Tools & Talismans #43 — Amy Tingle

My Talismans: The keys are my lifeline to pretty much everything. They are my way out. My escape hatch. The literal key to motherhood, which has a lot to do with driving kids from here to there for 18 years. My balm, with the windows down and the radio blaring I am free. The sugar bowl is how I access my humanness every day. If I don't have coffee with a little bit of evaporated milk and sugar, I'm a bear. And how can you resist happiness if you start your day with a tiny blue spoon and a bird? And the small wooden statue of Ganesha has been with me for years, the remover of obstacles is a very important figure for me as an artist. He is honored as the patron of the arts and letters and I find great comfort in keeping him close.

My tools include my grandmother's scissors, a good old sturdy No. 2 pencil, a blue Flair pen, an Uhu stic and an X-acto knife. I'm an artist and a maker, and I can pretty much create anything in a pinch with these few tools. And last, but not least, my trusty orange Olympia typewriter. She was technically a birthday gift for my partner, Maya, but somehow I think she always wanted to be mine. I've written love letters, diatribes, critiques, essays, stories, lies, the truth, and lots and lots of poetry on her.

Amy Tingle is a human being, a mother, an artist, and a lover of many things, including words, magic, kindness and a ninja poetess named Maya.


Tools & Talismans is a personal painting project where I document {in watercolor} the tools and talismans of 100 different women — creators and healers, thinkers and makers, wordsmiths and visionaries. Join me for a year of Tools & Talismans — I'll be sharing a new painting with you every Wednesday.

I'd love to talk about creating illustrations for you! Do you have a project that needs some illustration? Think my work might be a good fit? Get in touch, I'd love to talk about your project with you!