HOW TOs Hummingbird Beats: Amanda Elmore Jill Donenfeld

Austin-born Amanda Elmore is usually behind the camera but this bird definitely deserves a close up. A creator since a young age, she followed her bliss all the way to the University of Texas for a BFA in studio art (emphasis on print-making and trans-media) and then a degree in Visual Art Studies.  She’s taught art to kindergarteners and high schoolers alike until she bought her first Canon and starting clicking. Now she features her work on her site: Girlskill.  I say she’s got mad skill!

What’s in your bag?

Purse: empty gum packages, mociun+baggu shopper, kaweco fountain pen, lens cloth, memory stick, makeup bag full of Mac lipgloss, Warby Parker sunglasses, action pad, pocket knife, passport wallet, library book (Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian)… Pockets: metro ticket, euro, a guitar pick (which is funny since play without a pick but I have them all around me. I think my musician friends slip them in my pockets, hoping I will take the hint or something…)

You have 5 minutes to pack up – for a trip of which the duration you’re not sure. What do you take?

Acne jeans, frye harness boots, vintage t-shirt, denim work shirt, hippie wrap skirt, puffy vest… this combo is always good.

What is your most essential article of clothing?

Boots… definitely boots.

What are the top 5 songs you need to have access to hearing at all times?

LuckyBones – ‘Together We Are All Alone’, Townes Van Zandt – ‘If I Needed You’, Jackson C Frank – ‘Tumble in the Wind’, Tom Waits – ‘I Hope that I Don’t Fall in Love With You’ , Dylan – ‘Simple Twist of Fate’, Damien Jurado – ‘Everything Trying’… I’m really into old skool country at the minute – Buck Owens, Doc Watson, George Jones, Merle Haggard… hard to choose 5!

What is your preferred hummingbird beat/cities you like to frequent?

Paris and Dublin… I love Ireland so much, it’s in my blood. I’m singin’ ‘Dublin Blues’ every time I return home…

What’s something crazy that you did to follow your passion? (Like, did you live out of your car for a month? Drive 10 hours to pick up a

certain, weird material you needed?)

Once I covered my body with gesso for a self portrait… that was pretty nasty ;)

What is one tip you have for traveling – a beauty tip, a survival tip, a culinary tip… ?

When I travel long-haul, I don’t wear any make-up, just make sure I have lots of moisturizer as the circulated air in planes makes me feel dried out… I carry a make-up bag with a little foundation, blush, mascara etc in my purse and right before we land, I will do a freshen up… hard to feel pretty when being picked up in an airport after a long, sleepless plane ride – this helps! I also like to travel with a Billy Kirk card case with a chain… I hate being saddled with a heavy purse when I wander… this little wallet pares me down to a credit card and ID and it feels secure in my pocket without weighing me down.

What makes you a good house guest?

I’m really easy. Don’t need a fuss or much space and I can live out of a small suitcase…

What’s a recent or favorite meal you had while bouncing around the globe?

The 7 course meal at the Hotel Du Nord, Paris, New Year’s Eve!

Where have you had your best night’s sleep?

I sleep like a log in Ireland… perhaps it’s the Guinness ;)

Who would you like to travel with – three people (you guys can caravan together or on separate trips)? 

Terri is my current running buddy… we travel well together, like the same activities, food and she is a great navigator. My friend Currie, the maven… she will know all of the cool places to shop and eat. And my friend Lisa for color and laughs.

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