In this chat with Amanda, I was surprised to learn she had gone through Calgary firefighter training but was too young to follow through so she trained with the Calgary Police Academy, passed before she decided that too was not for her. She talks about the evolution and start of her drawing passion, How her values or definition of what success is for did a complete flip.
She is a new mom so we explore how that has changed her life and her viewpoint. Her modelling, which I started off with an early photo session of her. How she made her obsessive drive work for her. I think you will enjoy listing to this young woman setting her life out.
Amanda Wilkinson Bio
This talented Canadian artist specializes in hyper-realistic portraits. Amanda creates art in multiple mediums from acrylic and oil paints to charcoal and pastel pencil crayon. Her work deeply displays human emotions. She captures the subject's innermost feelings in their eyes which she believes are the windows into the Soul. Amanda is a self-taught artist who has been influenced by Robert Bateman and has aspired to emulate this style. As Amanda grew, so did her artwork, taking on a life and form of its own.
Reach out to Amanda
About Mark Laurie - Host.
Mark has been transforming how women see themselves, enlarging their sense of sexy, expanding their confidence in an exciting adventure that is transformational photography. His photo studio is inner Spirit Photography.
Sound Production by:
Lee Ellis - email@example.com
You're listening to fascinating women, Mark Laurie. And now, Mark Laurie.
Mark Laurie 0:06
Hello, everyone. I'm Mark Laurie. And this is fascinating women. Now usually I am behind the camera photographing these amazing women. Today, I have got Amanda Wilkinson and she is a woman I've photographed several times over the years and she is passing as we kind of get into it. Welcome, Amanda. Welcome. Thank you. You are welcome. So glad you could make it today.
Amanda Wilkinson 0:28
Yeah, thank you. Thanks for having me. How are you?
Mark Laurie 0:30
I am well. Now we've gone back quite a ways. I think you were saying Jean 16 years. 16 years. Yeah. So hold on. How old were you then? I was at 18. And I'll speak we're gonna magic figure out that you want to my youngest guests? Yes. There we go. That's kind of cool. So we first first photograph to you. And as I recall the image that pops in my brain I actually come across occasionally. It's a black background and you're well tanned and you're really fit and you got this gold skimpy bikini on. And we have baby lions in studio that day. And they're kind of walk around your feet. Does that? Yes. Is that a treasure image for you?
Amanda Wilkinson 1:01
Well, that is a treasured image. But there was one right before that was my family's Photoshop. Family Photoshop. That's right. And not actually the one that you just talked about was my falling off point for modeling. Okay, yeah, you're my fallen off point.
Mark Laurie 1:17
Is the trigger point. Yeah, cuz you remember that we did the family thing with your mom, because he was my original client. And so you came into that?
Amanda Wilkinson 1:23
That is exactly how I met you. My mom came to you for boudoir photos.
Mark Laurie 1:27
That's right. That's well, so you came in for those sessions after your mum dad taught that failure. Your mum was braver than earlier braver than you? Yeah, that's weird. So the path? Yeah, yeah,
Amanda Wilkinson 1:37
totally. That's great. Maybe that's where I got my confidence from.
Mark Laurie 1:41
Crypto speaking to that. What is your biggest talent? Like? What's the thing that you makes you fearless? Your confidence? Where does it come from?
Amanda Wilkinson 1:48
I would definitely if I were to think about it say that. It came back from my childhood. Yeah, I mean, I had two parents that would encourage me and with whatever I did, I'd get encouragement. So I think that really brought up a lot of self esteem and fearlessness. So to say,
Mark Laurie 2:05
so even when you're cratering, they still found a way to say something nice about it. Yeah,
Amanda Wilkinson 2:09
it was very gently, but they will still say something like, You know what, this is really good. And you're doing really good, but let's try to focus on this one. Let's try this one.
Mark Laurie 2:19
So helping you to find your passion. Your Niche. Yeah. Yeah. How'd that go? Did you did you find it early?
Amanda Wilkinson 2:26
Actually, you know what I can remember? I mean, at least I think I can remember the exact the exact time where I'm like, wow, this is something like this is something that I'm good at. I think it was five years old. And I really took a liking to artwork, right at five. Okay, that's when I can remember I was in I think I was in grade. Oh, God, I can't remember that far back. But I was in elementary school. And I remember doing this one one piece for Mother's Day. And it was it was a collage of sunflowers, and I gave it to my mom. And that was that was I was hooked. I was hooked on art automatically now. I don't know if I was hooked on the art itself. Or the feeling that the artwork gave to somebody I think it was more or less that feeling of giving someone happiness that I was addicted to. And that that art was more of a talent.
Mark Laurie 3:21
So that was that became kind of the vehicle the like, young kids are really clever. Like this gets me smiles and treats
Amanda Wilkinson 3:28
this very manipulative.
Mark Laurie 3:32
I'll do more of this though Did you have any training at that age? Are you just scribbling
Amanda Wilkinson 3:38
I mean, no training at all. I mean, the only training that I would really have is my mom would sit me in front of a coloring book and I just sit there and color today. That's that's the only training that I've had my entire artistic life.
Mark Laurie 3:52
Okay, now this is revealing when she gave you the coloring book he just stay in the lines or outer lines.
Amanda Wilkinson 3:58
Oh, I'm an outside of the lines kind of girl
Mark Laurie 4:00
proper colors observed colors. Oh, that's a good question.
Unknown Speaker 4:03
Both both depending on Yeah, yeah.
Mark Laurie 4:08
What's what's depending? Where's the line? When do you go obscured when you go reality back then.
Unknown Speaker 4:14
Oh, I was gonna say whoa deep now. If I wanted to be creative, I'd stay outside of the lines if I want to be creative I stay inside the lines. Oh, yes
Mark Laurie 4:31
no, did you follow that? That talent did it when did the Tao become a passion for you was does it early in the game or did is like a hobby passion? Like what was the what's the path of your of your art?
Unknown Speaker 4:44
Well, it did. It was always it was always a talent. So it was never really that was never really a passion so to say. I kind of put the talent and the passion together. If that makes any kind of sense. Mike passion came from the way my artwork made people feel right. That was a passion. I just took the talent and put them together. Does that answer the question? Okay. It's pretty
Mark Laurie 5:10
clear that that's kind of cool. Yeah. And so you refined your, your talent to get better impact with your passion is that?
Amanda Wilkinson 5:18
Oh, absolutely, yeah. Yeah.
Mark Laurie 5:20
But when I, a lot of time when I met you, you were in oil and gas crunching numbers. Now, does that was that create a conflict? Like what was your? How'd you take on that path when you had this neat skill?
Amanda Wilkinson 5:35
I always used I always used my art as, like a creative outlet for stress or something like that, right? Any kind of any kind of situation I was dealing with, I would always, I would always use that as a get away get away from reality. But with me, I'm gonna guess with oil and gas. I always thought that, okay, I want to be a career woman and I want to unnecessarily chase the money. But I wanted to, I guess chase the money. Yeah, I wanted to. I always thought that career women were so powerful, right. And so Oh, that's power. I want to do that. Now that I'm a little bit older at the time, it was it was great. Because I was young, I was in my I think mid 20s When I started getting into the oil and gas. So there's a status that comes with that there's the money and then oh, cool, let's party. I can buy nice things like all materialistic things, which is cool, and you're good. But when you become a little bit older, that stuff stops mattering right? To me at least it stops mattering. So that's when that's when I kind of gravitated a little bit more to, okay, I'm going to I'm going to chase this. I'm going to chase this talent and maybe make it a little bit of a reality now it never really, it never really took on because the money always kind of kept me there. I know, it sounds really horrible to say but you start you have responsibilities. You have your mortgage and stuff like that. So
Mark Laurie 7:14
I remember when, because she's, you've modeled for me, and you've done a lot of photography, and one of those things just out front and is still clear my brain. You show me art for the first time, that just blew me away. I can't draw. So I have to make more with my camera. And I looked at I'm kind of going this and when you talked about your eyes lit up like like you were like this was was your excitement for it. I remember the time saying you should be chasing this other stuff was just getting in you. But this was really powerful. Do you recall that?
Amanda Wilkinson 7:40
Yes. Oh, absolutely. I totally recall that. And what kind of what kind of made that switch is in my mind was I had a son. And all of a sudden, money didn't really matter. Its happiness, right? You have to measure wealth in a different way other than money. And the way I measured wealth back then, or right now actually, how back then it was money, but right now it's ever since I had my son, it's it's happiness. It's making people happy. And that's that was that's through art. Now. That's through my talent
Mark Laurie 8:17
that we've had some of the women have come in here they they got older kids, but But Matthew is a year and a half year three quarters. Yeah, he's,
Amanda Wilkinson 8:24
he's he's almost two years. 18 he's 18 months. Yeah.
Mark Laurie 8:29
So your days are full. Very cool.
Amanda Wilkinson 8:31
And and of course, I'm a stay at home mom, too. So that's another good job.
Mark Laurie 8:37
You've always been a pretty spontaneous person. Is that something that you got as an early in your youth or something you acquired? Like, where that spontaneity come from? And how long have you seen yourself as spontaneous?
Amanda Wilkinson 8:47
I've always I've always considered myself a pretty spontaneous kid. I mean, you can ask my mom I've always been pretty spontaneous. But even in, even in adolescent life and, and adult life, I've, I've always been quite a spontaneous person with whether it be opportunities or different careers. I've always had that spontaneous spark. I never, not that I never stick stuck to anything for too long. But I would always I always want to be busy. Always, always want to be busy and doing something and on the go.
Mark Laurie 9:30
So when something caught your attention, did you just chase a bunch of stuff? Are you like holding on something?
Amanda Wilkinson 9:40
That's a good question. I do I would chase a bunch of stuff, but I also hone in on it if that makes any kind of sense.
Mark Laurie 9:48
So as you start going through stuff falls off that just doesn't hold your attention, but one or two things you want to see through to the end does that
Amanda Wilkinson 9:54
yeah, that that pretty much yeah, that pretty much explains it. i It's one of those things. It's kind of hard to explain. Yeah, it's kind of hard to explain.
Mark Laurie 10:06
Do you have one? So, like, day to day life, you know, through all the years, people have piles of stuff that they can they can spontaneously choose. You can. You can go coffee with friends, you can go down the river, you can go skydiving, you can go and read a book. Like there's always these spontaneous things you can kind of chase, do you have an evaluation system? When something comes up to go? Oh, that appeals to me? bright and shiny? Do you have a system that you kind of quickly go through to decide if you want to chase it or not?
Amanda Wilkinson 10:40
Ah, I suppose so. I just don't know what that would
Mark Laurie 10:48
be. You look at and go, that would be fun. That's a checkmark. That's new. That's a checkmark, like their status or check off
Amanda Wilkinson 10:56
or that's something that I could do. I think I could see myself doing check. Yeah, when
Mark Laurie 10:59
you look at some yet you have, because you, you talk to Charlie, a book person, like you're not like school wasn't fasting for books and stuff. Is that correct?
Amanda Wilkinson 11:08
Yeah. No, I'm not really I'm not. Yeah, not. I mean, I guess it's sort of my personality to write if it matches my personality, I can definitely see myself doing that check or? Yeah.
Mark Laurie 11:19
So because you're kind of visual that's getting that from your art. Yeah. So when you see it of opportunities, do you get a flash? We actually kind of see the whole road and you see yourself in that role being successful? Is that, like a vision of it?
Amanda Wilkinson 11:31
Yeah, happen? Yeah, yeah, definitely. And so
Mark Laurie 11:34
I'm just gonna guess here that so if you have three opportunities, and you look at them equally, if you don't see a vision of you finishing it, or enjoying or doing something into it, then that's how you drop it does that?
Amanda Wilkinson 11:46
Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. That would definitely explain it to a tee for sure. For sure. If I if I can't see. Most of the time, if I can't see myself finishing something that I probably won't even pick it up.
Mark Laurie 11:58
Okay. So what would trigger you not to finish graduate?
Amanda Wilkinson 12:00
That's that's a big that's a big if because I do I do enjoy a challenge. Yeah, it depends. It depends what the challenge is. So yeah, like I have to have some sort of interest in it.
Mark Laurie 12:11
Yeah. Like there's, it kind of goes back to the phrase. Picking your fights. Yeah, sure. Yeah. I sit back. It's okay. Anything can challenge me. I mean, there's piles of stuff. I'm very challenged person. But you but you kind of pick your fight. This is the one. I want to challenge me is that is that is Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. And then what's that decision look like? What's it feel like when you when you get this vision of what must happen very quickly, I'm guessing.
Amanda Wilkinson 12:34
Oh, yeah. Yeah, once you once you get that vision, I tend to, I tend to get very passionate about it. I get obsessive, okay, I get really obsessive, I'm not talking like, like book, I'm talking, I want to I want to research everything about it, let's say, in particular, my artwork. If I if I find a character that I want to draw, I obsess about it. I want to learn everything about him. I want to learn their character I want to because that I can bring into the artwork.
Mark Laurie 13:07
So pick a character, you've done that with, like, draw me a mental picture of what that that process he went through.
Amanda Wilkinson 13:14
Okay, let me think of a good character that I'm gonna have to use. I'm gonna have to use Brett Wilson, because he's the one that I just did. I don't know, obsessive seems really crazy. And I don't read it in that way. So I'm sorry, Brett. I really don't read it. But one really thing that really attracted me into wanting to draw him is he's an incredibly charitable guy. Like he's been through, he's been through hell and back. And so I always thought and thought he was very interesting. And I was a huge fan of the Dragon's Den. So that was a so that was another really big, a really big,
Mark Laurie 14:01
so trying to get the nuances of the character into your drawings. Because that, yeah, to go for Yeah,
Amanda Wilkinson 14:07
exactly. So I want to learn all about them. So you'll learn that he's a philanthropist. I think I pronounced it. Yeah, he's an investor. He's, he did amazing for, you know, the Canadian economy. Yeah. And he's a really good speaker. Yeah, he's a really, really good speaker.
Mark Laurie 14:26
So you've kind of absorbed that then channeled into your art? Yeah, your process.
Amanda Wilkinson 14:30
Yeah. Yeah. And it's not just the character that I'm looking for. It's also it's also not the background. It's also when you're looking at a photo you you you research every single I call a character, but I'm talking like every single wrinkle every single bump every single hair cut.
Mark Laurie 14:53
How'd that get there? What Why is it there?
Amanda Wilkinson 14:54
Yeah, exactly. Yeah, exactly. You do a deep dive into that part of the character. didn't.
Mark Laurie 15:01
So what three beliefs that guide you? That you are kind of your cornerstone of who you are? Or how you decide things
Amanda Wilkinson 15:14
definitely treat people how you want to be treated. I think that's the golden rule. Yeah. Three core beliefs.
Mark Laurie 15:24
Just tune out. You got the first one nail.
Amanda Wilkinson 15:26
Yeah. That's not a strong suit. Just getting love with all your heart. Yeah, that's that's a that's a really big one. I'm a very I'm a very passionate person. And that just, yeah, just love with all your heart. Whether that be
Mark Laurie 15:46
COBIT you're a hugs person. Or hugs person?
Amanda Wilkinson 15:50
Yeah. Yeah. Hugs for sure. I like to deal with it. And then the last one we might have to come back to. Because those are my two. Those are my definitely my two big ones. Yeah, it was my definitely. So we might have been
Mark Laurie 16:04
kind of like an entrepreneurship, a fairness, those kind of things.
Amanda Wilkinson 16:08
Mark Laurie 16:09
Come forward. Oh, for sure.
Amanda Wilkinson 16:10
Yeah. Follow along that?
Mark Laurie 16:11
Yeah. What's your biggest dream? When you sit back? You're 85 years old, frail, old, beautiful woman. What would be your biggest thing you want to accomplish? Your legacy? Besides Matthew, what do you wanna leave behind?
Amanda Wilkinson 16:24
I was just about to say the biggest thing I want to leave behind is, honestly, the biggest impact I want to leave is the way I made people feel. That's, that's, that's my biggest passion when somebody when somebody thinks of me or says Amanda Wilkinson, oh, I remember her she, that drawing was just over that or that encounter. There was just, it was so amazing. She made me feel so. So energetic and so. So good. You know, even if that's through my, my art, or if it's through personality or anything, I just want to I want to be thought of someone that made people feel good.
Mark Laurie 17:13
That is great. Who inspires you? Who's your role model?
Amanda Wilkinson 17:19
A lot of people inspire me. But my, my biggest role models have been, and I think it's I think it's that way for a lot of people. It's my parents. Yeah, they've always been, they've always been such a good role model. And they come from two, not totally different worlds, but they come from two, totally, they're two totally different people. My dad was in the mental health industry, and he loved helping people not to see that my mom didn't, yeah, but my dad had a passion for listening to people and really listening to them. And helping them and he had such a big heart and he was so caring. And my mom she had equals heart. But she was quite the opposite. She was an entrepreneur. So she had that drive to she had that drive for entrepreneurship, and be her own boss and the dedication that it takes to to start something like that. So I've kind of I've kind of got the both of them and I've morphed it into to one. Does that make sense? Yep,
Mark Laurie 18:24
it does. It's out there find that interesting because we have a lot of our clients so got that parents from two opposing directions. And they're the blend of the two of them. And and it gives them some phenomenal skills. So quite. I find they're quite fearless usually. And that's what I see with you. Do you feel like you're fearless person?
Amanda Wilkinson 18:41
I do. Yeah. Yeah. I have quite fearless.
Mark Laurie 18:46
Where's that gone to? Is it gotten you into trouble at times?
Amanda Wilkinson 18:53
No, I don't think I mean, no, I depends what you what's trouble. What's your take on trouble? No, it's, it's put me out there. It's it's yeah, it's definitely put me out there and in ways of having opportunities open up to me. Whether that's through modeling, or I mean, the one thing I can think of with modeling is
opportunities like doing the best of the best. Yeah, that that show that. That's the kind of those are the kinds of opportunities that I think I've gotten for being fearless and trying new things and just experimenting with stuff stopping this does that. Yeah, that kind of,
Mark Laurie 19:48
do you have a favorite quote, a quote that you
Amanda Wilkinson 19:50
are told? Lots of?
Mark Laurie 19:53
times sorry. Do you have a quote? an inspirational quote that you bring the forefront of your mind I
Amanda Wilkinson 20:00
have tons of quotes that I say not say live by but one sticks out to me right now in particular. And it's, it's from Mike, Mike Rowe, and he is he's the guy that did have those few listeners know, he's the guy that did Dirty Jobs, okay? And his quote was, never follow your passion. Always bring it with you. Instead, follow opportunity. And now, people are going to interpret that however, hopefully you don't interpret it bad because it's not meant to be better. But how I interpreted it in my life right now is my passion has always been making people feel good, right? My talent has always been drawing. Lost my train of thought there.
Mark Laurie 20:53
Explain the quote. Yeah,
Amanda Wilkinson 20:54
so I, my challenge has always been my talent has always been drawn. My passion has always been making fieldfield making people feel good. Yeah. Now I've always I've always, I've always made people thrilled, feel good to throw anything. Whether that be through oil and gas, or
Mark Laurie 21:15
no, I lost my train of thought kind of like a shining beacon. It's your go back to the quote. Yeah. How it makes you people feel how you bring it. So you found quotes you you tend to sit with them bet and resonate with, resonates with Yeah. And so to go, you go deeper in quotes, like you look at the first time there's a surface quote, and then you look at a bit deeper and then starts to resonate deeper and deeper with us. You look has that happened to you? Yeah, it does. Yeah. Where do they lead you sometimes like when when a call goes deeper into was that feel like what's what's that look like?
Amanda Wilkinson 21:49
Oh don't really know. That's a really good question. I don't want to think too much about that. But
Mark Laurie 22:02
as we're talking I think back in a year, a very in the moment, spontaneous cat person. Is that correct? Like? Yeah, but it's it's YOU the turn on what's happening. Like, you're kind of, you're sort of what you see is what you get is how you look at the world that Ballard
Amanda Wilkinson 22:21
kind of Yeah, I think so. Yeah. Yeah, maybe. It will come to you. Yeah, I think it might, it might come to me. Like you will
Mark Laurie 22:36
say that I've always sort of seen as priests for the spur of the moment. Like you. It's something that appeals to you, then you're just always in the moment. And so thinking back and stuff, cuz you're always looking forward. It's probably a bit not reduced to doing. Yeah. Yeah. Can you work hard?
Amanda Wilkinson 22:54
You are? Yeah. I really like yeah, I've really had a
Mark Laurie 23:01
what do you see as a challenge? How do you see how do you describe your challenges? When you decide when you're 30? You're talking about being challenged? What kinds of things do you see as a challenge?
That's a good question.
Mark Laurie 23:23
Do you see art as a challenge? Do you ever see trying to become a mom a challenge? What? What parts become a challenge for you when they're suddenly easier than suddenly they're harder to do? Or they're a bigger target dream than you thought possible? First?
Amanda Wilkinson 23:38
Well, definitely. I mean, my bit, my biggest challenge that I would say is definitely being a mom. That's, that's my biggest challenge. Right now. artwork is, is challenging, in a way. It's just it's definitely not the same way as because I've always, I've always known our work, right? I've never I've never known how to be a mom. So that's,
Mark Laurie 24:03
that's how you're approaching motherhood. My clients gracefully, gracefully. There's chaos bouncing through.
Amanda Wilkinson 24:12
Yeah, exactly. Yeah. I'm approaching I'm not doing any kind of reading or, or any kind of education when it comes to parenting. I'm just kind of going on how I how I was raised, kind of the way that my parents raised me, so I can read out, okay.
Mark Laurie 24:31
I think you did. A friend of mine once said his son was born. This guy told me so you got to start playing with this future right now. Because you have to mold them. You can't start that seven years from now. Do you have a vision of what Matthew should look like when he's older? Like what you want to instill in him what you want him to become like him to become?
Amanda Wilkinson 24:52
And no, I don't really have I don't really have any kind of vision because he's just so young. Yeah. I mean, I just want him to be a kid. I want him to skinned his knees and bump his head and figure out his childhood. And then when he's a little bit older, didn't he can, he can, I'm pretty sure he can figure out where he belongs in the world without my help. I'll guide him to teach them right and wrong. And but I mean, the rest is up to him, because that was the rest was up to me.
Mark Laurie 25:22
Yeah. So you're kind of mirror version of opportunities.
Amanda Wilkinson 25:25
Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. And I think by default, they take on your parents personality.
Mark Laurie 25:33
It's funny, we find often cases they do the opposite of the parents where I'll have parents come in who are our brokers like their three piece suit, guys, and the kids like a hippie. Hippies come in, and their kids like a political opponent person, and I swear to go, how did that happen?
Amanda Wilkinson 25:54
Regardless of what he what he gets into, I'm just gonna be so proud of whatever he does. That is, you know,
Mark Laurie 26:03
that's a good that's, I think that's a good message for people when you grow up is that whenever you want to become just don't do it well, but know that you're loved. I think that's when people have got a core where they can always go back to the where they're loved. That gives you all sorts of strength.
Amanda Wilkinson 26:18
On self esteem. Yeah, yeah, absolutely. Yeah. Yeah.
Mark Laurie 26:21
When you, does your self swear, take a kick, like some some days, do you just feel beat up a bit?
Amanda Wilkinson 26:30
Yes. And I'm always I'm always using motherhood as a as an example, because it's so fresh to me. When I can't figure something out. With Matthew, I beat myself up, right? And I feel like Oh, my God, I'm such a failure. Because I don't know this. Everybody says, Oh, you it's second nature. It's your mom. It's your maternal instincts. That sometimes I'm just like, well, where the hell is that instinct. So when is it going to kick in? You know, it's and then you feel like, you beat yourself up. You're like,
Mark Laurie 27:03
so how do you get out of that? How do you find the bridge? Find the stairs to climb out of it?
Amanda Wilkinson 27:12
You're doing the best you can. Yeah, you're doing the best you can. And he's perfectly fine.
Mark Laurie 27:21
That's well, so you. So you're going through like last time we just see the surface of people like you're always everybody gives us up thing. But do you fake it and still kind of go through when you're feeling a bit down?
Amanda Wilkinson 27:32
Are you Oh, totally. Yeah. Oh, yeah. You fake it till you make? Sometimes you need to yeah, sometimes you need to when they aren't. Well, how that actually turned out. Okay. Now I know for next time what to do. You know?
Mark Laurie 27:45
What's been some of your big accomplishments stuff? You look back on and go Oh, yeah. If I had a Hall of Fame, that would be in it.
Amanda Wilkinson 27:51
Oh, man, I've got I've got I've got a lot. I've got a lot of little two. Little two big ones. Yeah. A lot of them are opportunities that I was granted even as a little kid. Yeah. Big Hall of Fame of Amanda Wilkinson is to moments I remember back in, in high school and a little bit after high school were, and this is on the top of my head. These are the two that I that I remember the most probably go back farther. But I was part of an extracurricular activity in high school, and it was to fire the fire cadets, right. So I trained to be a fire cadet. And then shortly after that, there's a passion there. So it kind of followed that, right. And then it, it grew to actually actively training to be a firefighter. So I went through all the training, and then periodically, I'm like, 18, and then I go for recruitment. I'm ready. I'm training other little, other little cadets. And I didn't get in. Funny. They won't let an 18 year old firefighter, you need life experience. Right? So anyway, that was a huge accomplishment for me. And it also brought up a lot of self esteem to my second one. And shortly after that was well, I'm not gonna be a firefighter. I will be a cop. Okay, so I did all the police training. I didn't I didn't apply to the police force, but it was just something that I'm like, I'm gonna see if I can do this. Right. Let's see if it's something that I like. So I went through all of that and graduated and that was that those two are probably the high highlights. Is my graduated
Mark Laurie 29:32
from the police academy. Yes. Great. Yeah. And then did you become a policeman for short bursts of graduating side that was interesting.
Amanda Wilkinson 29:39
No, I graduated. Well, I mean, this is it looks like an incredibly fulfilling job, but definitely not for me. Definitely not for me. No, why
Mark Laurie 29:46
not for you? Why didn't that path take?
Amanda Wilkinson 29:52
That's a very good question. I don't I never really, I never really considered myself I don't think it would be really good cop. Right? cuz I'm not, you know, I'm not a hard I'm not you have to be hard to be a cop. But I just, I didn't consider myself a very It seems very structured, I just I don't really see myself very following the rules, I really see myself as falling. Make sense that does
Mark Laurie 30:25
make sense you're very very much a person of the path not taken exams where you kind of fall
Amanda Wilkinson 30:30
to take that path to realize that you don't want to do it. Yeah,
Mark Laurie 30:33
or to keep on kind of bushwhacking through it, I am very much a person who, who forged my own path. And you keep on coming across stuff like so. Okay, we have to do a detour this path now, because this is a lot of work.
Amanda Wilkinson 30:45
We're working on I don't really like this one. So we're gonna head back this way. I find
Mark Laurie 30:49
though, and tell me if this resonates with you where I will ever know that you fall back on this. Making no path is hard. I'm gonna follow the heart. Have you done that? We sit back and you follow the big pathway. And then you have to where you kind of go, Oh, God, this is worse than the other.
Amanda Wilkinson 31:07
Yeah, yeah, there was there some times after high school I, I took a look at where all my friends were going. And they're going to university and college. And yeah, I want to be an engineer or a doctor, I want to be a police officer. I want to you know, I want to be in the school. And I went the other way, because I took a look at that. And when I just spent the last 12 years my life in school, right? No way. So I took the other way. And I actually turned to entrepreneurship. So I started my first landscaping business. You had a landscaping business. Yeah.
Mark Laurie 31:40
So how old were you when you did that?
Amanda Wilkinson 31:43
I was turning 19 When I started the landscaping business. Is that your mom's influence? Y'all? Definitely. Yeah, definitely. Yeah.
Mark Laurie 31:51
How long that lasts for you.
Amanda Wilkinson 31:53
That lasted? Oh, God, I can't even remember. What 2006 That probably the last about four or five years. Really? Yeah. Yep. And it is still going on today. Right, a little bit of a little bit of a situation with that one. sourness and ended up actually leaving the business. Right. But it was, it was a very successful business. And I think it still is a very successful business. But it was something that I had to walk away from. But that was another. That was another very, very big accomplishment.
Mark Laurie 32:33
Yeah, you've hit some pretty high notes. I'm impressed by high
Amanda Wilkinson 32:38
bar. high bar for myself. I'm gonna keep going.
Mark Laurie 32:42
I feel like you always resetting the bar. For your accomplishments, nobody expected yourself.
Amanda Wilkinson 32:50
Yeah, I think so. Yeah. And then I put a lot of pressure on myself when I when I set that bar, Tim. And like I said it almost like we said before it becomes a becomes an obsession, right?
Mark Laurie 33:00
So how do you deal with that pressure you put in yourself? Do does he get points just walk away from this is too much pressure or you find a way to deal with this pressure you put yourself?
Amanda Wilkinson 33:09
It does become hard at times? And that's a that's a very good question. That's why I'm kind of, I'm very careful with what I take on. Because I do I do obsess about it. So if it's something I'm going to use my art as an example because it's always been. It's always been an obsession of mine. But I use that as an outlet. That's my if I get stressed about that. Well, this is my outlet. I'm going to I'm actually going to work on it. It sounds really counterintuitive, but that's how I do it. That's all work. That's how it works with me. It's It's really weird. I'm kind of weird.
Mark Laurie 33:46
That's why we're such good friends. That just really works right and I think what personality trait do you wish you had?
Amanda Wilkinson 33:57
Wish I could read people more? I'm not if that if that. I'm not a very good judge of character. I don't know how else other I don't know how other how other how to put it. But yeah, I just wish I was more a better judge of character. And I could read people better. Because I just have her trusting of everyone. You tend
Mark Laurie 34:25
to see the best in people.
Amanda Wilkinson 34:26
Yeah, absolutely. Yeah, I've always I've always, ever since I was a little kid, I've always seen the best in people, which I think is is a huge strength. But it also can be a very big weakness too, because then you get taken advantage of and there has been, there's been times where I've been taken advantage of because my my part of my mouth should judge a character has been you know, but then that just adds to your life. Its life experiences and your strength.
Mark Laurie 34:52
Yeah, so I'm guessing that even though you've had some really shitty bad judgments of character, you've chosen not to To change the bar of how you approach people
Amanda Wilkinson 35:05
No, I, that's that's really that's a really good observations because I choose not to change that. Right? It's it's it kind of It's who I am. That's, that's go back to my my core belief, right? See the good in people? Whether they're bad or not I just, that's just one of the things I always see good people.
Mark Laurie 35:28
So do you find when you see good people that they rise? That goodness you see?
Amanda Wilkinson 35:35
I would hope so. I might not see it. But I would hope that I leave some sort of a mark. When it comes to something like that. Sometimes I see it, there's been there's been times where I would say I'm not saying anything negative, but energy, I bring energy and it makes other people feel energized. And in particularly when you and I work together, we feed off each other.
Mark Laurie 36:05
You're a norm, your energy is fills a room. It's, it's a delightful energy to be around. Okay, as an artist. I mean, that's one of the joys I have is you have this, you have freedom of expression.
Amanda Wilkinson 36:18
And see when you when you ask me that question about follows the question. You said, Well, how do you how do you want to leave a legacy? How you want to leave this world? Yeah, what you just said right there. Yeah, that's what I want. Right? When someone says oh, Amanda Wilkinson? Oh, yeah. She's a she's a firecracker. That's what
Mark Laurie 36:36
a person who people tell stories about you. Exactly. positive stories. Good stories. A punch line kind of thing. Yeah. So are you the result of a nature or if your environment when you were growing up? Do you think your your nature was this way? Or do you think your environment with your parents shaped you?
Amanda Wilkinson 36:59
I think both, I think I think the the way I was raised kind of opened up that environment for me. Does that make any sense? Yeah, it's hard to elaborate on something like that. But I do think that the nurturer my mom did kind of opened up that environment for me, does it? I don't know if that makes sense. I don't know how else to elaborate on that. To be honest with you. Yeah. It's that's a that's a tough one. Yeah,
Mark Laurie 37:30
it's it's a it's a personal one for each for each person. Yeah, as I sit back and go oh, what what shaped me is this come out this way. And I bet the swear to parents mold me a little bit.
Amanda Wilkinson 37:40
I do think more more on the side of the parent. My parents molded me definitely parents. Definitely parents molded me for sure. Yeah.
Mark Laurie 37:49
Your modeling career because that's that was a big chunk of you for a while. How did how does that fit into your life? How do you like that part of the journey?
Amanda Wilkinson 38:00
That was that was Oh, I love modeling. Particularly working with you was probably one of the highlights of my like I said you were my falling off point. It gives you so much confidence and self esteem and not not in a not in a conceited type of way. But uh I can take on like, I feel like I can take on the world. Right? It's a it's a huge it's a huge confidence booster. Yeah, it makes you makes you feel very powerful.
Mark Laurie 38:35
It's good. This is cool, guys. This is not video recorded. But her eyes are going. Good. She's her faces very, very.
Amanda Wilkinson 38:42
Some of these things are really hard to explain. They're hard to put into words. Yeah. Yeah. It's a feeling and sometimes those feelings just it's it's a it's a hard feeling to describe. I know it sounds pretty deep. But that it? Yeah,
Mark Laurie 38:58
it again. I sort of see you as a person who's who racks lives in the moment. And you've got a very fine tuned sense of where that can take you. Yeah, and and so I think you look for explanations a lot. You just go by your gut. Yeah, yeah. Trust that to a large degree.
Amanda Wilkinson 39:18
Yeah. I think yeah, yeah. I'm very like spot spontaneous, right. It feels good. I'm gonna do it. I mean, was it what did
Mark Laurie 39:27
you change your mind about recently? What is it something that you felt this way and then suddenly, it's been up ended?
Amanda Wilkinson 39:37
In particular, and I don't know if this answers your question to a tee but I always keep coming back to my son because it's, it's obviously a new toy. It's the most recent recently so I wouldn't, I wouldn't. Abandonment is kind of a harsh, I would say Say it is something that Oh, no, that's not for me. It's oil and gas. It's a career woman. It's the it's the I looked at that, and my No, that's that's definitely that's something that's changed monumentally in my life that I've always thought would be part of. But now I don't I don't see it. I don't see me being part of that anymore. Yeah, it's just I don't. I don't. That was my that was probably one of my biggest abandonments. That's 30 years. So Desert,
Mark Laurie 40:39
desert, DESERT in the corporate world.
Amanda Wilkinson 40:44
I mean, I think it's absolutely fantastic that women can have children and then still be able to be a career woman. Right. But the career is so it can be so widely defined. It doesn't mean it's, it's just corporate, it could be stay at home. It could be an artist to careers, careers, that's a broad term for everything.
Mark Laurie 41:13
And a lot of people have encountered their career, they don't define their career by what their job is. They see more of a career in life terms. This is what they want to accomplish. And it's it's almost esoteric. It's it's a whole different world. This is how I make my money. And this is how I see my career, my life as the career.
Amanda Wilkinson 41:34
Yeah, it kind of sucks that careers kind of go hand in hand with wealth. And it all comes down to how you measure wealth. Well, do you measure wealth with money? Or do you measure wealth with life experiences family love, and more the ladder? That's how I measure my wealth is I've got a loving family I've got, I'm doing something that I've now found recently that I absolutely love doing. And it's, that's to me, that's, that's, that's well, that's, that's what it's all it's real value. Yeah, that's always that's enough. That's enough.
Mark Laurie 42:16
It carries a lot of ground. Like when you're, you're the relationship satisfy people. I think, like when you have a connection with somebody that you get you do find that there's some things people don't get about you. There's some aspect of you that people just go where the hell that come from?
Amanda Wilkinson 42:36
Yeah, it's and it goes back to the it goes back to the seeing good in everyone. Not a lot of people. I mean, I can't say not a lot of people, because I'm sure they do, but they don't really, they don't really get why I'm like that. Well, why are you so trusting to people? Why, you know, right, you should have your guard up, because people are out to get you. But I don't see it that way. If that answers your question. Yeah,
Mark Laurie 43:03
it does. It's, I find you, you tend to attract like people, like when you're in tend to vote. So do you find yourself being surrounded by more of the people who are trustworthy who have more share your value? Your tribe? Oh,
Amanda Wilkinson 43:18
absolutely. Yeah. Yeah.
Mark Laurie 43:20
How do you nurture that? That's a good question. Like coffee shop things? Is it gifts that you give? Is it time that you spend what's your How do you nurture your tribe, the people who are important to?
Amanda Wilkinson 43:39
Oh, definitely spend lots of time with them? For sure. Yeah. Yeah.
Mark Laurie 43:43
What kind of what's the time look like? Like if your say your forks in the day, and you want to spend time with three people? What, what shape would that look like? It was very nice person, or do you have a fixed approach?
Amanda Wilkinson 43:53
Well, it would vary to each person and their personality, for sure. Yeah. If we're talking about my tribesmen, I would use as an example. My best friend for 30 years, Katie, she's, we've, the biggest thing that we do is bake. Yeah, that's another that's another passion of ours. Right? So that it makes us both happy. So that's, that's
Mark Laurie 44:24
together, like Yes. What kind of stuff? Do you bake
Amanda Wilkinson 44:27
cookies. So we make a whole day of it. We'll make the icing and then we'll decorate the cookies and we'll have laughs and it's really that's something that we've always done since childhood, right. We've always begged so we kind of we come back to that. So that that would be that would be one example of
Mark Laurie 44:50
a 30 year friendship. The stats are the average good friendship, according to STATS lasts at best seven years. Average friendship lasts four and Middle the road last five years and this is some some guy measure these things. No, these are very curious mind. So what have you done to nurture a friendship for 30 years? That's special like that. That is That's old school special.
Amanda Wilkinson 45:21
You know, I can't really I can't really? I can't really? That's, I mean, I hate to say it's a hard question, but we just stick with it. Yeah. Her and I, we just for a third for 30 years. I mean, you just stick with it. thick and thin. We just
Mark Laurie 45:40
we've always had thick and thin moments.
Amanda Wilkinson 45:42
We've had falling off points. And in particular, remember how I said, you go to college and I take the other road? Right? Well, that was that was one of the friends were like, Okay, you go do your thing. I'm gonna go over here. And then we fell out. Right? But then we always came back together. Because we've always had we've always had a bond. And I don't know what that bond is. But we've always we've always had it. We've always lived close together. Right? You live down the street. We've always had the same interests, same hobbies saying everything. So it was always Yeah, we've Yeah, it was just we've always we've always come back.
Mark Laurie 46:24
That's the core thing with a friendship is it has to weather a storm like I've seen some friendships that are veneer. And but the deep ones they have dark moments that you that you still find a way through.
Amanda Wilkinson 46:37
Yeah, yeah. We've had dark moments. We've had good moments. Yeah. Oh, yeah. She's fun.
Mark Laurie 46:42
What's your best memory of a time together with her?
Amanda Wilkinson 46:46
Katie? Oh my god, there's been so many so many moments.
Funny, every time my mom brings up Katie, me, she always tells a story. So I'm going to tell. And Katie, I'm sorry if you don't want this. I know it's in junior high. We got in trouble for skipping. skipping school. Okay. And this. This is the one that particularly stands out to me right now. We stayed home from school. And we watched. I think we're watching Disney movies. And Katie's Mom had called the school or my mom had called school. I can't really remember the details. But oh, the school had called my mom and said, well, Amanda is not in. She's like, Oh, that's weird. She left for school. And so when my mom had called Katie's Mom, and she said, Well, no, Katie. Katie is not home. She she left for school. Kids mom was home. And when when Katie's Mom came home, we ended up hiding under the bed because she parents know. Kids are up to no good. So she came home and caught us. And so sure enough, they sent her off to school and principal office and we got not suspended but we got what's called garbage duty. Right? So we got put on garbage duty. And the clever teenagers Katie and I were we had gone to the back of the garbage we pulled out a full bag right? And we ended up sitting on the other side. Our high school or junior high was on a hill. The hill is kind of is covered from from the school. So we had actually sat on the other side of that hills and smoke cigars. And that that is one that really stood out to me. Right? Yeah, it was more of a rebellious moment. A little bit of my character.
Mark Laurie 48:49
And then from there you went on to become a police graduate. Yeah, weird combinations.
Amanda Wilkinson 48:55
And not every kind of
Mark Laurie 48:57
area of the gut pops into. It has been the light chatting with you. Yeah. I've always enjoyed your energy. always enjoyed. It's great. That's good. So I've been speaking to Amanda Wilkinson. She's an artist. She does commissioned art piece there'll be a link in the in the notes if you want to kind of catch up and and have her do a piece for you and see what her passion and how well it works. It is gorgeous. You will love it. Thank you for spending some time with us. And thank you for your time with me today.
Amanda Wilkinson 49:25
Yeah, thank you. Thanks for having me.
This has been fascinating women with Mark Laurie. Join us on our website and subscribe at fascinating women does he a fascinating women has been sponsored by inner spirit photography of Calgary, Alberta and is produced in Calgary by Leigh Ellis and my office media.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai