For Amor Coetzee, creating is the ultimate freedom, a standpoint which led her to establish Dayfeels as an outlet for the simple line drawings and clay pieces that she lovingly creates. Amor’s illustrations are based on aphorisms – a metaphorical phrase which embodies a feeling. In her series, Bodies, she explores the simple gestures exchanged between lovers while Shygirl is an ongoing narrative of a charming recluse trying to come to terms with life in a big city. Drawn to a clean and muted aesthetic, she works through process of elimination, starting out with a lot of detail and removing bit by bit until only the very essence of what she is trying to portray remains. “I try to communicate a sense of calm in my work. Like a whisper,” she says. An extension of her illustrations, the ceramic side of Dayfeels has her working with texture, contrast, abstract shapes and patterns to create hand-made, one of a kind pieces from a small studio in Bo-Kaap.
Amor has been drawing since she can remember – when she was a child, it was the only thing that helped her to sleep and she would sit for hours creating stories about people she knew and characters she had invented. “Unfortunately, as time went by and the older I became, the more I lost touch with that side of me. This is what sparked my desire to create Dayfeels,” she explains. “It was something that I had started doing outside of my 9-5 to get me back into drawing more seriously again.” Around the same time, she took up ceramics and clay sculpting as something fun to do after work. She fell in love with the craft of sculpting, moulding and glazing clay and the satisfaction of seeing it transform into something special once it came out of the kiln.
With a deep appreciation for the city of Cape Town and the landscape that surrounds it, the ocean and the properties of water have had the most significant influence on her current works. “The hues, ripples and reflections, the immense power and the calm. It is my muse,” she says. Other than that she draws inspiration from subtleties, silent gestures and body language, daily human interactions, music, poetry, books, films, conversations with friends, light and dreams. Of her process, Amor explains that “I always have an idea of what I want the final outcome to be and design accordingly, but once I am in the process things are added and taken away.” Currently Amor is working on designs for a range of stoneware using interesting and textured clays. She’s also developing the story of Shygirl further and is busy with some large scale drawings.