What the Heck is a Thunder Jay?
Thunder Jay is my studio.
A place where I can make what makes me happy,
and a vehicle to show it to anyone who’ll take a look.
The name is because the thunderbird is my favorite
of the mythical creatures native to the country I am native to.
These creatures are far more wise, powerful and fantastic
than I can ever hope to be, so I tacked on the Jay.
Blue Jays have long been a favorite to watch and their bouncy antics, mischievousness and loyalty to family have always appealed to me.
They’re also far from perfect,
and are often portrayed in stories as yappy tricksters
whose plans come back to bite them in their tail-feathers.
Well, my name is Amanda Mae Larsen. That says very little about who I am, but names do well as concise introduction.
Other things that might be informative:
I graduated in 2010 with a bachelor’s degree in Graphic Design (minors in Fine Art and Advertising) from Flagler College in St. Augustine, FL. Somehow, this is the thing that makes it official that I can do ART. I have training; I have made passing grades in creating stuff.
I've been sculpting professionally since 2013.
Jim Henson is my artistic (and life) hero.
I've been told that I look like a Froud doodle come to life...Unsure as to weather this is true or not, but I do pull a mean cross-eyed-goofball face.
Speaking of Froud, I often get the comment "This stuff reminds me of (Insert Creative Director Brian Froud Movie Here)!" Which I take as one of THE HIGHEST compliments. The Frouds are an entire family of badasses, and my humble critters being compared to the calibur of their work... There are not words for how much that makes my insides shine.
My inspiration comes from story. All of the stories. The interconnectedness of things mesmerizes me and I can’t get enough of the big game of connect-the-dots that is life and art.
What do you do?
I make stuff. I sculpt, sew, glue, doodle, paint, and design whatever is filling my mind up to the point where I must make it tangible. All of what I do is based in story. Things I’ve heard, read, and some things I’ve made up all on my own. The stories of things, the meanings of things that people have filled the world with, it’s all intensely interesting to me. Telling stories of my own, or conveying the ones I have learned is truly the basis for my work.
If you were a fantastical creature, what would you be?
A question I’ve spent quite a bit of my life pondering… I used to say goblin… but then realized how abysmal I’d be at causing true mayhem and chaos. After learning more about them, I have discovered that I’m definitely a Troll at heart. I collect stories and oddments to go with them, and have a serious affinity for watching the world go by from some tucked away, cozy spot. Also, bridges make me uncomfortable when I’m on them, but when I’m under them I crave goat meat.
Make of that what you will.
If you want to know more about me, the studio, or about why I do what I do, ask me here! Pick my brains, they like it when you do, promise.
I can't do this alone.
The man with the drill is Austin,
my partner in more things than Thunder Jay Studio.
He does a lot of my paperwork, because he has more patience for it than I do. He's there when I run into technical problems and/or need an extra set of capable hands to make a thing happen the way I see it in my mind.
Also, he's great if I need the perfect drinky-drink.
It's nice to live with a bartender-et-Jack-of-All-Trades.
And the dog in the bed is the cutest, most useless studio pet. His name is Yohgee. He really likes naps and noms and to not ever be left alone. Sometimes he lets me snug him half to death... and enjoys it.