April 30, 2020

Amber Leilani: A Doorway to Her World

Amber Leilani: A Doorway to Her World

Meet artist Amber Leilani, a creator of folk surrealist paintings and mixed media. When I met Amber, she was sculpting. Repetitive wrist injuries made sculpting painful for her. She discovered painting is better suited for her wrists and she is...


Meet artist Amber Leilani, a creator of folk surrealist paintings and mixed media. When I met Amber, she was sculpting. Repetitive wrist injuries made sculpting painful for her. She discovered painting is better suited for her wrists and she is obsessed.   

Amber recently changed her main focus from Halloween and Day of the Dead to nature-based topics. This change was deliberate. She still likes to have her gothic look come through. One of her favorite things to paint is ladies with skull faces which she often revisits.    

She is using her stay-at-home time as an opportunity to take classes, practice, and experiment without the pressure of selling.  

Amber reads daily. Her love of the Wayward Children series by Seanan McGuire inspired her favorite piece of all time. Two of the characters from the books are twins named Jack and Jill. Amber interpreted them as Frankenstein's monsters, with a twist. She made them conjoined (even though they aren’t conjoined in the book).  

You'll find her listening to music while she paints. She likes music with vampire and witchy vibes. It sounds like Halloween all year in her studio. 

Amber also collects art. Her favorite pieces commemorate her wedding and her beloved cat, Cash. The fan favorite in her house is a paper mache vampire who hangs upside down in her coffin.  

Amber’s heart belongs in New Orleans – she calls it her “doorway to where she belongs.” Upon arriving in New Orleans, she saw a man on a bike wearing a kilt with a Viking hat. New Orleanians accept people for who they are, not what they do. Amber also loves all the surprises there - “you never know what you are going to see.”  

Amber now lives in a historic district of Raleigh, NC. Her neighborhood loves Halloween. Last Halloween Amber and her husband had 1,000 trick-or-treaters show up. Amber was so excited for Halloween that she got up at 6 a.m. She wanted to take in as much of the day as possible.  

Check her out at https://www.amberleilani.com. She is @amberleilani_art on Instagram