?
That’s a hard question.I have so high expectations on myself. It was two years ago I started to paint pieces to sell. When I see those paintings now I don’t understand how I could try to sell those. But if I never started there I would never come to this point I am at now. And I bet in one year looking back on what I’m doing now I’m not impressed either. The thing that matters is that you are satisfied what you are doing at that time. And then you will grow and develop as an artist under the progress. Hopefully I will get my first international show this year, I’m looking for one in the US, Paris and maybe London, too. I think my scene is in the US, UK or France. Sweden is very hard to be successful in the lowbrow/streetart scene. I will probably travel a lot and maybe move to another country for a while. My dream is to move to New York and that’s one of my plans. In five years I think I will have a studio in New York preparing for a show in BK.
What do you think is the future for sneakers? What will you be wearing in the next few years?
I will probably wearing the same as I do now. I like vintage models more than new releases. For me it seems the sneaker game is going to the more “futuristic” approach It’s cool, but insane when people buy sneakers for $10,000 to get the Mc Fly’s.
When did you begin collecting sneakers? how many pairs do you have?
I always loved sneakers since I was a little girl. But I began collecting seriously when I was 20 years old when i got my first full-time job.I’m 23 now. I don’t now exactly, but I have around 80-90 pairs. Soon Iwill reach 100.
Could you name a favorite pair of sneakers you have right now?
What is a pair of sneakers that either ‘got away’ or has yet to release that you MUST have?
What are some of your favorite clothing brands right now and why?
, they always have new and fresh gear, but I felt that the last year they haven’t been at the top. Luxirie by LRG the women brand of LRG is one of the best brands in women’s street wear I think. But it seems like they don’t exist anymore. Married to the Mob
is of my favorite brands. On of the leading brand of women street wear. They always come up with dope collections.
When you’re traveling, what are essentials that you ALWAYS have with you? sneakers? iPad?
At least two pairs of sneakers. My Macbook Pro. Stickers and iPhone.
What would be your ‘dream project’? your own gallery show? a studio with an unlimited budget?
My dream project right now would be to travel to Berlin, Barcelona, London, New York, LA and paint on walls legally, and other famous and abandoned places.
Check out some photos below of Amara’s work, as well as her t-shirts, and make sure you stop by her blog
with the quickness.