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!
I dedicate amit & kol to everyone that has loved and supported me over the years and to The Orchard recovery center in Bowen Island, BC. I would not be where I am in my life today without you. Love love love you. Amanda. Xo
Post: January 8, 2019
Today I am feeling incredibly lucky and grateful...
Addiction is a disease that took away my spirit and soul. It went on to bankrupt me morally, mentally and physically. The insanity of it became very real, quite frankly my reality and a very scary place to be. Change is hard when you have been struggling with something for a very long time. My bottom came when I had complete loss of self and zero regard for my life or the hurt I was causing others. It is a place I never would have thought I would be and it was as though another entity had taken over my life. And so I gathered up every ounce of strength I had left and on January 8, 2018 I checked into my 3rd treatment Center with a new desperation. The hardest thing I have ever had to do and the best thing I could have ever done for myself was to let go of everything and forgive myself in order to move forward. It has been an incredibly challenging year and yet the most fulfilling and worthwhile year of my life. Recovery became my #1 priority because I knew I had nothing without it. Almost 200 meetings this year and building a supportive foundation, yoga, meditation, dog walking and art have been instrumental in my healing. Art has become creative therapy for me and I have really found myself again in it. When you don’t know if you’ll ever get here or if you’ll ever come back and then you do...it is an indescribable feeling. I always said that I just wanted more than anything to be normal and not do insane things but the truth is all I ever wanted was peace of mind and I feel as though I have that today. For anyone still struggling...if you stick with sobriety long enough to see the big picture and what real life is all about I promise you it will be so worth it just as you are. The impossible is possible, dreams can come true, I believe time can heal and it does get better. Never give up the fight. I am reminded everyday that it is never too late to rebuild your life or follow your dreams. Thank you to my amazing husband and family who never gave up on me or lost hope even when I had, your support means everything to me. I love you with all of my heart. I also want to extend a special thank you to the Orchard recovery centre for providing me with the tools, guidance and support i needed in order to begin my new journey. What you do for people everyday is nothing short of amazing and you will forever have a place in my heart. Sending out lots of love and well wishes.