Miishab is one of four artists who created Pride-themed murals as part of the WorldPride Mural Project featured in Macy's Herald Square windows.
My name is Amanda Hurn. I’m originally from Savannah, Georgia and I lived in LA for a little while, but now I live in New York City and have been here for eight years.
My artist name is Miishab. The name was a random thing—the letters looked really nice when I wrote it.
Art making background
I started with photography and went to school for fashion photography and textile design. And then, when I finished school, I started painting and it evolved from there.
When I moved to New York, I really loved all the stickers everywhere, so I started making them—they were very graphic designs of flowers with rays coming out of them. I colored those in with colored pencil and put the handmade stickers everywhere. I put my name on the bottom and people would take pictures. I could see if my sticker is still up.
It wasn’t until seven years ago that I really became the artist I am today. I like to do collages. I like to watercolor. I like to paint and spray paint. I like things that are pretty but also kind of messy and gross at the same time. And I like to make original posters because I’ll make this piece that I love and then let it go—it’s really freeing to do that. One day I made a piece and put all the pieces that I like to do together in it: the watercolor, the color pencil, the collaging. That’s how it [my art] transformed from being just graphic shapes to being spread out and bursting into nebula.
I tend to pull shapes out. I might just paint and then paint over some other things I did. Eventually the work just morphs, and these textures come out and it just kind of happens.
About street art
Street art is just really fun for me and it helps me when I’m painting on canvas. I have a lot of newsprint pieces out on the street. I’ll get all the craziness and the fun stuff onto those and then I’ll sit down and work more slowly on the canvas pieces.
Making my street art makes me feel better. Maybe it also makes people who see them out on the street feel better too. Or they might think ‘oh I hate it’ and want to tear it down. Whatever, they interact with it. Time does too.
I do a lot of posters and a lot of pieces on paper. I’ll put something up and then, people will put posters over it and after they’ll tear some of those down and then, like five years later, I’ll see a little piece of my poster that’s still left underneath that I haven’t seen in years.
The scale of the art
I kind of go all over the place. I think the biggest mural was the one I did with the The L.I.S.A. Project on Mulberry and Canal. That was one story high and about 60 feet long. It’s cool to see your work really big.
Creating upcycle art
When people put their books out on the street, I take those and reuse the papers and stick them together to make big posters. So, for example, my poster might be on book pages with all these vegetarian recipes.
The mural for the Macy’s Pride window
I put together all the types of pieces I usually work with for the piece I did for the Macy’s Herald Square window. I had about six mockups going and then, finally, I put together two pieces and I started cutting up the other mockups and collaging them together. It took a little while for me to finally put the pieces in the right place and when it all came together, I thought 'ah, this is awesome, this looks so great.’ It was like a bursting from the middle, a glow, an inner light. And I used the Pride colors, which are now reflected in all my other artwork.
Her reaction to getting asked to do the Macy’s window
Rey’s husband, Wayne Rada, who’s the Founder/Curator of The L.I.S.A. Project,called me about participating and I was so happy I started to cry. I’m the senior project manager for this non-profit. They curated and executed all 50 murals for the WorldPride Mural Project in various locations around New York City to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Stonewall. I’ve been behind the scenes helping the artists paint their murals. I’ve had the opportunity to work with such amazing artists but also to be part of an organization that’s bringing so many different people together, which is what I think Pride is all about.
Her feelings about being featured in a Macy’s Herald Square window
Everything I do is creative and all the work I’ve done in my career is reflected in my Macy’s window artwork. I kept going back to see my piece because I couldn’t believe that my stuff is in that window. It’s crazy. I still can’t believe it. I’m just so proud. Also, to be in the company of the other artists. I’ve worked with Jenna on a project in California and we’ve become friends. And I’ve known Rey for a very long time. I’m proud to be showing with these guys.
Public reaction to the work
It’s not just the artwork; our name’s there too. I had people walk by and say: ‘I looked over and I saw your piece there.’ People have been sending me videos. And some of my family wants to fly out just to see the work in person.
I don’t often tell people when a piece goes up or when I sell something, but people are seeing this one because of where it is, and they’ll say: “I can’t believe you just did this!”
For me this part of New York is what I’d watch in movies while growing up in Savannah. I see New York as Herald Square—all the tall buildings and the Empire State Building right there. Plus, the Macy’s building itself is a historical landmark; it’s beautiful. A visitor just has to come here because it’s a historical area and it’s just so, well, New York.
This interview has been edited for brevity and clarity.
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