Amy Nelson is an artist and musician from Calgary and her debut album, Educated Woman, will be released in early 2019. Known as an old-time banjoist and singer/songwriter, her work takes listeners back to a time when music was not only a form of entertainment, but a way of connecting to the hearts of everyday people.
What city ward do you live in?
Mount Pleasant in Ward 7.
How do you describe yourself as an artist?
I write songs and I make flower art, but whatever I do as an artist springs from an emotional place inside of me. I make art out of my feelings. When something really bothers me, I know I can turn to singing or flower art to make the world feel like mine again.
What does living a creative life mean to you?
Living a creative life means believing the world around you is a resource—a place you can pull from to create something better. A creative life means not only creating, but listening and being an audience to it too.
What do you love about Calgary and what is one place you go to find inspiration in Calgary?
I love how accessible both nature and city living is in Calgary. Not only are we close to the mountains, we have natural spaces like Griffith Woods, Edworthy Park, and a river right in the heart of our city.
There are many places I visit when my inspiration meter is running out, but one I would recommend for any artist living in Calgary is to plan a day without your car. Take the bus, take the CTrain, walk for awhile. You will encounter so much life you might have missed.
If you could do one thing this year to make Calgary a better place to live, what would it be?
I dream of giving back to the music community in a way that reaches beyond playing and booking my own gigs. I would love to contribute to the economy of it more and more—I just have to figure out how! In the meantime, supporting local acts by attending shows is a good start.
What piece of advice would you give to an emerging artist?
Art exists to reduce loneliness and to make the world more interesting. Never forget why you began making art in the first place. If it matters to you, it matters.
What are you currently working on?
I am currently working on planning my debut album release for April, which means rehearsing and getting over any ounce of existing fright I have in doing such a thing.
We can spend years or even a lifetime putting off projects and telling ourselves “I will do it tomorrow.”
When tomorrow becomes today, it seems scary at first, but it is always worth it.
About Alberta’s Month of the Artist
January is the Month of the Artist in Alberta, an annual celebration of artists and the value they bring to the province, both socially and economically.
Dedicated by the Government of Alberta, the Month of the Artist is a way to say thank you for making the province a better place to live.
Calgary Arts Development is pleased to share the stories of artists who choose to live and work in Calgary.
Have a story to share? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.