“Failure is how we grow as artists. It’s how we see what isn’t working and discover how to do it right. Creating art is like solving a jigsaw puzzle. Sometimes you have to figure out which pieces don’t fit together before you find the ones that do. There’s no shame in failing, only growth.” - Allison’s advice to beginners.
If there’s one word that best describes Allison’s animated and whimsical illustrations, it would be cozy. Cozy in the sense that she sees the good in her daily life and finds the magic in it.
“Sometimes this means painting a whole page of jams and jellies just because it’s delicious, and other times this means adding a darling little dragon to the shoulder of a young baker in a painting. To me, a painting doesn’t have to be what actually exists in the real world, but how we feel in the real world.”
It is already an understatement to say that Allison is an amazing and magical artist. Still, there is something even more enthralling when we dive deep into her inspirations and artistic beginnings.
We knew we were in for a treat from the moment we saw her drawings and then read her perspective on art.
For starters, Allison says she’s always been a creative kid. Even as she’s dealing with chronic illness, art has always been her primary outlet, passion, and comfort.
“I was no stranger to illness, but art was always something I could do even when I wasn’t feeling well. It was a hobby that I always had access to, and it’s now a career I can manage while dealing with chronic illness.”
Allison recalls her very first canvas was her nursery room’s walls. By age 8, she had begun taking pointers from two high school art students willing to share their knowledge and love for the arts.
From then on, Allison continued to learn and collaborate with artists by attending art camps. This early introduction to the supportive art community convinced her that an artist is never truly self-taught.
“Meeting like-minded creatives in all sorts of different artistic fields was so eye-opening for me. At that point, I understood that art is not competition. It’s learning from those farther along than you and guiding those less experienced. The art community is a big, beautiful collaboration. “
Speaking of learning, she names Golden-Age illustrators like J.C. Leyendecker and Norman Rockwell and contemporary artists like Loish and Devin Elle Kurtz as her inspirations.
But for Allison, Chris Hong is the most influential artist in her life, and it is not just because her illustrations speak to her—she found comfort in Hong’s candidness.
“She’s so willing to share her struggles as an artist. Listening to her admit when she wasn’t happy with her art, the anxieties of running an art business, and the sad realities of creative burnout have always made me feel less alone as an artist. I believe artists should be willing to share the struggles of creating as well as the joys.”
Allison’s illustrations often evoke a feeling of joy, whimsy, and nostalgia in us, and it’s probably because her inspirations are rooted in none other than her wonder for life.
As to how she breathes life into her whimsical art, Allison shares she chooses whatever best conveys the ideas and emotions she has envisioned.
“I would definitely consider myself to be a mixed media artist through and through. I really try to choose mediums that best convey the ideas and emotions of an illustration. Sometimes a piece needs to be fully gouache. Other times it needs a little bit of colored pencil and a splash of watercolor.”
Allison’s art is indeed cozy and joyful, but her story and growth as an artist and individual are nothing short of magical. Through her work, what would have been mundane slices of life are given extra helpings of wonder, sentimentality, and an overall homeyness.
Get Cozy and Inspired with Allison’s Art!
Looking for more inspiration? We got more stories from fellow artists like you! And if you want to tell your tale, email firstname.lastname@example.org for a feature.
With this blog, we wanted to provide artists and creative individuals with a platform to showcase their talents and share their unique experiences with others. We know we’re always in for an inspiring story when talking with creatives, and that’s why we’re excited to hear from you!