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  • Writer's pictureAmanda

The Corks

In May of 2023, I released a little fashion lookbook called "Magnum Opus." It was meant to be my largest cohesive set of work to date: clothing designs I'd drawn, descriptions I'd written, and photography and graphic design by me. My ultimate finale piece of college, and a body of work I could stand by for years to come.

Despite all of that, my true love has been and will always be The Corks. If artists are allowed to have "favorite children," these are mine.

You could call these journals, and I'd let you. But that doesn't really sound as epic.

The Corks came to be because I got the first for Christmas and liked it so much that I hated the idea of buying anything else to write in.

Each book is a volume, and each volume has a title:

  1. Love Everywhere

  2. Metamorphosis

  3. Culmination

  4. Beauty Despite

And then there's Cork 5, which has yet to be named. The rule is that I have to finish each book before granting it a title.

These books chronicle trips I've taken, people I've loved, places I've moved. Sometimes I've had other people write in them. I write poetry, quote my favorite authors, track my Spotify Wrappeds, and process day to day life.

In college, there were multiple instances in which I ditched my friends at the bars because something had happened that needed to be drunkenly transcribed in The Corks or so helped me god. They looked like scribbles later, but they were gospel truth on that Saturday at 1 PM.

I was getting yelled at in the back room of a Walmart the other day (that sounds so random. I work for PepsiCo. Please just run with this) and my first thought was literally "I wish I could write this down right now."

Oh, to be a woman on the verge of tears, craving her diary before she crumbles behind the chip carts in a grocery store's back room.

So melodramatic. Corny, even. What can you do.

There's a tradition I have going in The Corks that might just be my favorite out of anything I do: if I'm not sure about what's about to happen in my life, I leave space for future Amanda to fill it out.

An example of this: In Cork 2, I asked my future self whether she chose to live in Boston or Pittsburgh. I was starting my senior year of college, and I left a blank square at the bottom of one of my pages. Everything felt shaky except for the fact that Amanda in a year or so would come through and write back. She had to.

A couple of months ago, I replied to that entry from my new apartment in Massachusetts.

I could go on and on about these things. They hold drawings and website mockups and scraps of concert tickets and photos. It feels like the closest I've come to watching my art outlive me as an artist- as a person, even. I plan on continuing to write to 80 year old Amanda, to friends who live across the country, and even to Amanda Junior someday. Maybe.

The Corks ultimately inspired this website. I figured that this was slightly more efficient than waving a stack of five matching journals around and standing by as you skim them.

So hopefully you enjoy. Welcome to Volume 5.

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