Amanda Visell grew up with a crazy love for vintage Disney. Mousketeers, war era cartoons, a different time. She spent her teens in the pacific northwest during the riot grrl music movement and was captivated by the large community of independent artists and their overall message of equality.  She moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in visual development for animation, eventually becoming a designer and sculptor on stop motion segments for shows like The Simpsons and the feature film Elf. Her career took a sharp turn when she started showing her paintings publicly. Since 2005 she has exhibited her work, lectured, and taught workshops  at galleries and museums internationally (not just Canada). She has partnered with brands to develop product lines based on her artwork including Disneyland U.S.A and Kidrobot. In 2007 she formed her own design brand, Switcheroo with notable artist Michelle Valigura. She currently lives in northern Los Angeles with chickens and dogs, she did not go to college.

There are things in life that you can't live without...oxygen, food, water, internet, you know, the very basic essentials for life. Everyone's list is different as to what they deem as essential, but everyone has a list. Much like Batman's utility belt or a Swiss Army knife, there are a handful of things in this world that we must have with us, to get us in, or out, of a tough jam. So we've asked our friends for a list of items that would make their list. The items that make them who they are.

So some of these I don’t leave home without and some I just make sure are always in front of my eyeballs when I'm working. Here we go…

Y&C CALLIGRAPHY PENS


They come as a set of 3, I have many. If I'm traveling, I make sure to bring them. I don’t really like to draw when I'm out in the world, I'd rather use my eyeballs to see the things around me…. but I find having them on me comforting. Also, these are what I use if I want to make drawings actually look good. They give me super strength.

SERIES 9 ANIMATION WATERCOLOR BRUSHES


So sad, they haven’t been made for at least 8 years. Originally used for painting animation cels, they are heavy hitters if you have any interest in painting a beautiful line. Ugh! I have maybe 20, all at various levels of decay, but I can’t let them go, at their worst, they are still superior to anything else I can find.

RAILWAY SPIKE

My railroad spike from Disneyland USA. Could be a paperweight or a useful tool in a zombie apocalypse, but not a vampire one. I've decided that it's good luck. Reminds me that pens and brushes can actually build amazing things.

IRON GIANT SHARPENER


Crunchy, delicious, metal. My Iron Giant pencil sharpener. Adorable and functional. I've stared at it for many years while trying to make something of myself.

CHAPSTICK


Chapstick, soft lips, most any flavor. This is on me at all times. If I'm on Survivor, this is my luxury item. If I'm looting in an apocalypse, This is what I'm grabbing. Shout out to Manly.