Photography by Julia Lynn

Marcus Amaker

Graphic Designer and Poet
Why is art important in your life?

Art is important in my life because it is a reminder of our universal connection. It’s my belief that we are all searching for that connection, whether we are aware of the search or not. In art, you find love and a commonality that is missing in other aspects of our daily lives. Art has so many definitions. It could be a song, a sunset, a painting, and just about anything else that is beautiful. Music is my fabric and my foundation. It colors the way I do poetry, the way I dress, the way I walk and the way I speak. It’s no mistake that everyone appreciates beauty of a sunset. It is in those moments that I’ve come to realize the importance of art in our lives.

What is your first memory of art?

My first memory of art was listening to my dad’s Prince records when I was living in Maryland. I believe it was the “Sign O The Times” album, from 1987. I fell in love with the music, the packaging, the font and the smell of that record. From that point on, I appreciated art. Another big moment in my “art” life was comic books. I remember buying comic books at an early age and becoming obsessed with the way each character was drawn. I’ve long since given up on that hobby, but it left a big impression on me.

What is your most memorable art experience?

Nostalgia plays a big part in my choice. My most memorable art experience was the first poster show I attended in Charleston. 2003-ish. It was a graphic design exhibit featuring posters with a war-based theme. It was the first show I attended where I thought, “I can do that.” I was an art-making fool after that.

Who is your favorite artist?

Joni Mitchell. She is a painter, musician and writer. In 1988 she said “I’m a painter first, and a musician second.” Her music informs her work with a fluidity that I haven’t found in other artists. True, I’m biased because I love the music so much. But her artwork really is stellar. For example, the cover of her 1974 album, “Court and Spark” is as subtle as that album’s melodies. Understated, and simply beautiful.


Favorite Artwork: