Meet the Artist
Hi, my name is Amanda Grigor and I am the maker of amit & kol monsters. Ever since a young age I had a love for stuffed animals. I had hundreds of them and knew all of their names. I still remember the day a truck came and took them all away for donation. Creativity was always a big part of my life growing up. When I came of age, I chose a trade that would take me traveling all over Alberta and other provinces and so my time for art and other things became less and less over the years. Through those years it became evident that I had an addiction to alcohol. In 2009 a part of my stuffed animal obsession returned when I found my sock monster Bolston (pictured below in his air balloon on his bday) by belua designs at a local market. I had looked at her booth for years but could never pick just one monster. That day I instantly picked one and felt I had a certain connection to him. He became what I like to call my good luck bean and travelled with me everywhere. Struggling with addiction, Bolston brought me a sense of comfort, friendship and home. After leaving the trade I was in for 11 years and going through two failed attempts at treatment and recovery for addiction, I was brought to my knees by the disease. Feeling very lost and like a complete failure I had no idea what to do in order to change my life but I knew that I could not continue anymore the way I had been. Jan 8, 2018 I checked into my third treatment centre with a new desperation to live and I haven’t looked back. Recovery became my #1 priority because I knew I had nothing without it. Meetings, yoga, meditation, dog walking and art became instrumental in my healing. Art has really brought me back to my roots and become my creative therapy that has saved my life in a big way. It has allowed me to really find myself again. These monsters remind me everyday that it is never too late to rebuild your life or follow your dreams. I have a great appreciation for life today in recovery. I have finally found what I had been searching for all along…purpose, connection and peace of mind. I feel incredibly lucky to have found what I love to do and that I get to do what I love! It is also near and dear to my heart to try, whenever possible, to raise awareness about the importance of mental health and to share the gift of recovery with anyone still struggling.
The idea for amit & kol really came from wanting to share a piece of my story and the love I have for my sock monster. I believe that one of the best and most important parts of the human experience is all about connection. Whenever I attend a handmade market I can feel all of the heart and sense of community in the room. Everyone there has taken the time to share a piece of themselves by providing a gift made just for you. Essentially every piece is made especially for somebody. It gives sentimental value and is why I continue to cherish every one of a kind piece I have had the honour of taking home from a market. They are all so timeless, unique and thoughtful. It makes me want to be a part of it all.
My inspiration comes from many things…Bolston, things I see everyday, other artists, movies, tv shows and my own personal story, imagination and style. I personally and carefully pick out each fabric, then design, cut and sew each piece of every monster by hand. I have spent alot of time experimenting with many different fabrics and have become a big fan of upholstery materials because of their selection and long lasting durability. I am so excited to get to share my monsters with others and my hope is that people will find something special in them and enjoy them as much as I do!