Anything But Skin-deep: Kyle Amor on his Traverse into the World of Creativity

The creative industry is a wide range of field to explore and pursue, and even with so much passion fueling one’s ambition to consider it as a profession, it can be confusing and circuitous. But what matters the most is figuring out where your creativity calls you.

This is what the journey of Kyle Amor, a California-based multimedia artist and creative director looks like. Who, from reading scripts, singing in front of squealing fans, doing briefings, posing for the camera and walking for runways, finds his heart in digital drawing, designing, and creative direction. 

Amor has been a graphic designer and creative director for about eight years, specializing in the creation of visual multimedia content, marketing materials, and the development and maintenance of brand image. His creative talent is seen on his previous clients in the States including Arc Beauty Lab, One Beauty, Edwin Kwon, Lummea Skin Co., and other established companies in Beverly Hills.

Photographed by Kyle Amor

All of this came from his innate aptitude in the world of arts, allowing him to continue to break through in the creative business. But, before stepping into the shoes of a multimedia artist working in the fascinating metropolis of Beverly Hills, his is a journey of gear-shifting experiences, changing lanes in the creative world that have all led to where he is now.

The multimedia artist recalled his journey from his background in the arts, how, as early as four or five years old, he knew he had a talent for the arts, always finding a pen or a crayon to draw, “…I can definitely say that it felt innate and I knew I was good at it. From that age, I already knew that my profession had to be somewhere in the arts.”

Truth to his instinctive guess, in his earlier career, Amor has worked for two years as a graphic designer and marketing assistant for real estate companies in California, where he provided graphic design and event planning services to his clientele. He tells Rank Magazine, “I think the first big set of projects I’ve worked on would be around 2006-2007. I was working on several websites and print materials for real estate and event planning companies.”

He then went to the Philippines to explore the art of acting, modeling, and singing, where he became a signed artist of Cornerstone and Star Magic. Some of his works in the country included acting in which he was cast in television shows and teen musical variety shows.

Photographed by Kyle Amor

Meanwhile, as a model, he shot several television commercials, print ads, and magazine shoots. Besides exploring the world of acting and modeling, he would also dwell into the music scene and was able to release a self-titled album with the band 3AM under Star Records, where guested in a late night music show, Music Uplate Live, with Yeng Constantino as the host. 

However, this career did not last longer and for him, somehow became a phase to figure out what he wanted to do in his career. For the young multi-talented artist, the things he did in the Philippines took a special place in his heart as it had helped mold him into where he is and taught him life lessons he was able to mine and apply to this day.

“Being discovered by [Cornerstone] was kind of my saving grace. Something that needed to happen for me to eventually excel later in my life. It definitely lit a fire within me that I didn’t know existed. Everything I pursued in Manila was completely the opposite of where I had envisioned my professional life going.”

He explained how being in front of multiple cameras contributed to conquering his introverted personality. “I got to see another side of the creative lens and I learned a lot in the process. I was challenged to overcome my introverted nature and express myself in other forms of art. It was a very brief moment in my young adulthood, but I still often use the things I’ve learned and apply them to my everyday life.”

Photographed by Kyle Amor

After the long journey of exploration, experiences, searching, and learning from the different fields, Amor would eventually establish and construct his artistic identity in the form of digital art and illustrations where he was now able to express and represent his creative freedom as an artist.

As a multimedia artist, Amor finds his aesthetic preferences with simplified design elements. He highlights, “I have always had a deep appreciation for compositions with negative space, patterns, lines and muted colors. Not only because I found them aesthetically pleasing to look at, but also because I’ve always associated them with calming thoughts.”

Speaking of calming thoughts, more than treating his profession simply as a job, he also sees his creativity and work as a form of therapy—a self-indulging platform where he can express himself fully.

“I know that sounds like a mundane explanation, and in truth it is, but that’s what I feel represents my art the most.” He continues, “With that said, I think it’s important to note that I’m not here to be a revolutionary world-renowned artist, nor am I the type to impose political statements or push any underlying issues in my work. There are plenty of great artists who already do that. I simply create art for my own enjoyment and sanity.”

Photographed by Kyle Amor

Interestingly, Amor highlights the interconnection of managing and valuing his physical health and how it impacted his creativity and his well-being. “With my personal life, I’m pushing myself even further in terms of physical fitness. I’m hoping to gain more weight in the coming months and be in even better shape. Surprisingly, taking control of my health in 2020 has contributed to a wealth of benefits when it comes to my artwork and profession. I’m more energetic, focused, and have less creative blocks.”

In the modern generation where anything is possible with high speed internet and the power of social media, Amor shared how it maximized his voice as an artist in showcasing his talent and creativity to the world, “Before smartphones took over, graphic designers would have physical portfolios and/or an accompanying website to showcase their work. While I still have both today, it seems that having a presence on social platforms is just as, if not more, important. It has given me a way to express myself creatively in different mediums and reach audiences that would have never seen my work to begin with.”

When it comes to his creative process, he shares how his ideas naturally flow out of nowhere and he would know what he wants to do by then. His inspirations? Anything that captures his interest in a certain moment.

“To be honest anything can inspire me: a wall color, the shape of a shadow from a tree, the pattern stitched in my car seats, a well-edited music video, the spontaneity of an unplanned road trip, heartache, the scent of certain environments, a song, a loved one, the feeling of warmth from the sun, etc. I pretty much draw my inspiration from everyday things.”

Aside from capturing inspirations from everyday experiences and observation of his surroundings, Amor finds creative influences including the art Paula Bonet, whom he found amazement in terms of the artist’s general line work, drawing, and painting techniques. He also finds inspiration in a graphic designer turned business marketing advisor, Chris Do.

Photographed by Kyle Amor

He shares, “Although they’re very different creative influences, both generally inspire me in my own line of work. I wouldn’t say they necessarily help me in shaping my own art form, but rather provide insightful guidelines or applicable information. It can be them recommending a new tool, software or a new art technique.”

With all the experiences he gained and the lessons he learned from his journey, Amor looks back on his earlier years and compares his craft back then to how his art grew and evolved. Of note, he says, “I often look back at my old work and internally mock myself for things I chose to implement in my designs and/or illustrations back then. I lacked many basic concepts and overall consistency. There were times, however, when I’d marvel at some of the things I’ve created and ask myself, ‘How the hell did I do that?’”

In his artistic growth throughout the years, Amor describes his overall ethos as an artist in many forms. Thinking back from the time when he thought he should only stick to what he can do best, to having the bold ferocity and creative freedom expressing himself in different forms of art. He found out more about himself as an artist and explored more on the other corners of the creative world.

Photographed by Kyle Amor

“Now, I see my whole being as an expression, if that makes any sense. I don’t post my illustrations as often because some days I’ll feel like drawing out my thoughts and keeping it to myself. Other times, I’ll feel like creating a short film to post or expressing myself through writing. I’ve learned to channel some of my instinctive creativity through other outlets.” 

This unceasing passion for the arts and finding his place in the creative world has paid back and resulted in his success in his industry.

Right now, Amor focuses on being a full-time Creative Director in the beauty industry of Beverly Hills. But he hopes and aspires a fruitful career and more opportunities coming for him. In the future, the multimedia creative is eyeing to publish an art book and collaborate with musical artists and this time be behind the recording booth and create the album cover for them. 

As Kyle Amor continuously works on expressing his art in different forms, he also envisions a window of opportunity opening up to have more creative growth as he steps even further in the creative industry, “I would really like to see my art move into more short animated clips. I’ve explored the idea before, but I would like to expand on that digital medium. I also would like to start painting again. Hopefully throughout this year, I’ll have more things to share.”

Produced and Interviewed by Leo Balante

Images and video courtesy of Kyle Amor