5 Minutes with Amanda Hinkelmann

15 July, 2023
Mel Watson
A highlight of this blog for me so far has been meeting Amanda Hinkelmann, of Because of My Four. Grab a coffee and join me for the first post in my Brilliant Women series; a chat with this proud Wiradjuri woman, artist and all around superstar!

Amanda Hinkellman standing next to an easel holding one of her artworks outdoors Behind Amanda is some green scrub and in the foreground Amanda stands in long wheat coloured grass Amanda has short dark hair and wears a cream coloured dress with long sleeves and silver earrings The artwork is in landscape orientation and is made up of dusky pinks rusts and creams
Amanda Hinkelmann with her artwork <a href=httpsbecauseofmyfourcomauproductnguramba target= blank rel=noopener title=Nguramba>Nguramba<a> Photo credit Rachel Cooper

What a treat to catch up with Amanda Hinkelmann of Because of My Four! I am a long time follower and lover of Amanda’s work. Needless to say, I leapt at the chance to feature one of her pieces in my website design when I decided to start What Mellie Did Next. I might have been a little bit cheeky when I asked if she would let me do a profile piece on her as well, but I was thrilled when Amanda said yes!

Amanda is a proud Wiradjuri woman and Aboriginal Artist from Wagga Wagga in NSW, as well as a wife, mother, friend, teacher, extremely busy woman and brilliant human being. Aside from her stunning and distinctive creations, I wanted to find out a little bit more about the person behind the art. I hope you enjoy our little Q&A.

Tell us a bit about your home & family:

I live in Wagga Wagga with my family – there are six of us – me and my husband and our four kids. We are a bit of a patchwork, but we love it and wouldn’t have it any other way!

Whilst we live in the suburbs, it is still fairly rural. From my house, we can see two significant hills- Pomingalana and Gobbagumbalin, both significant to the land and the people here. We are surrounded by green hills on one side and the town on the other. Most mornings, we can watch the kangaroos on the hill near our house. 

How would your friends describe you in a sentence?

Ha! “Chaos mixed with kindness” maybe…
I am very generous and love giving to others. As a mum of four, life gets fairly hectic so I keep my circle small, giving time my family and close friends as much as I can.

a black and white selfie of a woman with shoulder length dark hair She is wearing lipstick and smiling at the camera She wears round dangling earrings
Amanda Hinkelmann posted this beautiful selfie on her last day in the classroom in 2021. I didn’t tell Amanda this, but her post stuck in the back of my head and was a little prod in the direction of taking my own sabbatical.

What does a typical day in your life look like?

A typical day begins around 6am (unless I am wildly creating and then it can be as early as 3 or 4am!).

I am always the first awake in the house and I wake each of the kids up after flicking on the kettle.
We have learnt to be slower in the mornings now that I work from home.

It is breaky and getting the kids ready for school and then usually I am straight in the studio.
I generally work for around 6 hours, having my lunch whilst I spend an hour or so on admin.

I lag in the afternoon and am completely unproductive from about 2-3pm. Usually in this time, I do a little weeding, wander the garden for some vitamin D or run errands in town.

As the bus approaches with the kiddos, I generally kick back into mum mode – prepping lunches, folding washing and getting dinner done.

Some evenings I wander back in and keep painting, I can’t really stay away! We always try to enjoy a nice dinner together and go slowly into the evening before bed. 

As an artist, what is your favourite part of the process of creating something?

I love creating for no purpose whatsoever. My favourite and most significant artworks have been when I am completely unrestricted with the palette, story, time or circumstance. This is often when I make slight shifts in my overall style as well, because I have the freedom to create whilst being completely uninhibited. 

What is something you do to look after yourself when life gets hectic?

I have gotten very good at noticing when I need to be around people. Most of my days are spent alone when the kids aren’t here, so I try to have lunch or a coffee once a week with friends. It does so much for my mindset, and I am totally refreshed when I see my beautiful friends. My sister is someone I will ring often as well in order to connect and give myself a boost. 

What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

In regard to life: “As long as you and the people under your roof are okay, then things will be okay.” 

In regard to art: “Create without the intention of belonging in a style, just create because you love to.”


Might I suggest?

Why filling your own cup is so important

Why filling your own cup is so important

While rest, exercise and nutrition are all important parts of self care, doing things because you want to can be harder to prioritise. This is why you should.


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