Love has always been a source of the greatest creative inspiration for artists and everyone who has been in love at least once understands why. The world fills up with butterflies and rainbows which you want to experience with newly enhanced senses and the perfect significant other by your side. But the truth is that there isn’t such a thing as a perfect relationship. Once the honeymoon stage is over, reality strikes and even though it doesn‘t exactly look like a romantic movie, the trust and comfort two people develop is not less worthy of bringing to light.
A 29-year-old Los Angeles based artist, Amanda Oleander, invites her audience of 878k people on Instagram to the intimate world of relationships that is often left behind closed doors.
Scroll through the charming illustrations below to explore the inner working of long-term relationships and see if they look familiar. And if you can’t get enough, check out Amanda’s illustrations that we’ve previously shared on Bored Panda.
It comes as no surprise that behind the scenes, the relationship may slightly differ from the image that we put out to the world. The talented artist shares quirky love stories through her adorable illustrations and her distinctive style filled with fine details and subtle humor helps to portray the simple yet magical bond between two people in a long-term relationship.
Inspired by her own romantic relationship with a long term partner, Joey Rudman, to whom she recently got engaged and her family and friends’ honest confessions, the artist depicts the precious mundane moments in relationships that create a real picture of unfiltered love. The unglamorous scenarios Amanda portrays in her artwork are far from a fairytale but they reveal a very genuine and relatable side of romance. Amanda’s illustrations confront an unrealistic image of a ‘perfect’ relationship that the media often dictates; they show that love can be simple.
“These illustrations are inspired by my personal life. I love illustrating life behind closed doors. What really happens when we are comfortable at home by ourselves or with our loved ones. This is the first time I am in a healthy, loving and kind relationship. I love illustrating what it's like to be in one and how important It is to be loved for who you really are.” - Amanda told Bored Panda.
Amanda’s illustrations convey a reality that could not be documented with scripted or altered photographs that we often see online. Relationships consist of small and quiet moments and they are not always pretty: from cuddling in bed and cooking together, to pimple popping and changing a tampon in front of your significant other – her drawings are as real as it gets. But this is actually how every long term relationship looks when nobody’s watching and it makes Amanda’s artwork so authentic and universal. Despite different backgrounds, cultures, countries, and languages, people and their relationships are very similar.
Amanda Oleander’s career bridges fine art, technology, performance art, and commercial work for which she was honored as one of Pure Wow’s 100 Women Emerging in Culture. After receiving her degree in Fine Arts, she worked as an illustrator for E! Entertainment. It took Amanda 4 years to get 2k followers on Instagram, but it skyrocketed when in 2015, she started incorporating Periscope into her daily routine by live-streaming herself painting and showing snippets of her life and became one of the app’s breakout stars. The rest is history. Now the artist has hundreds of thousands of followers on Instagram and over 51k followers on Facebook who appreciate her honesty and refreshing approach.
Revealing the reality of relationships is just a part of Amanda’s inspiring work. Besides romantic partners, she depicts other types of love that play a huge part in our lives, like affection to pets, friends and, most importantly, ourselves. She uses her influence on social media to articulate her thoughts into pieces of art and encourages self-love. Drawing inspiration from real life moments, Amanda is not likely to ever run out of ideas.
Through her art, Amanda is able to reach and connect with millions of people worldwide and she tries to give back to people who support her in creative journey. She has a print sale every Monday for 24 hours on her website. "When people send me reaction videos of them getting my artwork gifted to them and seeing them cry from excitement warms my heart so much and is such a big motivator for me to keep doing what I love," said the artist.
Note: this post originally had 57 images. It’s been shortened to the top 30 images based on user votes.