10 Questions With Amanda Acevedo
Interviewing women for Mad Girl’s Collective is probably my new favorite thing. I reached out to Amanda Acevedo after finding her work on Instagram. She’s a self-care and mental health advocate and digital artist. She’s also a great girl and gave some amazing words of wisdom when I interviewed her about creativity.
Mad Girl’s Collective: You’re a digital artist and the founder of Real Talk Blog. How do you stay inspired and push yourself to put your work out into the world?
Amanda Acevedo: Truthfully, I’m not sure. My art is part of a healing process. I put work out in hopes that it can relate to at least one other person. If not, that is okay because it was healing for me and for others who may feel the exact same way but are afraid to talk about it.
Being a Latina born and raised in the projects, I was told I would amount to nothing. When I tell people where I am from, I would always get this reaction that I am not worthy. I don’t want anyone to feel that way, what ever their story might be, because everyone deserves to be heard and seen.
I created Real Talk because it is very easy to feel alone, and I think I wanted to create a space for POC, where they can share their story, and share what might make them feel alone, and start a conversation for others who may feel the same exact way, but are afraid to talk about it.
I guess staying inspired comes from knowing that my work might help someone in need.
Do you ever get down on yourself and feel cautious about sharing your work? How do you keep yourself going in those moments?
Of course, honestly, all the time. I am my biggest critic, and my anxiety gets the best of me sometimes. I am always afraid to write personal captions, or certain images, but that’s what pushes me. I know there are others who may feel the same and are afraid to speak on certain topics, and it motivates me knowing that others might be able to relate. Who knows who it might help out that day.
What did you want to be when you were a kid? Do you see any of that in what you’re doing now?
(lol) I wanted to be a fashion designer. I still have sketches from when I was twelve. At ten, I owned a composition notebook, and I would design dresses for my sweet sixteen, which I never ended up having. I had spent too much time watching MTV’s My Super Sweet Sixteen. In high school I did many internships. I worked with Nanette Lepore at sixteen and worked fashion week on several shows. Honestly, the fashion world is really harsh, and you have to be kind of mean, and it just wasn’t for me. However, I am still creating although it isn’t fashion based, I love what I am doing and putting out now.
What would you tell your younger self?
“You're going to be okay,” or “Things happen for a reason.”
I feel like this question is usually along the lines of what would I tell my younger self to change where I am now. For example; go to college, don’t cut class, don’t date that guy. Honestly, I wouldn't change a thing. As bad as my past may feel, I wouldn't change a thing because then I wouldn't be where I am today. So, I don't really know what I would tell my younger self other than “you will be okay," because I am, and I turned out pretty okay.
What’s your process like? Do you wake up early or stay up late? Listen to music or zone out?
I am very nocturnal! I am up all night, and sadly, sleep all day. Getting in the zone is a fun process. I have a playlist made just for getting creative. I just sit back and let it all flow. Some days are harder than others.
How do you practice self-care?
I just recently learned to mother myself. It is a very nurturing practice where I acknowledge and validate how I am feeling and take care of what is needed in that moment. Other days, I love to blast some BANKS (@hernameisbanks) and just dance alone in my room. Other times, singing to myself brings me at peace and gets me out of my head. If you know me personally, you know that self-care for me requires LOTS of hot showers because that is my number one thinking space.
What advice do you have for creators who feel overwhelmed and don’t know how to start sharing their work?
I will simply say what a friend told me right before I created my art page.
“People are going to judge anyway, so you might as well just do what you want.”
This hit because it is true. We stop ourselves a lot because we fear judgment, from a friend, family or even strangers. “What would the world think?” That mindset just keeps us unfulfilled. DO WHAT MAKES YOU HAPPY! Forget about what anyone says. They are going to judge you if you do; judge you if you don't.
How can women better support women?
We need to stop comparing and competing! Collaboration over competition. We should feel comfortable cheering each other on. This is not a High School or Mean Girls scenario. As women, we should want other women to succeed, especially WOC. We need to cheer our girls on, and help each other reach the top. We are all boss babes at the end of the day, so why not team up and grow together?
Where is your favorite place in New York? Least favorite place?
Favorite place in New York? Anywhere I can see the Empire State Building!! Since middle school, I always loved looking out the window and seeing it at a far distance. It gave me this longing for freedom in life. It’s hard to explain the feeling, but it's also so nostalgic now. Another favorite place of mine is definitely Chill House. That coffee shop is exactly what you imagine. They also have the best coffee.
Least Favorite place? Times Square maybe. Anywhere that is crowded is a no for me. Crowds give me too much anxiety. No thanks.
Who are some creators, artists, or female entrepreneurs we should be following right now? Who would you like to see us interview next?
Two people come to mind:
Gabriella Grimes, @ggggrimes - Grimes is a nonbinary artist. They represent POC in their art, and it is honestly so beautiful and so meaningful! I’d like to say we are Insta pals. They’re funny and have been so kind and helpful during my time on Instagram. Their growth is amazing, and I can’t wait to see what Grimes will be putting out next! Definitely check them out!
Aurea, @DefinitionDesire - She is an advocate for mental health and is a representation for petite curvy models. She has such a sweet caring soul, and she has many ideas and projects that are focused on giving back to the trans community and people living in poverty. Her ideas are so thoughtful, and she’s overall an amazing person you should look into.
KhrystyAna, @khrystyana - She is a self-love advocate and model. Many know her as the founder of The Real Catwalk and ANTM. She gave me an opportunity to walk in the Catwalk. Knowing her has helped a lot, she was the first person to bring me into a group and to show me that I’m not alone in many situations. I think she is truly inspiring and 100% the most genuine and kind person I’ve ever met.