Expression came at an early age for Amber Snearl – who if you ask her grandparents and mother, will tell you she was always getting in trouble as a child for drawing on the walls of their homes.
“I wanted to be a fashion designer when I was little so I was always making sketches of what I wanted to create and hanging them on my grandparent’s fridge for everybody to see,” said Snearl.
This hobby as a child, blossomed into a passion for painting and afro art well into her college years. During this time is when she realized that art allowed her to follow her own rules and feed her free spirit.
“I took to painting because it’s the perfect example that even a work in progress is beautiful – because no matter what, the finished product will mean something unique to every eye it catches,” she tells Chicago Flex.
She found that with her work, there was beauty in not just bridging a gap between those who looked like her, but showcasing an identity that is underrepresented.
“As a black woman with natural hair, I find that representation in art is very important. When I started painting, I would get inspired by painting people that looked like me because I didn’t see that a lot in the popular art museums that I would visit. The focus in my work is to explore the afro, its emotion and the history behind it,” said Snearl.
That drive to educate herself has landed her countless opportunities, from hosting the “Paint, Sip and Shop Class,” to being named a resident artist for Intergalactic Café in Uptown. She notes that as an artist, she enjoys exploring this broad spectrum of creativity from various viewpoints.
“I never wanted to limit myself and my abilities, so a lot of what I do is reflective of what I want to learn and for my own personal change and growth. Dipping my hands in different activities allows for me to explore unique avenues and not get stagnant in my work.”
She credits this creative avenue for pushing her to do something new, like starting her own custom painted handbags brand.
“It made me realize that I will always have the chance to re-invent myself, and I think when an artist is constantly re-inventing themselves, they will continue to grow without even realizing it,” expressed Snearl.
The young artist hopes that this growth will one day result in her owning an art gallery and giving other local and new artists a chance at the same exposure she has been able to experience.
“Whether it is personal or professional, art can connect you to many different people and places, so never give up on what you love.”