Amanda Sinasac is a graphic designer and illustrator. She spends both her leisure time and working hours hunched over a computer desk - and she loves it. Amanda is drawn to authenticity, or, rather, she’s “repelled by anything short of it.” She tells me her friends have “almost nothing in common with one another except that they are all incredibly genuine people.” I’m so happy that Amanda is one of my friends since I discovered her Instagram last year. She’s kind of like the hip older sister or cousin I never had in Windsor.
Keep reading to learn more about @hymnrose.
RS: You were born and raised in & around Windsor, Ontario, aside from a few teenage years you spent in Guelph.
AS: I’ve been back in Windsor for 10 years. That description alone ages me, so I suppose there’s no harm in revealing that I’m now dangerously close to 30.
RS: What do you appreciate about Windsor?
AS: Despite my penchant for flora and fauna, I consider myself a relatively indoorsy person. I love the buzz of possibility found in cities; I could never be happy living in a rural area. Living in a small city has its perks. I like being able to show up to social events with no prior planning under the assumption that I’ll run into people I know while there. But my favourite thing about Windsor has always been its proximity to Detroit. When I do finally decide to leave here, that will be what I miss most - well, that and the mild climate.
RS: Tell me about your upbringing.
AS: I was born when my parents were still very young and they were always a bit unconventional. While neither of them were creatives in the traditional sense, they instilled in me a love of reading and music, which were cornerstones in my predilection for the arts.
RS: You were also raised as an only child until you were twelve?
AS: Which I can only assume contributed to my general introversion and sometimes overwhelming need for affection.
RS: How were your parents unconventional?
AS: The two of them were never married, though they both are now. Neither of them worked a typical 9-5 job when I was growing up. Come to think of it, they still technically don’t. While my friends at school were eating lunchables and juice boxes, my mom packed me sandwiches on spelt bread and drew faces on my bananas. My dad assigned me reading and extra homework on weekends.
RS: As a child you loved to draw, sew and design clothes, and aspired to become a fashion designer.
AS: In hindsight, I still believe that would have been a fulfilling career choice for me creatively, if not financially.
RS: You created a fashion & DIY blog in your early 20s, which attracted a small but supportive following.
AS: The process of building and populating my blog was my first real introduction to graphic design. With no formal training at that point in my life, it was a lot of trial, error, more error and eventual success.
RS: Where did you learn the fundamentals of design?
AS: When I started college and ended a very serious relationship in 2012, I deleted my blog in favour of a fresh start. I enrolled in a 3-year Advertising & Marketing program at St. Clair Centre for the Arts.
RS: Had you also entertained the idea of becoming a writer at one point?
AS: Around the time I started college, I began dabbling in journalism for a few local publications. I quickly realized I hated it. The process of writing is so involved and draining for me, whereas I find design more intuitive and soothing. But my copywriting professor insisted I had a gift, so I felt almost obligated to use it. It sounds extremely cliché and I cringe as I type this, but in the end, I had to choose what made me the happiest.
RS: What do you look for when designing a piece?
AS: I'm very drawn to pastels and other traditionally "feminine" colours. This preference is almost comically evident in every aspect of my life, from my wardrobe and home decor choices, to my design work. I also employ a lot of fluidity and simple, organic shapes. Unabashed softness is a recurring theme in all that I do and create.
RS: What websites do you visit regularly besides social media?
AS: I'm a restless person. I'm constantly poring over the real estate section of Kijiji. I've done 10 moves in just as many years and I'm already planning the next one.
RS: You also love Airbnb.
AS: My travel companions know to leave the planning to me, and I pride myself on always finding the best accommodations.
RS: What do you look for in a space?
AS: If I’m just visiting, I look for a central location, mid-century modern furnishings and something interesting on the walls. I can’t stand generic hotel art. If I’m in the market for something long-term, I’m drawn to as blank a canvas as possible. Give me white walls, worn wood floors, natural light and high ceilings.
RS: What are you doing in Montreal next month?
AS: I've booked the perfect little studio apartment nestled in the heart of Mile End. I will be there for a week surrounding my aforementioned 30th birthday. It makes the whole concept much more bearable and has transformed that dreaded milestone into something I’m actually looking forward to.
RS: What’s the one concrete plan?
AS: I’ve made an appointment for a hand-poked tattoo with Belladonna Hurricane at Tatouage Royal. All my tattoos thus far have been done by machine, so it should be interesting.
RS: Who did your previous tattoos?
AS: I've never been super loyal to an one tattoo artist, but my last few have been done by Jessy Dufour at Radiant Maiden, and she's been wonderful every time. She's done such a beautiful job of helping me get my concepts out of my head and on my skin, and I've given a home to some of her original designs as well. I trust her completely and I look forward to many more long, painful hours spent in her chair.
RS: You said you’ve “reached most of those checkpoints you’re supposed to hit on the way to becoming a ‘real adult.’”
AS: I’ve been thinking a lot lately about something my boyfriend said to me. He recently moved back here after some time away, and he told me that while he was gone he realized that Windsor is a good place to decide what’s next. I guess that’s where I’m at. I’m finished school now, found my calling, financially stable, and in a serious relationship with someone I can actually stand. I think it will still be a few years before I’m ready to move on, but for now I’ll be here, deciding what’s next.
Amanda has recently been working with local venues and production companies to create flyers for concerts around the city, which she describes as quite gratifying. If you’d like to pay her to design something thoughtful for you, I encourage you to contact her here.