Love is not one-size-fits-all. Despite what books and movies might show, it’s about more than just grand gestures; this certain fondness doesn’t even have to involve another person. More often, a demonstration of love is a collection of the mundane moments of everyday life where tenderness often hides but grows strong. Amanda Oleander creates unconventional illustrated love stories that prove this.
Oleander often depicts couples in their home who are fully relaxed in one another’s company. They traipse around in their underwear and let it all hang out; this leads to some interesting moments that reveal the inner workings of a relationship—such as popping the other person’s pimple or helping them paint their toenails. These displays aren’t exactly glamorous, but they are real and most of all, relatable.
Romance is just one type of love that Oleander illustrates. Through her popular Instagram account, she regularly highlights affection towards your pets—like letting them lick your plate clean—and more importantly, self-love. The idea of loving yourself is shown simply; like her two-person relationships, it’s all about the little things, from snuggling in a pile of warm dryer clothes to eating ice cream and watching TV.
The thread uniting all of Oleander’s illustrations is the idea of authenticity. To be happy with who you are, show your true self—whether that’s to the mirror or your romantic partner.