Inspiration from Amy Lee Segami

“When you have a deep, deep passion in you heart
and in your bones and in your soul,
it never goes away. It just isn’t time yet.”
~ Amy Lee Segami

On a snowy day this February my friend coaxed me out of the house to go visit an exhibit at the Evanston Public Library. While I have been aware that the library hosts exhibit, it took a non-Evanstonian to point out to me that this is a monthly occurrence. Amy Lee Segami’s work was up through March 7, and she held a talk explaining her inspiration, background and process.

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Her exhibit “Frozen Dreams” was inspired by how as a girl Amy had to put her dreams on hold, or ‘in the freezer” as she said. Her father wanted her to be able to support herself and steered her toward studying engineering. She moved to America to study at IIT, and did become an engineer.

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Over time, however, Amy decided to de-frost her dreams, and started studying Suminagashi. In this technique, black ink is dripped into a container of water, and an image transfer created by placing paper over the resulting image.

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Amy perfected this technique for years. “When you master your craft, you work on it day in, day out. Ideas come about.”

When she felt comfortable knowing the technique for white ink on black paper, she started adding colors to her palette. By using brushes, feathers and other tools to manipulate the ink, she creates the foundation of the image she wishes to create. However, like life, Amy says that she has an idea of what the resulting transfer will look lie, yet is open to it changing based on the movement of the paper on the water.

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She sees art and life as a balance of competition and collaboration. Competition can inspire people to excel and to lead, but it takes collaboration to achieve consensus. There is no point in fighting water, she said, so she has to collaborate with it.

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Even though she has perfected her technique, Amy still has to create many transfers before she has the piece she is happy with. Describing the motion like a dance, she said the transfer has to take place in one breath. “There is no moment like this moment now.”

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Amy waited until she had an international show to tell her father about her career change, and he fully supports her success. She credits his pushing and cajoling with giving her the security to establish her career, emphasizing that our past shapes us and it is never too late to pursue your dreams. Amy also emphasized that we have to count ourselves in to our life paths. We are the masters of our own destiny, and we cannot forget who we are.

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I won a poster during a drawing, and you can get your own prints here.

“In every situation you face, always count yourself.
Your opinion, your perspective, your presence matters.”
~ Amy Lee Segami

People photos copyright and courtesy of Final Draft Business Support Services.

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