Amber Slanders is a resident of Birmingham as well as a talented artist. She is a self-proclaimed “maker of things” — and those things include anything from blackberry jam to customized pet pins. Birmingham Apartments Bandaloop.

1. How would you describe Bandaloop?

Birmingham Apartments Bandaloop.

Bandaloop is simply me expressing myself. It is everything from original watercolor and multimedia artwork to lapel pins, handmade cameos, homegrown blackberry jam and clay sculptures. I like to both reference pop culture and do original concepts. It is basically me just keeping myself sane and creating something from nothing. I don’t really like to do prints or repeats of something I’ve already done. I quite enjoy the idea of everything I do being one-of-a-kind, something one person can hold in their hand like their own little secret. I want it to feel personal in a world where nothing really is [personal] anymore.

2. What inspired Bandaloop?

Birmingham Apartments Bandaloop.

Life has inspired Bandaloop. Everything I see on a daily basis inspires the creation of these things. The name “Bandaloop” and beet logo are inspired by the Tom Robbins’ book Jitterbug Perfume. After people kept asking me where they could find my stuff online, I decided I needed a name, and Bandaloop immediately sprang to mind.

3. What did the starting point of Bandaloop look like and how has it grown since then?

Birmingham Apartments Bandaloop.

I started making clay lapel pins earlier this year. I posted a few online, and suddenly it seemed like everyone I knew wanted one. My friend Sarah commissioned a few pins that she wanted to look like her pets. She really started a thing with that — suddenly I was making pet pins all over the place. It’s definitely one of my favorite things to do now. Bandaloop is growing every day, and the interest in what I thought were just silly lil’ cathartic ways to pass the time amazes me over and over again. I only started this a few months ago, and the constant new business is thrilling. I love people looking me up because they saw something I made for a friend of theirs and just had to have something for themselves.

4. Why is Birmingham a good place for art and business?

Birmingham Apartments Bandaloop.

Birmingham is becoming quite the place to be! I grew up here, but I moved away for quite a few years. I have been astounded at all the progress and revitalization that happened in my absence. I am so proud to call this city home now; it is heading in so many right directions. I think now really is the perfect time to get into both art and business. There are so many great people here doing really inspiring things right now. I almost feel ashamed that I didn’t notice that potential for Birmingham before.

5. What has been the best way to get your art out there?

It is still in the baby stages, but Facebook and Instagram have been the key to my current success. Social media has been a wonderful tool for exposure. I also participated in my first event at the Punk Rock Flea Market at Saturn a couple of weeks ago. It was really cool to see people react to my stuff in person for the first time and to make some good connections with other local artists and collectors. I look forward to participating in more events in the future. It was such a blast. I can’t wait to see where this all goes.